Planning, decisions, logistics, and now there are RULES, too?! I know, girl. It’s hard to get good at wedding planning because how can you get good at something you’re only doing once? Part of my job as a wedding photographer is to help you through the planning process (proper planning means no stress, and no stress means great photographs!), so read on to learn a few etiquette tips that will help ensure the happiness of your guests.
Because it’s true your wedding is all about you and your fiancé. But having a wedding means you’re hosting one of the biggest parties of your life, and as the hostess you should take steps to make sure everyone in attendance is taken care of on the big day. Planning ahead means you’ll be able to stay in the moment, worry-free, all day long.
1) Include Return Postage With Your RSVP Cards
This small statement goes such a long way. If you want your guests to actually RSVP, make it easy for them! Bonus tip: When you mail cards, include a link to your wedding website so guests can RSVP online if they prefer to do it that way.
2) Order Corsages And Boutonnieres For VIPS
When I was a florist, I always suggested this tip to my brides and it was ALWAYS a hit. Wearing flowers on a wedding day is a statement that says “I’m an important part of this celebration,” and I promise everyone wearing them will feel extra special. Consider ordering simple pieces for parents, grandparents, the Officiant, the ring bearer, Ushers, and anyone else whose presence makes a big difference on your wedding day.
3) Take Care Of Your Bridal Party
Take suggestions and preferences into consideration when choosing dresses/suits so your girls and guys are comfortable and confident. Keep everyone fed & hydrated while you’re getting ready. Make sure everyone’s transportation is planned ahead of time so no one gets left in the dust & they know where to be at what time. Remember: the more you sort out ahead of time, the less you’ll need to be concerned with on the big day!
4) Plan The Time Between Your Ceremony & Reception
Sometimes a large time gap between the ceremony and reception can’t be avoided, but it can also be an awkward time for your guests. So how are you going to keep them happy, fed, and entertained during that in-between time? Consider a cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, lawn games, a band, anything that will fill the gap.
5) Bridal Party Gifts
Your bridal party is made up of the people you hand-picked to be right by your side on your wedding day. They were probably the first ones you called after the engagement, they helped make decisions and worked through potential disasters, they will fluff your dress and keep your champagne glass full, light your cigar and have tissues ready during the speeches, and give their all to help make your day incredible. So be sure to give them something incredible to say thank you! Some suggestions: jewelry, massage gift certificates, robes, spa sets, clutches, shaving kits, watches, flasks, wallets. The possibilities are endless, and a quick search in Google for “bridal party gift ideas” will get the ball rolling!
6) Mingle During Your Reception
Some couples set up their dinner tables centrally so they can sit while guests come to them. But I’d suggest getting up and moving around after dinner, because that ensures you won’t get locked down by a bride & groom hog. Make sure you greet every guest and thank them for coming – they’re there just for you, after all!
7) Send Thank You Cards
The rule here is to send out cards within three months after you return from your honeymoon, assuming your honeymoon is right after the wedding. If you have a delayed honeymoon, make sure to send cards out within three months after the wedding. Send them to guests who brought gifts or contributed to your registry fund, to any vendors you loved, to people who went above and beyond to make your day special. A little note goes a long way!