6 Overlooked Elements of Wedding Etiquette

By Michelle Ecker on February 3rd, 2016
6 Overlooked Elements of Wedding Etiquette

When it comes time to execute a perfectly-planned wedding, nothing puts a damper on an otherwise flawless day as quickly as complaints from unhappy guests. To avoid any issues, here are 6 things to keep in mind while ensuring your attendee’s ease on the special day:

1. Plan Practical Time Gaps- If the venue and ceremony are located in two different places, you understandably need to set aside some time in the day’s schedule to accommodate travel from one to the other. That being said, don’t overdo it. Many wedding planners think the most polite option is to offer an abundance of extra time for travel as to not rush people along, but sometimes this can do more harm than good. Most guests will be prompt in getting from point A to point B, so adding an extra hour of travel time will usually do nothing but create a lull for the people who politely arrived on time and are ready to get the party started.

2. Thank the Wedding Party Appropriately- It’s important and polite to let members of the wedding party know that you appreciate the fact that they’ve made the time (and spent the money) to accommodate being there to share in your special moment. So sit down and develop an estimate of the amount of money each party member will be spending in order to be there for you- is it a destination wedding? Will they be traveling far and booking hotels? Developing an estimate of the money and time your friends will be spending on you should help gauge an appropriate amount to spend on them in return to convey your gratitude and awareness of their efforts- a thoughtful gift between $50-$120 per person should usually be appropriate.

3. Don’t Make your Single Friends Feel Uncomfortable- Although it’s tempting to play matchmaker with family and friends who have yet to tie the knot, try to keep their intentions in mind. Many couples find it easy to throw all unmarried guests at a ‘singles’ table in hopes of hooking them up with someone new, but try to consider your guests’ comfort. Maybe the bride’s college roommate would be happier sitting with the rest of her sorority sisters (married or not) rather than at a table full of random singles, ostracized from her married closer friends.

4. Remember to Greet Every Guest- When you schedule the reception, make sure to think ahead and accommodate the time it should take the couple to walk around and say hello to everyone who has traveled to spend the day with them. A super-simple method for incorporating this effort more seamlessly is to have the bride and groom personally deliver everyone their party favors- that way, they’ll be sure to speak to every attendee, but won’t have to worry about getting caught up in lengthy conversations.

5. Don’t Overestimate your DIY Skills– Many couples and their families are eager about the planning process and excited to add a personalized touch to the big day. However, try not to get carried away when planning do-it-yourself options in lieu of those managed by experienced professionals. Far too often, guests overestimate their abilities and wind up feeling unnecessarily pressured during what should be an exciting and happy time. Sure, maybe the bride’s mother-in-law is a fabulous baker- but has she ever made a cake big enough to feed 200 people? Getting things like décor, flowers and food ready for large groups is a much more daunting task than most people expect it to be. If your clients insist on getting involved, ask them to start working far in advance on things like homemade place cards, and to prepare a similar ‘test’ version of the menu item they’ve promised to provide on the wedding day so they know what they’ve agreed to before it’s too late to back out.

6. Run a Volume Check- Although the bride and groom might be really excited to party and dance with their relatives and friends after the ceremony, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll likely be entertaining guests of a wide age range who may not all be interested. To ensure everyone’s comfort, run a test of the DJ or band volume before the party starts in order to be certain that guests who chose not to dance (the bride’s grandmother, for example) will still be able to speak at a normal level without having to scream over loud music in order to be heard.

While the bride and groom’s happiness is the foremost important aspect of the special day, it’s also imperative to remember the guests, and the effort they’ve all put forth in order to be there as well. By keeping these 6 simple elements in mind as a wedding planner, you can ensure every attendee’s comfort and happiness, avoiding complaints that could ruin an otherwise perfect day.

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