Weddings are about tradition, celebration, and above all else, love. Weddings have evolved to keep up with the times and so has wedding etiquette. The first rule to wedding etiquette is to be kind and respectful throughout the wedding planning process. Be a gracious bride/groom.
First comes the proposal. How do you decide whether or not to ask the parents of the bride or groom for permission? Personally, I think asking the parents for permission is a must. It really depends on the bride or groom’s religious traditions, beliefs, and preferences. Picking a ring is just as important as it was ten years ago, but the rule of saving two months salary to pay for the ring is no longer. Men traditionally shop for the engagement ring themselves, but in recent years the ladies take part in the decision making process to ensure they get a ring they like. Always remember the four C’s when searching for an engagement ring; carat, clarity, cut, and color. Wedding bands will be exchanged during the ceremony and your ring finger should be bare. Your wedding band is worn “closest to your heart”.
Now that you are engaged, how do you break the news? First you should tell the children of the bride or groom, then the parents of the bride, and last but not least, the groom’s parents. After these people have been told, you are free to tell the rest of your family and friends. If the two set of parents have not met then it is important to make it happen as soon as possible. It is lovely to see two families come together.
When one gets married there are several parties that take place throughout the wedding planning process. The first is an engagement party. This is hosted by the bride’s parents, but the grooms parents may also want to host an engagement party in their own hometown. Gifts are not to be required at an engagement party, so do not include a registry card in your engagement party invitation. Then there is the bridal shower. This is hosted by the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids a few months before the wedding. It is said that the mother of the bride or immediate family members should not host the bridal shower. Only invite women that will be invited to the wedding. You may include registry information in the bridal shower invitation. The bridal party also organizes the bachelorette party. They can ask other girls that are also attending the bachelorette party to help pay for the bride’s way.
When it comes time to invite people to your wedding there are always the ones you absolutely have to have and the others that you would like to have. There may be people that you hadn’t considered inviting but that your parents would like to attend. Take your parents into consideration when it comes to wedding planning and guests, especially if they are helping you pay for the big day. If they are not helping with the wedding expenses then it is allowable to limit their input and their guests. If the guests would like to bring a date then they are allowed to, unless it is a casual date then the casual date need not be invited.
There are simple rules that are followed on the wedding day. Nobody, except the bride, wears white to a wedding. The Bride should be the only one dressed in white unless there is a white theme. Always greet and thank your guests for attending your wedding. Give a special thank you to your parents and the wedding party and anyone else that has put in effort to make your day as special as possible.
Traditions to follow at the reception are the grand entrance, the first toast, father of the bride welcoming the guests, blessing of the meal, the first dance, father daughter dance, the cake cutting, the garter toss, the bouquet toss, and the exit.
Once the big day has come and gone and so has the honeymoon you still have a couple of things left to do. You must send out thank you notes for the gifts that you received on your wedding day. It should be handwritten and sent out as soon as possible. Often brides change their names and if you choose to do so then you should change your social security card, passport, driver’s license, accounts, and credit cards.
The last thing to do is to save your gown. It needs to be professionally cleaned and packaged. This helps preserve the dress. You never know, your daughter may choose to wear the dress someday.