Are You Making These Wedding Etiquette Mistakes?

Endless Wave Studio

Endless Wave Studio

Putting the wrong or fake start time on your invitation.

My husband and I were invited to a wedding. It was a very fancy event about an hour from our house on a Saturday night. The invitation stated the ceremony would begin at 6:00. The start time on the invitation was a lie.

That bride didn’t walk down the aisle until 7:10. Rude. When we arrived at 6 pm, we were greeted by waiters carrying trays of champagne. I knew right away something was up. Yeah, that bride had no intention of starting at 6. Not with all that champagne ready to go. She wanted to make a grand entrance. I get that, but make it on time. Your closest family and friends might not care that you fibbed, but the guests that get invited because you have to invite them, distant cousins, co-workers, your Pilates teacher, aren’t going to like it. The day might be about you, but be considerate of others or that check in the envelope will get lighter.

Not feeding the vendors.

It’s a courtesy to feed your vendors. Yes, it means an additional cost, but these people who will hopefully make your special day memorable, and who are working hard, appreciate being thought of. If a full meal for each vendor (everyone in the band, the photographer and his assistant, etc.) is too expensive, ask the venue if they can make up sandwiches instead. When I was a DJ, there were times when the bride and groom didn’t include a meal for us. Let me tell you, if you wanted me on the dance floor getting your guests pumped up I needed some sustenance after four hours. I always appreciated a warm meal offered by our brides and grooms.

Not telling your DJ what your guests want to hear.

DJs have standard music they play to get guests up on the dance floor because an empty dance floor looks like no one is having fun. I worked a wedding where we chose our usual can’t go wrong, fills the dance floor every time, song, and no one moved. My co-worker, Eric, and I looked at each other with mouths ajar. We tried again. Nothing. And again, nothing. On a whim, Eric put on a country song. The guests jumped from their seats, bridesmaids hiked up their dresses, someone started shouting out dance steps and the crowd came to life. We stood on in awe. Had the bride or groom mentioned their guests enjoyed country music and only country music (that’s what we played the entire night) we would’ve started with that.

You have a cash bar.

If you don’t mind me saying, it’s tacky folks. Costs can run very high for a wedding, but having a cash bar isn’t the way to save. Guests don’t expect to pull out their wallets at your reception especially if they brought you a gift. (Which I’m assuming you expect from them.) Many venues have house liquors which cost less or you can opt for beer and wine only.

You don’t say hello to everyone.

“Do I have to? I don’t really like my cousin’s third wife he’s cheating on.” Unfortunately, you do. Your guests took time out of their schedules to celebrate with you. Take the time to say hello. Modern day brides are opting out of the receiving line, but I say, do it. It’s a guarantee you’ll say hello to everyone and then you can avoid your cousin’s third wife all night.

"What? I can't hear you."

“What? I can’t hear you.”

Sitting Grandma by the DJ.

You probably want your family close to the action and not back by the kitchen, but when making your seating arrangements really think about what works best for your guests. Grandma might not want to say, “What? I can’t hear you,” every time someone speaks to her. Or she might want the shortest distance to the dance floor. Choose wisely.

You waited too long to send out your thank you notes.

You have three months to send out those thank you notes. Not a year. That’s what Emily Post’s granddaughter says. You might want to wait to send them because you’re dying to include that great shot of the two of you in front of the boat with the sun setting to your side, but don’t wait. It’s rude. Send the thank you notes in a timely manner and then send that picture later. No one ever minds getting special things in the mail. It’s way better than getting a bill.

We love hearing from you! Are you worried about making a wedding etiquette mistake?




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