When it comes to planning a wedding, there can be a few gray areas where questions arise. Manners matter, especially on the most important day of your life! But how do you deal with those sticky situations that will inevitably come up along the way? What is appropriate and what is not when it comes to the guest lists, invite wording, dress code, the new age of social media and more. As a Madison wedding planner expert, I’m here to weigh in and provide you with some answers on the do’s and don’ts all right here.
1. Is it ok to post our wedding details such as room block, timeline, transportation etc. on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms?
As a general rule of thumb in the new age of social media, unless you’re planning to invite all of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers to your wedding, you should not post details about your wedding on social media. Instead, having a wedding website is a great private domain to put all the fun dets about your wedding and including the website url on the save-the-date or invitation. Posting on social media publicly can open a whole new can of worms, especially if your second or third cousin, Tracy sees your post but isn’t actually invited. This may not only hurt her feelings, but. she may even comment on the post and ask if she can come, which puts you in even more of any awkward situation. So keeping these details on a private wedding website is the best etiquette when communicating wedding details to your invited guests and not the whole world.
2. Do I have to include a plus one when inviting friends or cousins who aren’t married?
It really all comes down to if your budget allows for plus ones. But as a general rule of thumb, unless your cousin or friend is in a serious relationship for 6+ months or longer, or you are close with their plus ones, it is perfectly ok for you to invite just your friend or cousin and not include a plus one.
3. Do I have to send a separately addressed invitation to adult children living at home with their parents/away at college at a dorm or just address one invitation to the whole family?
While it may certainly save a few dollars in invitations and stamps, you should always address a separate invitation to each adult child within a family, even if they are living at the same address as their parents or away at college living in a dorm. This not only rest assures that each adult child receives the invitation (parents may open the envelope since it is addressed to them but then forget to tell their children) but also if you are inviting them and a plus one, proper invitation addressing is to Mr. Jesse Watkins and guest. It would get way complicated addressing to the entire family and plus ones and each adult wouldn’t be sure if they were allowed to bring a plus one or not. It also makes them feel the love, knowing they are being thought of and included being invited to your special day with their own invitation.
This etiquette goes beyond weddings and is a general rule of thumb to follow for any special events - whether it is a family party, high school/college graduation, anniversary or birthday party. Even if it is a casual family birthday BBQ party over the Fourth of July, while you may not be sending out actual invites and instead just a text message invite, taking ten extra seconds sending an individual text message to each adult child goes a long way. Making sure they not only received the invite but knowing you truly want them there. It really is the thought that counts!
4. What can I wear to a wedding? Can I wear white?
Wearing white is a no-no as the bride is typically in white or wearing anything flashy that would upstage the bride, is one to shy away from too. The only time it would be acceptable to wear white is if the invitation specifies it is black and white attire. Pops of color such as red or pink or pretty patterns are perfectly acceptable, black is always the safest choice. Stay clear of denim, yoga pants, and wearing flip flops (unless of course, it is a beach wedding, then flip flops would suffice).
5. Do I have to send an invitation to someone, even if I know they can’t make it or live too far away?
Yes, you should always send an invitation to someone, even if you know they can’t make it. They may even surprise you, and decide to come. It’s better safe than to ruffle any feathers or hurt someone’s feelings. The same goes for your bridal shower. You always want to invite everyone who was invited to your shower, also to your wedding, even if it is a farther away or destination wedding.
6. Where do I cut-off the guest list of people to invite?
This is one of the most common questions I get from couples. The guest list is the first step in wedding planning right after you establish your budget, but can easily be the most dreaded task of planning. Figuring out who to invite, whether it is colleagues, co-workers, extended second cousins or friends of your parents they want you to invite but you hardly even know them.
After establishing your budget, this will give you a good idea of approximately how many guests you can afford to invite. Or maybe you have your mind set on having a small intimate affair with only 75-100 guests. Start out with your dearest and nearest - immediate family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and closest friends. If your parents are footing a majority of the bill, you may want to be mindful and include the guests they want you to invite. If you are footing most of the bill, then it is completely up to you to not include those friends of parents unless you are close to them in current, real time.
Once you’ve narrowed down the A-list of guests, see where you are at. You could have a B-list if budget allows that could include long time friends you hardly see or talk to, co-workers you aren’t that close with etc. Typically, around 10% of your total number of guests or roughly 15 guests you can expect not to be able to attend, so you could use your B-list to invite a few others taking that into consideration.
And as mentioned above, the plus one etiquette of single guests. If your head is spinning and you’re stressed and need some additional help now or leading up to your wedding, as a Madison wedding planner, I have several different offerings, from complete wedding planning from the start, partial planning, event design and my most popular package - month of planning. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line, I’d love to chat more in depth about your wedding and see how I can help. Initial consults are complimentary. Cheers my lovelies!