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Wedding Etiquette 101: Dos and Don'ts for Every Bride and Groom


Wedding etiquette is the cornerstone of a successful and memorable celebration. Observing proper manners ensures the bride, groom, and guests have a pleasant and joyous experience. In this guide, we'll delve into essential wedding etiquette dos and don'ts for every stage of your wedding, from invitations to the reception and beyond. Let's explore how to navigate this special day with grace and charm.


- Before the Wedding -

wedding invitation

1. Invitations and RSVPs:

Sending out wedding invitations in a timely manner sets the tone for your event. Include RSVP instructions with a clear deadline, making it easier for guests to respond promptly. Properly manage guest responses, track attendees, and prepare for their arrival.


Example: "We request the pleasure of your company at our wedding on [date]. Kindly RSVP by [RSVP deadline] to assist us in making arrangements for the event."


2. Gift Registry Guidelines:

When creating your gift registry, consider your guests' preferences and budgets. Opt for a diverse range of items that reflect your needs and personalities. Share your registry information thoughtfully, preferably through your wedding website or discreetly through close family and friends. Remember to express gratitude for the gifts received and send thank-you notes promptly.


Example: "We are incredibly grateful for your presence on our special day. Should you wish to give a gift, we have created a registry with items that are important to us."


3. Handling Plus-Ones and Uninvited Guests:

While it's lovely to accommodate plus-ones for single guests, you're not obligated to invite everyone with a guest. Be clear on your invitations, addressing them to specific individuals. If uninvited guests show up unexpectedly, rely on your ushers or wedding coordinator to handle the situation gracefully. Be sure to inform your wedding coordinator of any family drama prior to the big day.


Example: "Dear [Guest's Name], we are thrilled to have you celebrate with us. We have reserved [X] seats in your honor."


- During the Wedding Ceremony -

wedding couple at the chapel

1. Punctuality and Timing:

Being on time for the wedding ceremony is an act of courtesy to your guests and shows respect for their time. Avoid delays by planning buffer time between events.


Example: "To ensure a seamless ceremony, we kindly request all guests to be seated by [ceremony start time]."


2. Seating Arrangements:

Thoughtfully arrange seating to foster comfort and inclusivity. Consider seating guests with familiar faces, enabling them to enjoy the celebration together.


Example: "Our seating arrangements are designed to ensure that all our guests feel at ease and share this special moment with their loved ones."


3. Ceremony Do's and Don'ts:

During the ceremony, maintain an atmosphere of reverence and solemnity. If you prefer an unplugged ceremony, consider making an announcement, including a note in the program and/or have an unplugged ceremony sign.


Example: "We kindly ask our guests to refrain from using electronic devices during the ceremony to allow everyone to be fully present in this cherished moment."


- Reception Etiquette -

Newly weds first dance

1. Welcoming and Mingling with Guests:

As hosts, try to greet and thank each guest for their presence. The reception is a great time to mingle and engage with all attendees. Consider playing games like The Table Dash where the goal is to get a photo with every table before a song ends.


Example: "We're overjoyed to have you join us today. Thank you for being a part of our wedding celebration."


2. Toasts and Speeches:

Be concise, heartfelt, and mindful of the audience when giving toasts or speeches. Provide guidance to the speakers to avoid any awkward or embarrassing moments.


Example: "To keep the toasts memorable and brief, we kindly ask our speakers to limit their speeches to a few minutes."


3. Dancing and Entertainment:

Encourage guests to join the dance floor and partake in the entertainment. Offer diverse options to cater to various age groups and preferences.


Example: "Let's dance the night away! We have an array of music and entertainment planned for everyone's enjoyment."


- Departure and Post-Wedding Etiquette -

Groom walking with groomsmen

1. Thank-You Notes:

Express gratitude by sending out thank-you notes promptly. Personalize each message and mention the gift or how the guest contributed to the celebration.


Example: "Dear [Guest's Name], your thoughtful gift and warm presence made our wedding day even more special. We truly appreciate your love and support."


2. Handling Unforeseen Issues with Grace:

Even with careful planning, unexpected issues may arise. Maintain composure and address any challenges discreetly and tactfully.


Example: "We apologize for any inconvenience caused and are working diligently to resolve the matter. Your understanding is deeply appreciated."


By adhering to proper wedding etiquette, you set the stage for an unforgettable and joy-filled celebration. From invitations to the reception, embracing these dos and don'ts will make your special day even more extraordinary. Cherish every moment with your loved ones and have fun creating memories that will last a lifetime!


The author partially generated this text with GPT-3, OpenAI's large-scale language-generation model. Upon developing draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their liking and takes responsibility for the content of this publication.

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