I got married in October of 2014.
I also was a bridesmaid in April of 2014.
& since 2014 I’ve attended
weddings and/or similar events (Wedding Showers, Engagement Parties, etc..).
The spring months tend to be a popular time to schedule wedding events, so I wanted to share & discuss some wedding do’s & don’ts.
You may have been guilty of some of these, I am too. When you’re planning your wedding you’re not always thinking about others.
One. Your Venue.
Do: Pick a venue that can offer you more than just a place to get married.
- When we got married I was thrown a last minute request from our wedding officiant. He requested a podium less than 2 weeks before the ceremony. I thought, where am I going to find a podium on such short notice? Well, my venue had one, they gladly put it out for us & even draped a tablecloth perfectly over the hideous thing (their words, not mine), they did it all for no extra costs. They even offered me table numbers for our reception. Every request we made with planning was handled. It’s small things like this that make it even better!
Don’t: Pick a venue that cannot accommodate the amount of guests.
- I attended an engagement party at a small hotel. It was a beautiful venue but was way too small for the amount of people attending. The entire party was in the pool area, with so many people there it was hard to walk around. The floor also had water drains. Heels & drains do not mix, I eventually got my heel stuck in a drain while trying to slip by someone & my heel was ruined. Not the worst thing to happen, at least no one fell in the pool, but picking venues that can handle the amount of guests in attendance is always a great way to go. It’s was a fun night regardless, I’m just bummed my new shoes were ruined.
**I also went to a reunion that was like this. Drinks, pools, & women in heels don’t mix. At these events women wear heels. Take this into consideration or you might have someone meet the pool….**
Two. Your Invitations.
Do: Include what whatever you want…
- Many wedding etiquette posts will tell you it is rude to include where you are registered on the invitation because it shows you are expecting gifts, however it is fine to include your wedding website. What if you’re like me & you don’t want to make a wedding website? They say to pass this information on by word of mouth, but I say print it! Honestly, of all the thoughts that popped into my mind when I received an invitation, not a single one of them was: “how rude of them to expect they’re getting a gift!”. Gifting is something you do whenever you are invited to a wedding, attending or not, you’re rude if you don’t give them a gift so lets stop pretending here….
- You also should never print “Adults Only” on your invite. It’s another “word of mouth” situation that really takes up too much time. I wish I had kept every invite I received, pretty sure they all said “Adults Only” if they were. I literally read you should call each guest to explain the adults only rule. What bride has the time to call all those guests to explain this? They have other things to do, unless someone was going to pay me to call every invitee to explain my no kids rule, I’m printing it on the invite, you should too.
Don’t: Address the envelope to: Mr. & Mrs. (husbands first name) (husbands last name).
- I know it’s traditional, but it is also way too outdated & could be perceived as insulting to an independent (but also married) woman of the 21st century. Women typically don’t like to be classified as belongings. Sending an invite made out to: Mr. & Mrs. John Smith makes it look like Jane is not her own person anymore since she got married, she belongs to John now. Many women also do not change their last names, so I would tread lightly on addressing the invites this way. Determine if your friends or family do fall into that “more traditional” category, if they do, then address them this way, no one said every envelope has to be uniformed. If you’re a woman like me, who held on to her maiden name but also added his name, then we should be addressed as: Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Mr. John Smith & Mrs. Jane Doe-Smith, or Mr. John Smith & Mrs. Jane Smith. This way woman stay what they are, their own person.
Three. Bridal Party.
Do: Be nice & giving to your bridal party.
- Being a bridesmaid is not a cheap job. They are responsible for buying their dress & shoes while also paying to get their hair & makeup done. When I picked out the dress for my bridesmaids I gave them a choice. Pick a dress, I don’t care what the cut is, it just needs to be short and come in the color I picked from the store I picked. After a couple girls picked out their dresses I realized they were more expensive than I expected, so I paid for their shoes. Since a couple of the girls weren’t big hair & makeup types, I decided part of their bridesmaid gifts would be for me to cover the cost for them. Every one of my bridesmaids looked beautiful & I am happy I made this part of their gifts.
Don’t: Feel the need to make everyone you know part of it.
- Pick the people you really want up there. When we were planning out wedding I was told how bummed someone might’ve been to have not been included in the party. My response was: “Yeah, but we can’t make every single friend we have a bridesmaid or groomsmen. Then we’d have no guests”. Don’t feel the pressure to pick everyone, don’t let people make you feel bad about your choices either. Any friend who is upset you didn’t include them will know how hard it is when they plan their wedding.
- One of my bridesmaids did not include me in her wedding & I wish I did the same thing she did for her wedding party, it was easier. No hurt feelings. You don’t need to feel like you need to include someone because they included you. We’re adults, not children.
Four. The Food & Beverages.
Do: Give your guest options.
- Not everyone likes fish, chicken, or beef. No matter what the event is for (engagement party, shower, or wedding) you must give your guest options of what to eat (& drink). Some one may be a vegetarian, or doesn’t eat fish, or really really hates mayo (ME!). If you are not 100% sure about the dietary restrictions the guests have (& they all have something they wont touch), then try to give them options. If you would like to serve sandwiches at your event then do it as a “DIY” situation, that way your guest can pick what they want instead of picking off what they hate or just skipping the meal entirely.
- Serve drinks! Even if you don’t drink, other people do & they probably would like a little glass of something. Also lets face it, no matter what event (engagement, shower, or wedding) it’s brutal for your guests. They had to fly or drive from somewhere far (unless they literally live at the place the event is held), they had to buy you a gift, God knows what else they did to be there for you. Now depending on the event date & time will determine the beverages served, everyone likes a glass of wine, champagne, or a light beer. No one says you have to serve a full bar, it’s totally your choice, but serve them something. I get trying to avoid having the belligerent drunk girl at the shower at 2pm in the afternoon, but that’s her bad, not every one else.
Don’t: Assume that since you like it, they will too.
- We’re going back to the food thing. Not everyone eats the same foods, please give an option.
- Not everyone is on a diet. It seems dumb because drinking is not good for you, but I wont drink a cocktail made with a sugar free beverage, that sugar free/diet sweetener stuff is so bad for you. The diet beverages are made with artificial sweeteners that really don’t taste good, can cause severe headaches, & also make your metabolism slow down over time so you gain weight (the exact opposite of what they advertised for). They’re not even good for people with diabetes (we’re fed lies by the marketing team!). I say to throw that s**t out immediately, but if that’s how you live your life, fine, but I’ll take my Rum & Coke without all that diet mess so please have that available.
Don’t: Have a cash bar….
- Just shows you’re cheap. I know you probably spent $150 per plate already or maybe you’re trying to avoid a drunk girl being carried out of the event like a princess (true story at my wedding). But don’t make them pay. If you want to save some money & try to limit the drunkenness, have some selected drinks available for free. If they want a stiffer drink they’ll pony up the dough for it & hopefully think before they purchase.
Five. The Speeches.
Do: Have speeches
- It’s nice. Maybe the father of the bride welcomes everyone, maybe the groom. It doesn’t matter, people like them. Just don’t make them too long.
Don’t: Have Everyone Give a Speech….
- I went to a wedding where more than 4 people gave a speech, & they weren’t short. It was drawn out, we had to sit through what felt like an hour of speeches. Eventually it all starts coming out like a scene from The Peanuts. There are no more words, just sounds….
Are you a wedding guest?
oh yes, there is a list for you too…..