Wedding Invitations – are you ready for the new social mores? Remember, your wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse into your wedding style. You want to do it right. With all the new couplings, you want to make sure you address your invites properly. The chart below is very comprehension and a good reference.
But what about the wording of the invitation? With blended families, divorced parents, the new trend of the groom’s family contributing to the wedding, things can get muddled. Another helpful chart follows:
And another informative chart of appropriate invitations wordings below.
But don’t just stop with your invitation. Remember to also order your thank you cards when you order your invitations. Do they have to match or share the theme of your invites? NO. But order or purchase them asap. And try to write the thank yous as soon as the gifts come in. A common theme I’ve seen among couples is a stand-off regarding thank you notes. The bride puts her foot down and takes a stand. She “Will NOT write all the thank you notes!” Her groom is going to do half. Guess what? Those thank yous keep getting put off, because really, no one likes to do them. And let’s face it, someone is going to do the heavy lifting on this one. Get it done. It just reflects badly on both of you if you delay. A cute idea… one of my daughters and sons-in-law wrote a few thank yous after the wedding, and included a photo of them using the wedding gift. Talk about a hit! The guests loved this!
And what to say? Check out the nice formula above. Remember, your guests put time, thought, and generous funds into your gift. It’s thoughtful to respond in kind.
More tips on being a good Wedding Guest!
silver cloud photograph
Follow direction. More and more brides are deciding to have photos taken BEFORE the wedding ceremony. This means the party WITH the bride and groom can begin immediately! If you are requested to find your seat at the reception site as soon as the couple is pronounced “Man and Wife” then do so. Do not wander over to the bar and demand a cocktail. If the bar’s closed, it’s closed. It’s very hard for an catering employee to refuse a guest, so don’t abuse your power.
I’ve been guilty of this one. If the wedding dinner is a buffet, don’t serve yourself up as if it’s all you can eat night at “Golden Corral”. Remember, the hosts of the reception have paid a “per head price” for each and every guest and an unlimited supply of food is not available. Think before you serve yourself.
If you are a smoker, please respect the hosts’ and venue’s non-smoking/smoking areas. Most venues make accommodations for smokers. And if you partake of “smokeless tobacco” products, follow the rules for them as well. And please, just because you may be out of doors, (either at the outdoor venue, or smoking area), this is not an invitation to ground out your refuse wherever you may be.
Provided you are assigned a table, and most hosts choose to do so, find it as soon as you enter the venue. Set yourself up, and use this as your home base. Do you use others’ tables. I know it may be convenient to place your purse or drink, (or even used ‘Cocktail Hour’ “treats”), on someone else’s table, but don’t. It’s bad form on more that one level.
And the photo above? Well, I just really liked the flowers and wanted to share them with you. 🙂
Do you want to be a good wedding guest? Well, make sure you get your response card in on time…and oh, yes, make sure you write your name on the response card. True story, we received this card for my daughter Kathleen’s wedding. Good tip…number the cards, (notice the number “68” in the lower left hand corner), and write the number of each card next to the each guest’s name. That way, if someone “forgets” to write their name on their card, you know who responded.
Photo creds: Patty Cloherty
According to the knot.com, arrive at least 30 minutes before the wedding is due to begin. But wait to be seated by the groomsmen or ushers. Old time etiquette? The ushers seat the ladies, much like the photo above, and if she is accompanied by a husband or date, he follows behind. Traditionally, the first few rows are reserved for immediate family members.
True Story: I was a guest at a wedding recently. Two women arrived after the bride had entered the church. The ladies just walked in front of her and seated themselves. Now it happens. We’ve all been late to important events. If you ARE late, just wait until the procession enters the church or other venue, and then quietly sit in the back.
Photo creds: Hannah Colt Photos
How long to stay? Well, the knot.com and I agree…stay at the wedding reception at least until the cake is cut. And when you make your departure, try to find at least one family member, if not the bride and groom, and thank them for their hospitality and wish them well.
Glamor.com cautions to sign the guest book (make a point to round it up if you don’t see it immediately). And please remember to take the favor the bride and groom so generously have provided for you.
Do you know the proper way to set a table? Do you need to know? If you’re having a catered “sit down” wedding dinner, your caterer will take care of it for you. But it would be nice to know where each fork, knife, spoon, plate and piece of glassware is located and what it’s for, wouldn’t it?
The chart above shows an “informal” and “formal” place setting. For our purposes, you will not need to know anything else. But through my research, I discovered there were many more serving pieces than I ever dreamed. Just get a gander of the photo below of all the knives, or the chart depicting all the forks available! REALLY…does one really need a FISH knife?
And seriously, have you ever heard of an ice cream fork? I’ve heard of a plastic “spork” for your ice cream eating ease…but never a formal ice cream fork… 🙂
Above is another chart, this time including European dinner service. Notice that there are more wine glasses on this chart. 🙂
And speaking of wine…notice how many different glasses are available. I like to drink red wine at home out of a chardonnay glass, as it’s smaller and more comfortable for my hands. But wouldn’t do so in public!
And what about napkin etiquette? I also didn’t realize that there was so much formality in how you fold your napkin, and where you place it DURING your meal. And yes…I have gently dabbed my mouth with my napkin during dinner. It has, sigh… left my lap!
And after all your research, perhaps your wedding reception tables will look something like the photo above… and maybe not. Remember, you want your guests to be comfortable and all the grandeur of the formal table may be a little much…
And after you’ve completed your dining experience? Well the chart above tells you what to do then!