What not to do at your wedding – don’t forget these important points of etiquette
As our ceremonies and receptions get less and less formal, it’s easy to forget important pieces of wedding etiquette.
There are some things which are simply not done when it comes to a wedding, though. Here’s our list of don’ts to ensure your day goes smoothly and there are no hurt feelings.
Upset the family before you start planning - You’re engaged! Brilliant. You want to tell the world and change your Facebook status. Don’t do that before you’ve called mum, dad, grandparents, brothers, and sisters. Finding out your news on social media isn’t fun for your family and close friends.
Tell people about your wedding lists on the invitations – This is a big no-no. Your invitations are there to tell people you’d like to share your day with them. There should be no expectation of a gift on the invitation. That can be dealt with later. You could share your lists with them on an email or on a wedding website.
Invite someone to a hen or stag do or bridal shower if they’re not invited to the wedding – That gives people a confusing mixed message. It’s also embarrassing for them, as people will assume they are going to the wedding. This can only lead to hurt feelings.
Make people hang about for a long time between the ceremony and reception – People will want to get to the reception venue, if it’s elsewhere, as quickly as possible. They will also want to find their seats and have a drink and a bite to eat before the wedding breakfast. Some may have come from a significant distance that day. You also run the danger that people will wander off or get lost if they don’t know where they are going.
Buy gifts of vastly different values for bridesmaids and ushers – Whoever gets the cheaper gift will feel hard done-by, and they have all contributed to making your wedding day special. Buy them different things, by all means, but make sure the value difference is not obvious.
Stick all your single friends on one table – It’s embarrassing for all involved when this happens. Even worse, don’t put them on the children’s table! Place people next to those with whom they might strike up interesting conversations, so think about their interests and jobs. Make sure everyone knows someone on their table. A familiar face goes a long way in these situations.
Make guests pay for their drinks – Avoid a cash bar as many guests will be expecting drinks to be included with the reception. You could create a signature punch, place wine and beer on tables, and tell people that wine and beer and some soft drinks are free. If they fancy something different, they can then pay for that themselves.
Forget to feed the people working with you on the day – Such as the DJ, harpist, band, celebrant, and...photographer! Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? Including them helps the day run smoothly. They won’t have to leave the site to grab something to eat.
Forget to greet all your guests personally – It’s a busy day and this can be tricky to achieve. Make the effort, though, as people will appreciate it. They have come to be part of your day, so go and say hello, have a quick chat, and make sure everyone feels included. If you hand-deliver your wedding favours, you’ll be able to speak to most people then.
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