There are so many unspoken rules when it comes to weddings. We're here to help you navigate the process-from ring to aisle, registries to parties.
When planning a wedding, it's essential to always consider the following things:
-the guests' perspective(s)
-what you want
-the big picture
Money can be a tricky subject to discuss, whether it's just with your partner, with family, or negotiating with vendors. As long as you know your limit, and recognize it can be an awkward conversation, you'll be on the right track. We highly recommend (as do many wedding planners) to budget in wiggle room. You never know what hidden costs may pop up! Just be cautious, and remember to breathe.
Your guests are surely delighted to be celebrating you and your partner's love. However, there are a few things you can consider to make it easy for them to enjoy it. Are you inviting anyone with food restrictions? Be sure to make sure they can easily eat, whether they're vegan, gluten-free, or allergic to peanuts, etc. If any of your guests are older or less able-bodied, try to accommodate their needs with handicapped accessibility. Also, if you're wedding is in a remote location or switches venues from ceremony to party, we suggest offering transportation. Whether it's checking that Uber and Lyft serve the area, providing shuttles, or asking a friend to give someone a ride, this can be extremely helpful.
Don't forget, though, that this is your day. Weddings tend to attract opinions from everyone, including family, dear friends, and even someone next to you in line at the grocery store. Make a game plan with your fiancé: your must-haves, your definite no's, a list of venue preferences (inside vs. outside, hotel vs. restaurant vs. backyard, etc.). Keep both of your preferences in mind throughout the entire planning process. Make sure to communicate them with your Wedding Planner or Day Of Coordinator.
Also, regarding what you want is your registry! Be sure to express gratitude no matter the gift (thank you notes are necessary). It's ideal to include a wide range of pricing for gifts you want; it's also helpful to choose a registry site that allows people to pay as groups for a gift. Don't want presents? Be sure to include specific details on your wedding website and in the invitation. For instance, you may only want cash, so include your Venmo or PayPal account for them to send money to you. Or perhaps you only want donations to certain organizations? Include links to those organizations' websites on your own site.
Finally, remember the big picture. The whole point of the wedding is to celebrate the love you and your fiancé share! So, preferences, opinions, and personalities aside, what matters the most is that you two get to say, "I do!"
As for guests (including the wedding party), there is established etiquette to follow. Keeping these things in mind will help you enjoy the festivities more and stress less.
If your friend or family member has asked you to be a part of their wedding, don't forget that this is an honor. If they've asked you to wear something specific or participate in certain events leading up to the big day, know that it's okay to set financial boundaries. As soon as they ask you to be in the wedding, consider the monetary burden it will cost. Try to tally up how much it will all be ahead of time, add some extra money to that (because you never know what will pop up), and talk to the bride or groom. It's okay to let them know what your budget is; just be sure to remind them how excited you are to celebrate their marriage and to thank them for being open to discussing money with you.
Before doing anything, check the couple's website. This goes for buying gifts, planning accommodations, etc. Only purchase gifts that are part of their registry or donations to certain funds or organizations they've spelled out. The couple has put in a lot of thought to what they need and want for this next chapter. It's most respectful to follow their lead.
That also goes for the party itself! Be sure to keep your phones away during the ceremony (unless they've asked you to use them), use their designated hashtag when posting photos, and dancing the night away (if they have a dance floor). It's important to them that you have a good time, so be sure to do just that!
Not sure what to wear to the wedding? Here are a few tips to wedding dress codes.
Casual: While this may seem obvious, be sure to take into account that it's still a celebration. Wear something clean and a little bit dressier than what you wear from day-to-day.
Cocktail: Think dressed up without needing a gown or tuxedo. Ladies can wear cocktail dresses, suits, or a skirt and top made from dressy fabric. Men need suits, and, depending on the venue, tie and jackets are possibly optional.
Black Tie: Bring on the glam! Women need long gowns or tuxedos, and men need tuxedos.
Our biggest rule of etiquette? Have FUN!
If you're looking for some resources, check these out: