Wedding Etiquette

September 13, 2012

I came across some info on Etiquette Police that I thought would be good to share.  I edited out some of the most obvious ones, but do let me know if there is anything on here that you never knew.

1. If yours is the only name on the wedding invitation envelope don’t bring a guest or children with you.

2. It is better to be slightly overdressed than under dressed for a wedding.  Men can always remove a jacket or tie and women can remove fancy jewelry.

3. A gentleman’s right arm is the arm of courtesy. A lady, therefore, traditionally walks on his right. When outside on the sidewalk, the gentleman walks on the side nearest to the traffic. The exception is when the bride is on the groom’s left side during the wedding ceremony.

4. At most ceremonies, the guests stand when the bride enters. Take your cue from the mother of the bride or from the officiant. Remain standing until the officiant asks you to be seated.

5. When addressing a letter to a married couple, it makes no difference at all whose name should be stated first, the husband’s or the wife’s; either name can be stated first.

6. QUESTION: Are gifts expected at engagement parties?
ANSWER: Gifts shouldn’t be expected at engagement parties. Traditionally, engagement gifts are given only by very, very close friends and immediate family – traditionally to the bride ONLY,  and then, not at the engagement party.

7. Guys should always open doors for his date – This is perhaps the most basic rule of male etiquette out there. Whether she is about to enter [the wedding reception] his car, restaurant, a club, or anyplace with a door, guys should always hold it open. Open the door, step to the side while the lady passes through. Ladies – at this point, smile and thank the guy.

8. When walking with a lady, if you encounter a revolving door, guys should enter it first so that they can push the door.

9. When walking into a room or walking to seats at a theater, the lady goes first, both into the room and the row of seats. Similarly, in a restaurant, hostess leads you to a table, the lady precedes the guy.

10.  Don’t assume that the couple knows you’re coming to their wedding. You must send back your reply card or RSVP (Please Respond) before the “Reply by” date. If you cannot attend the wedding, still you are obligated to respond before the RSVP date and let the couple know.

11. Proper etiquette dictates the wedding rehearsal dinner be hosted by the parents of the groom. If this is not possible however, there’s nothing wrong with other relatives, the parents of the bride or even the Happy Couple themselves doing the honors. Typically the rehearsal dinner is attended by the wedding officiant, the bridal party, and close relatives of the couple.

12. According to traditional etiquette, the order of the traditional and most formal receiving line is as follows:

Mother of the Bride
Mother of the Groom
Maid of Honor
All of the Bridesmaids

Traditionally, no men stood in the receiving line, except for the groom, of course. However, not everyone is concerned with maintaining the highest level of tradition, and it is acceptable to alter the form of the receiving line if desired. Today, couples may create any number of variations of the receiving line.

13. A wedding gift registry allows the couple to go to shops of their choosing and list the items they like. This way the couple doesn’t receive a gift they don’t want and no money is wasted. The proper etiquette for informing friends and guests about your registry is to ask your bridesmaids,close friends and relatives to spread the word. It is NOT proper to include registry information with your wedding invitations.

14. Traditionally, the bride and groom will be the first to dance as their special song is played softly. As the music continues to play, the father of the bride will cut in on the groom and dance with his daughter. The groom asks the bride’s mother to join him in a dance and together they grace the dance floor.

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