Ever wanted to know the answers to your puzzling etiquette questions that left you guessing? Here’s a few answers to the most asked etiquette questions that I receive.
Can I Have Someone Besides My Father Walk Me Down the Aisle?
The bride’s father traditionally walks her down the aisle, but you can have anyone who is significant—mom or stepdad, brother or sister—walk you down the aisle. You can even walk alone or with more than one person.
No matter who walks you down the aisle, don’t let it be a last-minute decision. The most important thing is to maintain an open and honest dialogue with anyone impacted by your choice.
What Are My Duties as a Bridesmaid?
Bridesmaids generally assist in the planning of the wedding, help the bride choose her dress, attend fittings for their own dresses, and attend any parties they are invited to. Though it often makes sense for bridesmaids to throw the bridal shower, they are not required to do so.
During the wedding festivities, bridesmaids act as an ambassador of sorts to the couple and may be expected to help with the little details that keep the day running smoothly. They should also participate in any activities like a receiving line or a bouquet toss.
Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?
Anyone from the bridesmaids to the mother of the bride to the mother of the groom can host a bridal shower. In any case, the hostess should consult with the bride about the guest list, because shower guests should also be invited to the wedding.
Is It Okay to Use Mobile Devices to Upload Pictures During the Wedding?
When in doubt, it’s better to ask the couple’s permission before posting photos to any social media outlet—especially during the ceremony. Uploading photos not only distracts you from participating in the moment, but it also broadcasts details of the event to people who may not have been invited.
How Do I Decide Who Can Bring a Date?
You should extend a plus one to anyone who is in a committed relationship, whether married, engaged, or in a live-in partnership—even if you haven’t met the other half. You are not obligated to give single guests and guests who are involved in more casual relationships the option to bring a date. You do, however, want to be consistent and avoid making exceptions.
If the invitation does not say, for example, John and guest, guests can assume they cannot bring a date. If someone does show up with an uninvited guest, avoid an uncomfortable situation by finding a place for them and follow up with the invited guest via a polite phone call afterward.
I’m Paying for the Wedding Myself, How Can I Tell My Parents I Don’t Want to Invite Certain People?
It may be best to give your parents an allotted number of spots they can fill as they wish. If there are certain people you do not want in attendance, it’s best to have a private and honest conversation when you first discuss the guest list. Don’t insist your parents feel comfortable with the situation but be clear about your wishes.
How Do I Deal with Guests Who Ask to Bring Kids Even After We’ve Made It Clear They're Not Invited?
You must nip this in the bud. Call the guest (even if they’ve contacted you through another medium, like email) and kindly, but firmly explain that the invitation was just for the adults and that you hope they can still attend. Don’t make exceptions—it’s not fair to other guests who respect your wishes. You can, however, invite the flower girl and the ring bearer without being hypocritical.
Who Should Host the Rehearsal Dinner?
Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts (and pays for) the rehearsal dinner and arranges a guest list in conjunction with the bride’s family. Though some families now choose to split the cost or let the bride and groom host their own rehearsal dinner, the groom’s family should get “first dibs.”
How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?
You do not have to tip vendors with whom you have a contract if the tip is built in the final bill. Depending on service and relationship, a small gift or a cash tip is at your discretion. You should, however, distribute tips to non-contracted staff like musicians and servers.
Meals for vendors are typically included in your contract, but you should plan to pay for their dinner regardless. Discuss meal options with your venue or caterer to find something that works with your budget.
How Long Do I Have to Send a Thank-You Note?
Though it’s best to send a thank-you note as soon as possible, you have approximately three months to express your gratitude. If the three-month timeframe has elapsed, send any lingering thank-you notes as soon as possible. Sending an email or putting generic thanks on social media, your wedding website, or anywhere else does not replace a handwritten note.
To save time, the bride and groom can both write thank-you notes and simply sign each one. If you’re in a serious time crunch, it’s acceptable to send an email that acts as a digital placeholder to say you received the gift and a thank-you a note will follow.
This just skims the surface of etiquette questions that you may have. Contact me for more information.
Starry Night Events, LLC
Information gathered from “Real Simple”