Wedding Etiquette Tips You Should Follow (And a Few You Can Forget)

Bride and Bridesmaid walking down the street

Let’s face it, there are a lot of rules when it comes to getting married. You should do this, you shouldn’t do this…but as weddings and couples continue to evolve and change, some of those rules are changing, too. While there are tried and true wedding etiquette tips you should definitely follow, there are some you can ignore. We’ve the definitive list of both here for you. 

Tips You Should Follow

Engaged? Tell Your People Before Social Media

Broadcasting your engagement across social media before you’ve personally told the important people in your life can be poor form. This is especially important if there are children or ex’s involved. We can’t tell you who is most important in your life, but make sure to use your best judgment, and make a few calls or visits before you post that Insta pic. 

Engaged Instagram Picture

Don’t Invite People to Parties That Aren’t Invited to The Wedding

You shouldn’t invite friends or family to the showers, or pre-wedding events, who aren’t also invited to the wedding. This implies they are good enough to get you a gift, but not to come to your wedding. 

There may be an exception for office showers, especially if you work in a fairly large office and your co-workers will be throwing the shower. 

Don’t Make Guests Pay for (all) Their Drinks

While the term “open bar” can cause you to feel faint and dollar signs to blur your vision, asking guests to pay for drinks can be a major faux-pax. If you can’t afford a full open bar, try these options:

  • Offer one or two free signature cocktails
  • Skip the hard liquor and stick to beer and wine
  • Offer a limited open bar (open bar during cocktail hour and beer and wine during dinner)
  • Buy in bulk (if your venue allows you to BYOB)

Feed Your Vendors

Yes, you need to provide dinner for your vendors, particularly the ones who are there for a long time like your photographer and hairstylist. Most vendors will include this in their contract but even if they don’t, it’s just common courtesy. 

Wedding Photoshoot down alley

However, you don’t need to feel all the vendors. The ones for whom you should provide a meal include: 

  • Photographer
  • Wedding Planner
  • Videographer
  • DJ or band

Consider Costs For the Wedding Party

You might be willing to spend a significant amount on your own wedding but before you make big plans for your wedding party, consider how much they are willing or able to spend. While this is something to consider when picking out attire and making accommodations, it should also be considered when choosing your wedding party. 

Bride and Bridesmaid walking down the street

If you know the cost of a dress and travel will be significant and one of your good friends just lost their job, it’s not cool to expect her to pay a ton to participate in your wedding. Talk to her about it. Don’t just spring costs on a party member after they’ve accepted. There may be exceptions to meet, or you might give them a less high-profile role. Just be open and honest, and don’t be offended if someone turns down your invitation to be a part of their day. 

Note: It’s also customary to ask your loved ones to be in your wedding party. Don’t just assume they will be. 

Expect Gifts That Aren’t on Your Registry

Since there is no minimum or maximum for a wedding gift, and some guests may have already paid travel expenses just to be with you, you should expect gifts that may veer away from the registry at that expensive home decor store. Some guests may feel more comfortable picking a more affordable option from their favorite store and that’s ok. 

Tips You Don’t Have to Follow

You Don’t Have to Walk Down the Aisle With Your Father

Family dynamics are changing and so is this symbol of a father “giving” his daughter to her groom. You can walk down the aisle with anyone who has played a significant role in your life, or even alone, if you prefer. 

The Bride’s Parents Don’t Have to Pay For the Wedding

Again, due to changing family dynamics and roles, the bride’s family is no longer obligated to pay for the wedding. This is still a tradition you can choose to honor, but it should be discussed between the bride and groom and the families before any decisions are made. Also, this is not the assumption for a second marriage. 

You Can See Each Other Before The Wedding

Many couples choose to keep the moment they first see each other private, opting for what’s called a First Look. This takes some of the pressure off the walk down the aisle, and gives them a few moments together before the day’s craziness goes into full swing. Inviting your photographer to capture this moment can provide priceless photos that you will cherish for years to come. 

One tradition you’ll want to follow? A beautiful venue. Give us a call to book our beautiful space.