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There’s nothing like bad manners to sour the mood on your wedding day. Whether you’re hosting the big party or you’re simply a guest, manners are queen when it comes to large celebrations. (And honestly, should be queen at all times.) But beyond “please,” and “thank you,” weddings involve more classic etiquette than your typical event. There are dress codes, paper invitations, and people bestowing you with large sums of money. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. At least not before you check out these wedding etiquette tips from Emily Post.
When it comes to being on your best behavior, there’s no better expert than Emily Post. The late author of the 1922 etiquette book, Etiquette: In Society, In Business, In Politics and At Home, also has quite a bit of advice about etiquette in marriage, all for your perusal online at The Emily Post Institute.
Emily’s legacy is carried on by her family, the Posts, who believe that, “Being considerate, respectful, and honest is more important than knowing which fork to use.” So these etiquette tips can be helpful for all brides, grooms, and guests out there. Even if you’re not hosting or attending an incredibly formal wedding. And now, a Post-ing of the most important wedding etiquette tips.
1. Wearing A Dress That’s Not White Is Not Breaking Etiquette
Want to switch things up on your wedding day? Or feel like virginal white is a bit dated? “Today, if you choose a dress that is not a shade of white, you aren’t breaking a rule of etiquette,” according to the Posts. “However, when considering veering from the tradition, recognize that your choice may be upsetting to others from older generations.”
2. Respect What The Wedding Invitation Says
If you receive an invite to a wedding, and you’re wondering if you have a plus-one, look to the inner or outer envelope of the invitation. If you have children, they’ll be listed on the envelope below your name. “This is not the time to question your host’s decision, to argue, or to beg for an exception,” says Anna Post. “Never add their names to a reply card or show up with them anyway!”
3. Répondez As Soon As Possible
Even if you can’t attend a wedding, “your most important obligation as a guest is to respond to the wedding invitation immediately,” explains Post. This allows the couple getting married to invite others left off their guest list, or simply plan for a smaller party.
4. Asking For Cash Is Appropriate, If You Ask Politely
According to the Post Institute, it’s OK to ask for money for your wedding, but you should do so with some tact. The first step would be to inform those close to you like your close family and wedding party that you’d prefer checks, so that they can spread the word. But not everyone likes giving money, so “it’s a good idea to set up a traditional registry – even if it has only a few items on it – so guests have a sense of what you like and need,” Post adds.
5. If You’re Having A Destination Wedding, Be Upfront About Cost
While there’s no need to estimate an exact number for how much your guests should expect to spend at your Hawaiian wedding, it’s polite to give them an idea of what they should expect to pay for beyond the flight. “When inviting friends and family to be attendants at a destination wedding, couples need to make it clear at the time what they will cover and what attendants should budget for,” suggests Post. It’s also polite to plan some additional events for your guests, especially if they’re touching down to say “Aloha,” in Hawaii.
Written by: Kimmy Foskett