Your wedding is going to be a roller coaster ride as you go through the planning process that requires you to hit every little detail. It will be stressful at times, but ultimately, the stress is all worth it when you get to stand by your significant other on your big day. Repeating your vows in front of family and friends is exciting and fulfilling. First, you have to get through the planning process and be do what you can to follow the wedding etiquette rules.
1-Inviting guests to your wedding is a sticky situation if you are limited. Your mom may be pressuring you to invite your Uncle Jay’s second cousin Tammy, that you have never met. You may want to invite everybody and their uncle, but realistically, it just isn’t possible. Determine how many people you can afford to invite and then start haggling over the guest list. You and your partner will each need to come up with a list of people you want to invite. Have your parents and your partner’s parents make their own list. From there, you will each need to eliminate non-essential invites. Be ready for lots of compromise. Don’t feel like you have to invite somebody who does not approve of your union. You don’t need that kind of negativity on your special day.
2-Registering for gifts is like being given a credit card with no responsibility of paying it back. However, be reasonable when you get to clicking or scanning things you want. Consider your guests’ budgets. Don’t guilt your guests into not eating for a week so they can buy you a lavish gift. Add items that are very affordable and a few high-ticket items that your guests can go in together on or maybe your rich Uncle Jay will splurge on you.
3-Who pays for what? Back in the old days, this was determined to be the bride’s parents. Those days are gone. Nowadays, the couple is typically responsible for a large portion of the wedding expenses with the parents pitching in when they can. Be sensitive to your parent’s financial situation. If you know they can afford to spring for the photographer or the caterer, ask. If you know they are flat broke, don’t make them feel any worse.
4-Walking down the aisle can be anything you want it to be. You and your partner can walk down the aisle together, holding hands or have each of you come down a separate aisle at the same time. One person can enter from the left while the others comes in from the right. You can have one parent or both or a close friend give you away if you want. There is no right or wrong way to do this and old-fashioned etiquette rules do not apply. Have fun!
5-Choose a wedding party that suits your budget, your personality and the size of your wedding. You can buck tradition and have two best men or two maids of honor. Don’t get hung up on pronouns. You can refer to the honorary members of your wedding party as best women (ladies if you please) or men of honor. You can have five attendants on each side or none. There are no rules set in stone. The only real “rule” would be to keep the wedding party even, with an equal number of attendants on each side.
6-The wedding script will need to be decided upon with your officiant. You do have some influence over what your officiant says. If you want to have verses from the Bible included, you can. Decide how you want the officiant to proclaim your marriage. In most cases, “partners for life” is perfect, but you can tweak this to suit your own personal style.
7-Decide how you want to be announced by the officiant after the ceremony is official. You can choose to hyphenate your last names, one partner takes the other’s last name or keep your own. You don’t even have to choose one or the other; you can make up your own last name for the two of you to take if you so choose. Keep in min; this can be a little pricey to go through the official name changing process.
Although these are some important rules to follow, it is your wedding and your special day. Make sure it reflects who you are as a couple and make it a memorable moment the two of you can cherish forever.
Photo by Mark VanDonge Photography