Wedding Etiquette – Do’s, Don’ts & Tips

Wedding

When it comes to weddings or marriage ceremonies, I’m sure most of you have at least attended one if not helped out with one, been a part of one, organised one, known someone who was having one or had one yourself. Personally, I’ve done them all, and have learnt so much from each and every one of them.

It’s one of those occasions that people hope it only happens once in your lifetime. It can bring out the best in you as well as the worst in you. Every single emotion can come about when planning or helping plan this one occasion that for most people only last the one day. It can also make or break your relationships with friends and even family (I’ve seen it all). So why the stress? why is there such thing as a term “bridezilla”? and how can one beautiful and memorable occasion bring out colours in people you never thought were there?  At the end of the day, I think some people tend to forget that a wedding is to celebrate a couples’ love and the joining in marriage for (hopefully) the rest of their lives – for that one day, it’s their day! It’s not like a birthday that happens every year where you can do it again or outdo it the following year. There have been so many beautiful weddings I’ve been lucky enough to experience and I’ve also seen those sad occasions where other people have ruined the one day where a couple can only hope that everything turns out perfectly for them.

For all of those people who are married or been married, I’m sure you can agree that the actual planning of a wedding is not as glamorous as it appears when the guests arrive on the day (just like any other event), but by the time it rolls around….all the work and money you put into it is well worth it and you can finally kick back, celebrate and have some fun.

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These are my tips when it comes to the big day (whether it’s yours or someone elses)…

1) Don’t let anyone tell you how your wedding “should be”.
There will always be at least 1 person who wants to add their 2 cents of what you should and shouldn’t do for your wedding. I can understand that some people may have financial help from parents, grandparents or friends to put towards your wedding, and they will make you feel like you have some obligation to let them have something their way.  This can be hard sometimes if you want to avoid conflict (but if it’s that much of a problem, don’t take anyone elses money and pay for it yourselves – that saves you from letting others have their way and it’ll make it easier to say ‘no’!). But, just remember, it is yours and your partner’s day and the last thing you want to do is look back and regret something you wanted or didn’t want on your wedding day. I’ve heard a few brides who even after 3-4 years saying how much they regret their wedding and wishing they did it this way or that way (you don’t want to feel that way about your own wedding day). Even after all this time, they’re finding it hard to let go or are still kicking themselves for not letting their wedding day be their day instead of someone elses. If you want to dress up as your favourite character when you say your vows, or say “I Do” under water or jumping out of a plane, then that should be how you do it – your family and friends should support you regardless how crazy or ridiculous they think your ideas may be.  I will say it again, it’s YOUR day!
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2) Bridesmaid expectations
The term ‘bridesmaid’ is termed “bride’s” “maid” for a reason, and not in a “you’re their servant” type thing. You were chosen to be a very important part of a bride’s wedding day – for some, the most important day of their life. It’s not all about the glitz and glamour – wearing the pretty dresses, holding the bouquets and being featured in all the bridal photos. You are there to stand beside them while they say their vows, to support them through the whole process, whether it’s helping shop for the bride’s dress, making wedding favours, attending all the trials to planning their bridal shower and everything in between. It’s a vital role in a bride’s day and they picked you because they thought they could rely on you to be their support. I know that the whole ‘bridezilla’ thing can be completely unnecessary as I’ve seen some females take it to another level where it shouldn’t even go (crazy!). I can honestly say, I was never a bridezilla (any of my friends and family can confirm this)…even though I experienced some tough and frustrating times through the planning process of my own (there may have been a few tears, but not a bridezilla). But, when you’re planning your own wedding, having the support there becomes so important, and I have seen first hand (on many occasions), when bridesmaids completely let the bride (their friend, sister, cousin) down completely because bridesmaids were either too selfish or too slack to fulfill their duties (and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be all that rare either).
PurplePassion_bridesmaids-bouquetBridesmaid Tip – if you know you can’t fulfill the duties or you just don’t want the responsibilities, don’t accept the offer to be one.

Bride Tip – pick your bridesmaid/s carefully, you don’t want to regret who you pick and look back at your photos wishing that they weren’t in the photos or that you had picked someone else. It’s also not that uncommon for friends/family who don’t get picked to get upset that someone else was chosen over them. In some cases, it might be easier to have none at all to save yourself the grief of people competing for the position (this is one area where I’ve seen so many friendships break down or disagreements happen and things get messy – definitely something you don’t want to have to deal with – and quite sad). At the end of the day, yet again – it’s YOUR day.

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3) Guest expectations
It’s a little weird that I’ve even thought of this topic. There are no real rules for ‘guests’ to follow but thought I’d add this in based on things I’ve heard people say at weddings or about other people’s weddings which have surprised me. There are some things that aren’t “expected” per se but is basic courtesy.

  • Don’t complain about a wedding menu or their drinks menu – you didn’t pay for it so enjoy the free meal and drinks you’re getting by the people you’re meant to be celebrating and supporting.
  • Don’t be tight with a monetary gift, it’s a wedding gift for a special couple who’s wedding you were invited too. I know we’re not all rich but you’re giving a gift to two people, not one. Chances are, the money they spent feeding you at their reception is probably more than the money you’re giving back to them in return as a gift if you are being tight. Most people probably don’t expect a certain amount but don’t give an embarrassing amount.
  • Do get involved with the bride and groom’s requests for their wedding day, whether it’s posing for silly photos or wearing a certain colour/outfit/costume to whatever theme they want for their day.
  • Don’t turn up with your own guests – if they weren’t invited or given the go ahead to bring someone else don’t bring them! Respect the couple’s guest list.

I’ve known quite a few people disappointed in weddings (whether it’s theirs or someone elses) or stressed out at the planning of weddings, so I thought I’d come up with some tips that might help based on what I’ve seen happen myself. All in all, I do love weddings and I’ve been to plenty that were amazing and fun. It’s one of those events that make you feel pretty special to be a part of. It should be happy, loving, captivating and memorable and I know that in the end, most of them are. Good luck to all of those who are planning or yet to plan a wedding for themselves or someone else. I hope it’s smooth sailing and no doubt, a perfect day. In saying that, I’m days away from celebrating my own wedding anniversary and I’m very thankful for the happiness and love it’s brought me.

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Note: images are not my own and have been taken from various websites I’ve found online via google search.
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