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.