Planning a wedding is not
a trouble-free task and can sometimes bring out the worst in people. During the
planning stage, the bride and groom must try to take note of a few procedures
to make guests, family and friends feel welcome, even if traditions are put
As wedding customs
continue to change, it gets harder and harder to keep track of what you should
do and should not do before, during, and after your wedding day. To help guide
you through the maze of rules and regulations, follow these tips, which you can
change to your preference:
Invitations - Your first connection to
wedding guests is through invitations, which set the tone for your wedding and
should reflect the theme and scope of your affair.
· Write the guest
complete names on your wedding invitation. Some couples may opt to send
invitations by email. Invite only the people listed to the event.
· Avoid writing “and
Guest” on the invitation. Try to find out who your relative or friend will
bring to the wedding and include his or her name on the invitation.
wording is a preference. Most couples include their parents’ names on the
invitations. However, if a parent is deceased, his or her name should not
· If you know a guest is
not in a relationship, do not feel obligated to offer a wedding invitation
addressed for “two.” Subsequently, if you only invited one person but he or she
adds another guest when sending back the RSVP, call him or her to explain
financial or space constraints that prevent you from accommodating the guest.
· Do not mention gift
preferences or registries on the invitation or include them in the package. If
you have a preference, like monetary gifts or a donation to a charity, spread
it through word of mouth before the event.
· Do not use labels on
your invitations. Handwrite them, use a nice font and print the envelopes using a
computer, or get them done with professional calligraphy.
- Finances can turn an engaging wedding plan into an unpleasant matter. By
keeping in mind some general guidelines, things will run more efficiently.
· Tradition once stated
that the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding. However, times have changed
and more couples are opting to pay for the wedding themselves, or the groom’s
family chips in.
· Traditionally, the
mother of the bride pays for the bridal shower. The bridal attendants may
contribute to the shower’s cost or assign jobs, such as purchasing favors or
decorating the venue.
· Bridal attendants will
split the cost of the bachelorette party, and the groomsmen will do the same
with the bachelor party.
· It is usually the
responsibility of the groom’s parents to pay for the rehearsal dinner. The
spouses or significant others of wedding party members should be invited to
dinner as well.
Here are some other items
and who should be financially responsible:
bags to toss after the ceremony — bride’s family
· If you are following
strict traditions, divide flowers between the bride’s family and the groom.
However, these days, flowers are included in a “package” and usually whoever is
paying for the wedding festivities covers the flowers.
· Marriage license —
· Pastor/officiant fee —
· Rings — bride and groom
dresses/tuxedos — bridal party or groomsmen
Processional - If you are having a religious
wedding, consult your priest, rabbi, deacon, imams, or officiant concerning the
customary procedure for entering. Each house of worship may have rules concerning
processional order, music, photos, etc. Keep in mind that stepparents or
boyfriends/girlfriends of your parents should enter and be seated before your
Mother of the Groom - Often the mother of the groom
does not know her place in wedding planning. She plays an important role and
can be as involved as the couple would like. Some of her chief responsibilities
· Starting contact
between her family and the bride’s family.
· Providing an accurate
and timely guest list.
· Organizing and hosting
the rehearsal dinner.
· Taking her place beside
the bride and mother of the bride in the receiving line to thank guests for
attending. Note that the mother of the bride dictates wedding day fashion, and
the mother of the groom will wear a gown of similar style and length.
Tipping - Gratuities are more often than
not included in the cost of wedding services. However, if a wedding vendor,
server, or other person has gone beyond the call of duty, extra tipping is
appropriate. Some people who should receive a tip on the wedding day:
· Coatroom attendant or
bridal party attendant.
· Pastor or officiant
should receive no less than $100 for his or her services.
· Limousine drivers
should receive 15 percent of the bill if a tip has not already been included.
· Organists and musicians
at the ceremony should receive at least $50 per person.
· If your reception
features a maitre d’ or headwaiter who oversees the staff, expect to tip this
person as well.
Thank-you note - For more thoughts on this subject,