The purpose of good manners is to make other people feel comfortable. For centuries, manners have been dictated by society’s standards of conduct and this has worked out pretty well. Unfortunately some people never got the memo. In order for your wedding guests to feel comfortable, try to avoid these ‘most common etiquette mistakes’.
1) Watch – I know that being late to your own wedding may seem inconceivable but, sometimes outside forces take over and you can’t control them. However, there should always be a plan in place to avoid being late. If something unforeseen occurs, make sure you are in contact with someone at the ceremony site to make an announcement at the time the wedding is supposed to start and give updates until you arrive. Being late for no other reason than you can’t keep track of time is rude in any situation, especially your wedding.
2) Save the Date – Sending someone a “Save the Date” card means they are also invited to the wedding. Both lists should be in sync. If you make a mistake and send someone a Save the Date and do not invite them, call them once you find out you have erred and apologize. If you send them an invite but had somehow omitted them from the Save the Date list, a call would be nice. In reality, Save the Date cards are a relatively recent custom so there is nothing that says you have to send them. Although nice, they are not completely necessary so dont fret if you choose not to send them.
3) Invitations – Send the invitations 6- 8 weeks before the wedding. Sending the invitation two weeks before the wedding is rude and it makes the guest think they were an afterthought. If the invitation you sent came back to you for any reason, call the invited guest and explain to them what happened.
4) Church – Having a boombox instead of live music (strings or organist) is a huge mistake. This small expense will ‘class up’ your affair by leaps and bounds. Having boxed music at the ceremony seems a bit tacky, no?
5) Thanks – Sending Thank You Notes in a timely manner shows that you care. It shows that you are aware of your guest’s gift and you appreciate it. Waiting for nearly a year (or more) to send out a Thank You Note is completely inconsiderate.
6) Gifts – Never list where you are registered in the invitation. You can put this information on your website if you have one but listing on the invitations is like saying “Come to my wedding and bring a gift.”
7) Flow – Make sure you have a qualified, trained and experienced DJ to keep things running smoothly during the reception. The last thing you need is to have people introduced incorrectly or, even worse, not at all. The DJ should have a script to work from and be well-versed on your specific wedding customs as well. A great DJ will almost certainly ensure a great reception.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your guests is to ‘forecast’ problems and plan ahead. A good wedding planner and a checklist will help. If all else fails, pick up the phone and ask for help… or forgiveness, whichever you feel is in order.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago