The Top 5 Wedding Etiquette Mistakes!

Wedding etiquette and traditions vary widely across the world for different reasons.  I will be the first to point out that traditions and etiquette have been broken over the past few decades.  However, I am a firm believer in tradition as many of our etiquette guidelines were established for a reason.  Weather it be to honor a culture or simply make a seemingly stressful day one that everyone can enjoy.  So, what are the most influential mistakes that both the bride/groom and their guests make?  Well, I am here to tell you the top five mistakes made!  Take note.

First:  Bringing the wedding gift to the wedding.  It is actually customary to mail the wedding gift prior to the wedding day (guest mistake).  This not only allows the bride and groom to unpack and address thank you cards before the big day, it also alleviates lugging all those wedding gifts home with a family member at the end of the night.

Photo Provided by: Southern Bliss Photo

Second:  Not sending a thank you note for ANY gift you received for your wedding.  This is a BIG no – no!  Believe me, as much as I could care less if my friend sends me a thank you note, there are those that take it very seriously (especially older family members).  Kidding aside, this is probably one of the rudest mistakes that you can make.  While they love you very much, all of your guests took time and money out of their life to witness your wedding day and a simple thank you for coming and for the gift is the least you can do.


Third:  Not offering enough food at your wedding!  I know, I know, weddings are expensive these days and you want to have enough money to buy that beautiful dress, flowers, cake, ect…  However, be warned that if you chose to skimp on your wedding fare, it will NOT go unnoticed.  I am guilty of this even after over 15 years in the wedding industry, I still get disappointed when I come hungry to a wedding and there is not a sufficient amount of food.  Point is, don’t leave your guests hungry!


Fourth:  Being late to the ceremony!!  You can go ahead and put this at the top of your list on things NOT to do at a wedding.  Being late is perhaps the most over looked expectation at a wedding.  The couple has spent A LOT of money on their big day and there are many factors that are affected when things don’t run in a timely manner; i.e. dinner could be delayed and not fresh, they may have only paid for a certain amount of time in the ceremony space, the whether could be sketchy, ect…  So, do everyone a favor and arrive at least 15-30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.  This also ensures that you will get a good seat and not walking in the same time the bride is!


Lastly:  Not R.S.V.Ping to the wedding!  Guys…this is everything!  Since it is customary at most weddings to provide each guests with an escort card, sending in your RSVP is very important.  Bottom line, if you don’t RSVP, you will not have a seat in the reception.  Which means that you are not accounted for in the food and beverage count either.  There is nothing more embarrassing that not having a seat and the staff having to scramble to find you a seat and possibly collecting more money from the bride and groom on wedding day.  Save everyone the trouble and put the already self-addressed envelope back in the mail!

Wedding Etiquette! Everything You Need To Know!

You’re engaged!  The beginning of what will be one of the most exciting days of your life.  After hours of Pinterest surfing, you have nailed down your dress, colors, flowers, ect.  However, remember not to get so caught up in the details of the planning and decor that you forget about basic etiquette.  I like to re-visit a lesson on wedding formalities a couple times a year because let’s face it, we live in the South and wedding etiquette is extremely important!

I have answered the most common questions that brides have to ensure that they are following proper wedding customs!


1.  Tipping:  this is probably one of the most commonly talked about topics amongst brides and wedding professionals!  So, who should you tip?  Well, the answer is, pretty much everyone.  We all know that budget is important so if you are not able to tip everyone, here is a good rule of thumb.  The important people to tip would be your wedding planner (if you did not already pay a wedding planning company), the DJ, the florist, the photographer, the chef or caterer, the minister (since often his/her services are free) and any extra help that day (i.e. assistant coordinators, make up artists, ect.).


2.  Escort cards:  this is a misconception between place cards and escort cards so I am here to put the speculation to rest! place cards (pictured above) are placed on a table just outside the reception space and will include the guest’s first and last name as well as the table number or name that they will be sitting at.


