Who should buy the bridesmaids dresses? Is it the couples’ responsibility to pay for the dress of the flower girl? When should the cake be cut? Do you have to play all the traditional dances? Where do you sit your divorced parents at the ceremony and reception?
How should you word the invitations when you have divorced or adoptive parents? Who hosts the bridal shower or bachelor party? When should you start writing thank you notes? Who pays for what?
These are only a few of the questions that arise when planning a wedding. Although it’s to be your dream wedding, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. There may be a struggle inside as to what you prefer to do, and what others tell you are the right things to do. It comes down to etiquette. Etiquette is a guideline of rules for proper social, or professional behavior or manners.
Etiquette can become a blurry area for a bride and groom, especially when planning their special day. The proceedings should be how the bride and groom personally want things to be done. Be assured that family and friends will have something to say about everything. They will offer advice and mean well. Be prepared by making sure you know the proper etiquette for some of the subjects you may run into when planning your wedding.
Communication is the key in all areas of etiquette. When in question, ask how the person feels about a situation. Consider different areas where you can insert different traditions into the wedding and reception. This may be important and close to the hearts of both sets of parents.
Don’t forget your background or heritage even if it doesn’t fit in with your wedding plans. For instance, ask your divorced parents how they feel about sitting at the same table at the reception. Ask your bridesmaids what colors and styles they prefer in their dress. Speak to the parents of the flower girl, or ring bearer to see what they can afford, and who will pay for the outfits.
Don’t assume anything because, in the end, someone may be stuck with a bill they weren’t expecting, and may be embarrassed. You may not acquiesce on everything in the long run, but you may be able to compromise in small areas. Decide if the area in question is your preference, or a matter of etiquette.