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Wedding Etiquette - Your Most Common Wedding Etiquette Dilemmas Solved!

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Weddings bring on an onslaught of   etiquette questions and dilemmas. As
times change and weddings evolve,   traditional rules of etiquette have
followed suit, only adding to the   confusion. Steer through the fog of
questions with this quick look at   the top five most common wedding
etiquette dilemmas and solutions.

wedding etiquette, wedding, etiquette, invitation, wedding attire, bar,
invitation etiquette, wedding attire, attire etiquette

Article Body:
As one of the biggest and most potentially stressful events of your life,
getting engaged and subsequently planning a wedding brings with it an
onslaught of questions. As times change and weddings evolve, traditional
rules of etiquette have followed suit, only adding to the confusion.

To gain perspective, first understand that "etiquette" is above all about
treating people with courtesy and making them feel comfortable. When an
etiquette question arises, consider the feelings of those who will be
affected. To steer you through the fog of questions, I've compiled a
quick look at the top five most common wedding etiquette dilemmas: Family
Etiquette, Invitation Etiquette, Gift Etiquette, Attire Etiquette and The
Cash Bar Issue.

Family Etiquette:

Introducing Your Parents - If the bride and groom's parents have not met
prior to the engagement, tradition dictates that the groom's family calls
and introduces themselves to the bride's family and arranges a meeting.
If the groom's parents do not make the first introduction, then the
bride's parents should. Nowadays, who makes the first call is irrelevant;
all that really matters is that the parents meet. If meeting face to face
is impossible, a letter or phone call will suffice.

Introducing Divorced Parents - If the groom's parents are divorced, the
parent with the closest relationship to the groom should take the first
step in meeting the bride's parents. If both sets are divorced, the
parent closest to the groom should first contact the bride's suggested
parent. If no one begins the introduction process, the couple should step
in and ensure that everyone meets, while refraining from forcing
potentially awkward situations.

Your In-Laws - The groom's parents often feel left out of the planning
process. To avoid this, invite your future in-laws into the initial
dialogue. You should immediately inform them of your ideas regarding
location, date, size and style of the wedding. Take queues on their
desired level of involvement and include them accordingly. Let them make
offers to pitch in with finances or planning. Above all, keep them
informed throughout your engagement.

Invitation Etiquette:

Inviting partners and guests - If an invited guest is married, engaged or
living with a significant other, that partner must be included in the
invitation. A single invitation addressed to both individuals should be
sent to spouses or couples who live together, while separate invitations
should be sent to each member of an engaged or long term couple who don't
live together. Inviting single guests with a date is a thoughtful
gesture, but one that is not required. If you are inviting a single guest
with a date, try to find out the name of your friend's intended date and
include that person's name on the invitation. Otherwise, inner envelopes
may include "And Guest," indicating that he or she may bring any chosen
escort or friend.

Guests Who Ask to Bring a Guest - Your guests should know better! It is
never appropriate for a guest to ask to bring a date, and you have every
right to politely say no. However, if you discover that a guest is
engaged or living with a significant other, you should extend a written
or verbal invitation.

Invitations to out-of-town guests - Many brides ponder whether or not
it's appropriate to invite long distance guests for whom it may be
impossible to attend. Use your best judgment. Is this person truly a
close friend who would want to attend your celebration? If so, failing to
extend an invitation may be insulting. Remember, these days friends and
family are often spread all over the country, and people are accustomed
to traveling. On the other hand, if you haven't spoken in years, an
invitation may look like no more than a request for a gift. In those
cases, send a wedding announcement instead, which carries no gift-giving

Gift-giving Etiquette:

Yes, we all love to receive gifts, and weddings are a perfect occasion
for gift-giving. Friends and loved ones customarily honor the commitment
of the newly betrothed by showering them with gifts. As the happy couple,
just remember to always feel privileged—not entitled. So, let's review a
bit of etiquette as it relates to wedding gifts...

1) Never mention gifts (gift choices or gift registry) on the invitation.

2) Publicize your registry information by word of mouth. It's also
acceptable to include it on a wedding website or shower invitation (since
showers are not typically hosted by the bride or groom)

3) There is no polite way to ask for cash gifts. This can only be done
through word of mouth.

4) Honeymoon registries are appropriate.
5) Do not use any gifts until after a wedding.

6) All gifts, even shower gifts, must be returned if the wedding is
cancelled or annulled before living together as a married couple.

7) Gift giving for vow renewal, reaffirmation ceremonies or encore
weddings is not mandatory, but is a nice gesture.

8) There is no special formula for determining the appropriate amount a
guest should spend on a gift. The idea that each gift should cost as much
as one plate at the reception is an impractical misconception.

Attire Etiquette:

While rules for modern wedding attire have evolved with the times, there
are still traditional standards for fabrics, lengths and styles. Here are
some guidelines:

The formality of your bridesmaids' dresses should match that of your
wedding dress. Although traditionally the dresses were the same length as
the wedding gown, the rise in popularity of tea- and knee-length
bridesmaids' dresses has relaxed that rule. As long as the fabric and
overall style matches the formality of your floor-length gown, shorter
bridesmaids' dresses are perfectly acceptable.

For evening weddings, guests should dress for a nice dinner or event -
which includes suits (or black tie) for men and dresses or skirts in
sophisticated colors and fabrics for women. Lengths can vary according to
the style of the event and location. Female guests may now wear black,
but never white.

The Cash Bar Issue:

Yes, weddings are expensive. Yes, couples should be on the lookout for
budget saving tips. Yes, weddings are expensive - we know. But never -
under any circumstances - should you ever consider hosting a cash bar at
your reception. Think about it - you would never ask anyone to pay for a
cocktail in your own home. People at your reception are still your
guests, even if the event is not held in your house. That said, if a full
bar is not within your budget, consider these alternatives:

Host a soft bar, in which guests can order champagne, beer and wine.

Find a reception site that allows you to bring in your own alcohol; you
will save serious cash, and anything unopened can be returned for a full

Cut down the size of your guest list - the only significant way to reduce
costs in the first place.

For a complete guide to creating an elegant and memorable wedding
celebration, visit, your ultimate wedding planning