3.  Place cards: Unlike place cards, escort cards identify the specific seat that the guest is to sit at each table.  Therefore, they will pick up their place card outside the reception and then find their seat at the table.  It is perfectly acceptable to just provide place cards and let your guests choose where they would like to sit at the table.  Escort cards are generally used for a  formal plated meal service where sitting in the right seat is critical for the dinner service to flow properly!


4.  Formal place setting:  Above is the proper way to set a table for a formal plated meal.  You can however, opt for a butter knife next to the dinner knife and add a bread and butter plate at the top of the setting.


5.  Are save the dates really necessary?  Well, not technically but they are a great way to control your guest list and give your family and friends ample notice to plan for your big day.


5.  Wedding Gifts:  A lot of people do not know this common mistake.  By tradition, you are actually supposed to mail the wedding gift prior to the wedding and save the cards for the wedding day.  Only about 20 percent of wedding guests do this and the rest bring the gifts to the reception.


6.  Thank you cards:  this is NOT an option!  Sending thank you cards has been a tradition that we adopted many many decades ago.  Your guests sacrificed a lot to be part of your day so the least you can do is thank them for spending the day with you and kind enough to give a gift.

Happy Planning!

Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Gift Etiquette!

We are back and ready to share one of the most sought after wedding topics; wedding gift etiquette!   There are a handful of myths out there when it comes to how you should handle wedding registries, gifts and thank you notes both as the couple and the wedding guest.  I am here to debunk those myths so you know just how to handle this hot topic and come out looking like a pro!

Perhaps one the most enjoyable moments while planning your wedding (by both the bride and groom) is creating your wedding gift registry.  Who doesn’t like going into a store with a scanner and creating your ultimate wish list to start your lives together in your new home?  After all, these are items that will help you make memories and travel with you when you go.  My mom actually has an old pea green strainer that she and my dad got for their wedding many moons ago that she brags only costed about $1 but it is still holding up!  Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your wedding registry.

1.  Try to only pick about two stores so that your guests aren’t overwhelmed thus reducing the risk for duplicate gifts.  An example down south here would be Bed Bath & Beyond, Target or a department store of your choice.  These stores have the most variety of inventory to choose from in one place and often affordable for your guests.

2.  Don’t make your registry too big.  Try to only register for the items that you really need to ensure that you get these.  Towels, cookware, dishes, silverware, ect…are all items that you will certainly use in your new house if you don’t already have them.

3.  Be sure to put the registry under both you and your fiance’s names because as much as you may think all of your guests know both of your names and how to spell them, they don’t!

4.  Do NOT put where you are registered on your formal wedding invitations!  Save it for the bridal shower invitations and rely on word of mouth.

Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS
Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS
Photo Provided by Lauren Methia Photography
Photo Provided by Lauren Methia Photography

So, you are all registered!  What is next?  Well, what most wedding guests and wedded couples don’t know is that it is customary for guests to send gifts directly to your home BEFORE the wedding instead of bringing the gift to the wedding.  However, only about 5-10% of your guests actually know and follow this custom.  When they do, it is a great luxury for you because it allows you to unpack the gift before the wedding without having a family member haul it home.  The reality is, about 90% of your wedding gifts will arrive on your wedding day by the guests.  Just be sure you designate at your final walk through a family member or friend with a big enough car to pack the gifts up and take them to your house after the wedding since you will more than likely be on your honeymoon.

Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS

Finally and the perhaps the most important aspect of your wedding gifts are the thank you notes!  Ah…the dreaded thank you notes but these are NOT an exception.  Your wedding guests have spent time and money to share your big day with you and bring you a gift!  There is a myth out there that says you have up to a year to get your thank you notes out.  Well, I hate to break it to you but this is not even close to being true.  Wedding experts advise that you send thank you notes out withing one to two days from receiving the gift at your house.  For those gifts that were brought to the wedding, you ideally want to start working on those thank you notes upon your return from your honeymoon!