Coast Bridal asked expert Connie Dryden, owner of Nefertiti Bridal and Island Flowers in downtown Galveston, to answer some of the most common wedding etiquette questions.
What if I want to invite some co-workers, but not all?
Invite people you really want to be at your wedding.
Rule of thumb: Don’t invite people out of guilt.
Do we have to have a seating chart?
Yes, unless your guest list is very small. This helps to group people with similar interests, etc. It also eliminates empty chairs and adding chairs to a full table.
Rule of thumb: Seeing their names on a chart makes guests feel important.
How much time do you have to send thank you notes?
Send thank you cards within four to six weeks after your wedding. Be sure to mention the gift you received.
Rule of thumb: Keep a list of the gifts and names to keep thank yous organized.
Can I ask my wedding party to refrain from doing anything wild with their hair or makeup on the big day?
Brides can and should request a particular style of hair and makeup and nail color. Keep in mind every detail of the wedding décor has been planned carefully.
Rule of thumb: Bridesmaids should reflect the style of the bride.
How do I word invitations politely if I don’t want children at the wedding?
Invitations are very specific. Names on the invitation are invited. If guests ask about bringing children, politely tell them there are no accommodations for children (i.e. food, caretaker, entertainment).
Rule of thumb: If children’s names are not listed on the invitation, they’re not invited.
Is it better to ship a wedding gift ahead of the big day or take it to the wedding?
It’s the most thoughtful and practical plan to send the gifts to the bride’s or her parents’ house before the wedding.
Rule of thumb: This plan streamlines the logistics of transporting gifts.
If you have a wedding gift shipped directly to the couple and never receive a thank you, is there a polite way to determine whether the bride ever got it or not?
You may inquire to see whether the gift was received. At the risk of a little embarrassment, it shows interest about the gift you sent.
Rule of thumb: Checking on mailing services is a good thing.
I’ve been invited to a wedding, but I don’t want to go alone. Can I bring a date?
Yes, but you must ask the bride if it’s OK to do so. An unlisted guest creates extra logistics for the seating count, catering count, etc.
Rule of thumb: The number of guests are planned by caterers, venues, florists, etc.
What’s the dress code if the invitation doesn’t specify it?
The time and place of the wedding helps to determine what to wear. Morning and afternoon weddings should be dressy chic. Evening weddings should be cocktail or dressy dinner date.
Rule of thumb: Be respectful of the bride and her family when choosing what to wear.
What do you do if someone has been over-served at the reception?
Ask the bartender to decrease the alcohol in their drink. Always have food to serve with drinks.
Rule of thumb: Two drinks per hour per guest is the recommended estimate.