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!

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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.).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Newly Engaged? 7 Steps To Follow The Month After You Get Engaged!!

It was perfect; everything you ever imagined!  After a rough week at work, you stopped at the store on the way home to pick up a bottle of your favorite red wine and everything you need to make an artisan cheese plate.  It was cold and rainy and all you wanted to do was be alone by the fire.  You make it up the stairs of your quaint apartment building and open the door but before you could step in, there is a book on the floor of the doorway.  You pick it up and the lights turn on only for you to find the love of your life standing in front of you with a pen in his hand.  He says “open the book.”  You take a moment to put your keys and purse down and begin to open the book.  Inside is a professionally published book of your love story.  He insists you read it in its entirety before moving any further.  At the end it reads, “Will You Marry Me?”  He hands you the pen…the rest is history!

You are engaged!  One of the most exhilarating moments of your life!  Don’t make it a stressful time in the proceeding months.  These seven tips will get you on the road to a smooth engagement and wedding planning process!

Step 1:  Celebrate!  Pop some bubbly and call all of your close family and friends to spread the news (if they aren’t already there)!

Photo Provided by  Sweet Monday Photography

Photo Provided by Sweet Monday Photography

Step 2:  Choose a date!  One of the most important first steps.

Photo Provided by  Sam Hurd Photography

Photo Provided by Sam Hurd Photography

Step 3:  Choose a venue!  If your money allows, I would recommend an alternative third step to find and hire a wedding planner.  Some venues offer one (like Glendalough) but if they don’t, wedding planners can be very helpful in finding you a venue.  Dates fill up fast so you want this step to be your top priority!

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Step 4:  Find your inspiration!  And by inspiration I don’t mean theme.  Themes can be limited so I encourage you to find your wedding style.  Don’t limit yourself to one particular theme.

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Photo Provided by Elizabeth Messina

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Photo Provided by Justin Lee Photography

Step 5:  Choose your bridal party and prepare to ask each of them!

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Photo Provided by Steph Fowler

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Photo Provided by High Cotton

Step 6:  Find your wedding dress!  This is extra important because if you find your dress at a designer bridal salon, it could take months for your dress to come in since it is ordered custom for you.  You will need time to get it fitted and make any necessary alterations before the big day!

Photo Provided by  Clara Tuma

Photo Provided by Clara Tuma

Step 7:  Now it’s time for some fun!  Start planning the wedding!

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Photo Provided by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

 

Happy Planning!

5 Tips For A Perfect Wedding Toast

It’s an honor to be chosen as a Maid of Honor or Best Man but the job of giving a toast at the wedding may be a daunting task. Especially if you have never given a toast before or have a touch of stage fright.  We have compiled a list of the top five tips for writing and giving a top notch wedding toast.

Photo provided by Wed Me Pretty

1. Start and end strong.  Start off your toast by saying who are and how you know the bride or groom.  Be confident and create your speech like you would a story.  End your toast with asking guests to raise their glasses to toast the happy couple

2. Be Yourself!   If you aren’t normally a funny person don’t try to be.  Just tell a sweet story instead of a list of jokes.  As long as you are sincere guests will love it just as much as a funny toast.

Photo provided by The Wedding Shoppe

3. Keep it short and sweet.  Don’t tell long drawn out stories about when you were kids. That’s normally when guests start to tune you out. Guests love to hear personal stories just keep them current and short.

4. Practice!!  Practice really does make your toast sound better.  Don’t try to wing it on the wedding day.  A great tip is to have an outline of talking points to help you remember.  Don’t read your entire speech word for word or it won’t sound sincere.

Photo provided by Sweet Chic Events

5. Keep it Classy!  Try not to drink too much before the toast to relieve nerves.  Also, try to contain your emotions.  Don’t cry too much where guests can’t understand what you are saying or laugh at your jokes when they may not be that funny.  Make sure you don’t bring up sex or exes. When in doubt leave it out.

Do you have any advice to add to this list?

We want to hear about it!