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Wedding Etiquette Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

by Ariel Dreicer
Wedding Etiquette Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

There are tons of rules of etiquette surrounding weddings. Some are fairly obvious, like not inviting your ex. Others are a little hazier, like what to write on your invitations. When it comes to the lesser-known etiquette mistakes, you may be making them without even realizing. We’ve compiled a list of some faux pas to avoid so you can get your wedding off without a hitch.

Not putting the location on your save-the-dates

Your save-the-dates should help your guests plan ahead. Without a location (at least the city your wedding will be held in) your guests will have a hard time deciding whether or not they should start saving money and taking time off work or sending you their early regrets. As exciting as it is to set a date, wait to send out those cards until you’ve chosen the “where” as well as the “when.”

Want more details on save-the-date etiquette? We’ve got just the article for you. 

Including registry information on your invitation

Printing your wedding registry information on your invitations is considered tacky. But you still want your guests to know how to find it. An easy solution? Include your wedding website URL on your invitation. Guests can find your registry information there, without you pointing them directly to it.

Putting a false start time on your invite

If your family is time-management-challenged like mine, it might seem like a good idea to pad the start time of your wedding on the invitations. But you really shouldn’t. Printing that your ceremony starts at 3:00 when it really doesn’t start until 3:30 will just doom your punctual guests to sit baking in the sun for half an hour.

Trust that your guests will understand that the time printed is the ceremony time and arrive accordingly. If you’re really worried about specific people, send them a special little reminder, or task someone responsible with getting them there on time.

Sending an invite to someone who already said they can’t attend

Some people might send regrets right after you send out the save-the-dates. Make note of these regrets, and skip sending those people an invitation to the wedding. It might feel like sending the invite anyway is polite wishful thinking, but more likely it will just seem like you still want them to send a gift, which is not a good look.

Not investing enough in your bridal party gifts

Honestly, where would you be without your bridal party? They’ve spent time, energy, and money to help make the wedding planning process and your big day flawless. Make sure your bridal party gifts show just how grateful you are. No need to shell out tons of cash, but you should spend some good time thinking up meaningful gifts for your bridal party.

And don’t forget Mom and Dad. Even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, make sure to get your parents something to thank them for their love and support throughout the process (and your lives up to this point).

Having a cash bar

Ideally your guests shouldn’t pay for anything at your wedding. If you’re having trouble staying on budget, make cuts in other areas like flowers, decorations, or even the guest list. 

This doesn’t mean you have to have a full open bar. It’s perfectly acceptable to serve only beer and wine, and maybe a signature cocktail. Just don’t make your guests pick up the tab.

Not feeding the vendors

This is a big one: you must feed your vendors! Notify your planner and caterer that they will need to prepare vendor meals for your DJ or band members, photographer, videographer, planner, and any assistants. Make sure to take note of any major dietary restrictions. (You won’t need to feed anyone who’s only working the ceremony or doing drop-off and pick-up, like your baker or florist.) 

Timing is key. Plan for your DJ or band to eat before you and your guests do, and for your planner, photographer, and videographer to eat at the same time that you do. Also make sure that there’s a decent place at the venue for them to enjoy their meal, so they’re not eating in the bathroom stall Mean Girls style.

Not greeting all of your guests individually

Your guests came to celebrate with you, and while it may seem like a lot, greeting each of them is very important. Receiving lines feel old-fashioned, but they take way less time than going around to every table during dinner. You’re also way less likely to get sidetracked and miss an entire group of people.

Having a “singles” table

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I’m against any wedding activity that calls out single guests. (Yes, that includes having the DJ ask all the “single ladies” to join him on the dance floor for the song by the same name.) None of your single friends are probably excited by this distinction, especially if this is the 5th wedding they’ve been to this year. Seat your single friends just like you would your friends in couples. Don’t punish them by putting them all on a group blind date.

Using generic thank-you cards

Yes, it’s a pain in the wrist, but hand-writing your thank-yous is still the right way to do things. Do them as quickly as possible, within a few months of your wedding at most.

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