Preparing for your wedding and the etiquette behind the scenes

If you happened to be one of the 1,900 people invited to a royal wedding three years ago (my invite was probably lost in the post) you would have been acquainted with the etiquette of the royal family. Whilst we all have our own little family etiquettes, when it comes to the royal family, rules are obviously much stricter. However, it’s important to not only embrace your Big Day but to embrace all the rules and regulations that come with it. To avoid any social faux-pas, below are some pointers to offer you a smooth passage and keep you on the right side of your guests...

Invitations to the wedding
It is customary to send these out around six to eight weeks prior to the set date, especially for those who don’t live locally. However if it is a destination wedding then three months is appropriate. Nowadays there are ‘save the date’ cards delivered six to eight months in advance but for the best advice consult the Wedding Site for the most up to date information with much more insightful knowledge in the planning and practical aspects for the event.

Putting a deadline for the RSVPs
In order to really have a realistic head count, make sure the final deadline is three weeks before the date. The caterers need this number and the seating arrangements can then be established. If they do not respond, then a phone call will help, but better still they can email their confirmation. Giving the guests options means you’re more likely to get a response. For smaller weddings, you can even ask your guests to text. With an organised guest list system, you can easily tick off who’s coming when they text through.

Information about your wedding online
The easiest way to include this is on the ‘save the date’ card with the couple’s name and website, otherwise you can add a note to the invitation highlighting that there are further details available online.

If you choose to only invite adults
Making it clear to the guests that children will not be included can be a very sensitive area. By addressing your invitees by name and not with the word ‘guest’ that indicates only those individuals. Sometimes, they may reply with the children’s names and in that case it is worth calling them to explain. Alternatively, a polite note on the invite stating the ‘no children’ policy can work. You don’t need to apologise, it’s YOUR day! But the guests will understand...

Informing the guests about the dress code
The solution to this is to simply write the dress code on the invite in the lower right-hand corner with ‘black tie’ or ‘casual attire’. The style and design of the invitation will indicate also whether it is a formal, traditional or casual event. On your website you can be more detailed within the online forum.

If your friend has recently broken up and wants to bring someone else
On the invite you sent him/her you included the partner that will entitle you to say no because invitations are non-transferable. It would be right to explain that the wedding will be for very close friends and family. Explain also that your other single friends are without dates in case (s)he feels uncomfortable coming solo.

Ladies, be careful not to outshine the bride!
Remember it is the bride’s day and wearing a bright outfit that may be stunning at the races, will not fit the day and you will lose friends. But it’s also important not to get hung up on this. Wedding attire can often be uncomfortable and you want your guest to happy too.

From fashion to invites, start on the right foot for your special day as it will reflect well on the rest of your journey together.
*This post was written by Sue Williams, copywriter and wedding fanatic.

1 comment

  1. Great post, we sent out save the dates well in advance and I love receiving save the dates now, gives us something to look forward to! x