Summer is Wedding Season! Are you up on your wedding ettiquette?

I’m a huge fan of the HuffPost Weddings blog, and I loved Diane Gottsman’s recent post on wedding etiquette. Two of her points resonated with me: One, if your child’s name(s) is not included on the envelope, it was not an oversight; and two, don’t call the bride or her family to ask for an exception.

I would add the following Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to wedding etiquette:

Do reply promptly to a wedding invitation. Get up, look at the calendar, and if you’re free and want to attend, drop that response card in the mail right away. DON’T procrastinate, and don’t wait to see if something better comes along for that weekend. The bride and her family are anxiously awaiting responses so they can either begin activating the “B list,” or start thinking about seating arrangements. If the bride or her mom is contacting you AFTER the response deadline, you have really messed up!

DON’T call the bride or groom and ask for a “plus one” if this was not clearly indicated on your invitation (it would say Ms. Julie Smith and Guest). Weddings cost a lot of money, and whomever is hosting is doing plenty of numbers-crunching and hard decision-making. Don’t make it harder on them than it already is!

DO plan to send a gift if you have been invited to a wedding, even if you don’t go. It can certainly be smaller or of lesser value, but if the couple thought enough of you to include you at their wedding, it is appropriate for you to acknowledge their marriage with a gift.

And for all you brides-to-be out there, here are a few for you!
DO discuss the plus-one and children issues beforehand, and make a “policy.” For us, a plus-one was included for wedding party only, if the friend was “in a relationship.” For other guests, plus ones were extended only for couples who live together or are engaged. We had a few requests for exceptions, and stuck with our “policy.”

DON’T take it personally when friends decline. Sometimes money is an issue, especially for young people who often must prioritize among several weddings in a year.

DO consider the expense of being involved in a year’s worth of wedding festivities, and DON’T expect your friends to attend everything. Because my daughter had a big engagement party and a bachelorette weekend, we decided to let them off the hook for the bridal shower. We limited those invitations to bridal party, relatives and friends of the family.

For more do’s and don’ts, check out wedding expert Diane Gottsman’s post below:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-gottsman/wedding-etiquette-dos-and_b_3490270.html

10 things I wish someone had told me before my daughter’s wedding day

Inspired by a Huff Post Weddings blog post (see previous post), I decided to compile my own “10 things” list, with a mother-of-the-bride slant. It was surprisingly easy to think of things, and I hope some of these help other MOB’s, brides, or anyone who is planning a wedding.

1. Groomsmen, especially youngish ones, know nothing about their wedding day responsibilities. Seriously, assume nothing. They need to know that their purpose is to seat guests, not just to stand there with “don’t I look awesome in this tux” expressions. The old ladies are waiting to be seated, and that is your job, boys!

2. You really do need a wedding planner of some kind (your cousin? best friend?) on the day of the wedding, because you, momma, will be like a deer in headlights. You can do all the planning and troubleshooting in the world, but have someone else run the itinerary that day. Your daughter is getting married!

3. Rehearse. All of it. Meticulously. Our daughter’s officiant was not able to run the rehearsal, so we did. What we thought would be a quick-and-dirty run-through, turned into a realization that we needed to walk through every last detail. See #1, above (I needed to use my teacher voice with them).

4. Your new son-in-law’s family WILL irritate you, no matter how much you like them. Get a good mantra going, and stay calm. Snapping at your daughter’s new mother-in-law could cause your daughter grief for a lifetime.

5. Dance with your son-in-law!

6. Make a list ahead of time of family pictures you really would like taken both at the reception and during the more formal photo time. Insist on this, even if your daughter says “MOM. There’s not time for all that!” We made mistakes here, and are missing photos we would have cherished. Ideas include bride with cousins, aunts and uncles, godparents, neighborhood pals, etc. And if you want “table shots,” you should add them to the list, because today’s photographers don’t always do those. Again, assume nothing.

7. Someone has to remember to bring the marriage license! Yes, we forgot that. It must be signed and posted immediately following the ceremony. This is a marriage, people, not just a photo op.

8. Decide ahead of time who will be dealing with packing up gifts, envelopes, and personal items from the reception. 1 a.m., after multiple cocktails, is not the time to do that. Have a plan so you know where everything is the next morning.

9. Your daughter will likely look to you to “fix” things along the way. Discourage her ahead of time from doing that, or you will look “clenched” in every photo. See #2, above. Put someone else in charge that day.

10. Once the day dawns, it’s all in motion; the weather is the weather, and what’s not done won’t be. Who cares? It’s your daughter’s wedding day!

Special gifts: Plan ahead for special moments

purplr-box
A couple of weeks before my daughter’s wedding — OK, maybe a week before — I realized I wanted to give my daughter something special on the morning of her wedding day. This actually caused me about 48 hours of real angst. A photo? Ordinary. Special jewelry? Nothing really to give; we’re not historically “jewelry people.”

I pulled out the early photo albums, assembled long before the digital age, and then Megan’s baby book, hoping for divine inspiration. In a little pocket of her baby book, I found it– teeny little prints of my daughter’s thumb-sized feet inked onto an index card with the words “Baby Girl” and her birthdate and weight. I really was overcome with emotion as I thought about how far she’d come since those little prints were made. I decided to write something about that, and assembled my words and her feet into a framed gift for my daughter. Perfect! But, man, that wasn’t easy!

Advice: Think about a simple, meaningful gift to give your son or daughter on the wedding day. And think about it early enough to allow for things like framing, assembly, reproducing, or whatever you need to do to make that give “just right” for your child. I heard a story recently about a mother of a groom who had saved a precious “this is why I hate girls” poem her son had written in second grade. It became the perfect framed gift from Mom.

It is often the simple, sentimental things that make the wedding day so very special for families.

Registries!

Leave it to Martha to offer the last word on gift registries. Click on the link below, and learn 🙂

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/230752/dos-and-donts-wedding-registries/@center/272425/wedding-registry-adviser#end

How about sharing some of the best registry items you’ve heard of? I would give a big thumbs up to the following:

– Really good sheets
– Beach chairs, towels and tote
– Rabbit wine opener
– Excellent knives
– Glasses! Red wine, white wine, champagne, beer, and both tall and
short cocktail glasses

I also agree that two stores is the way to go– maybe a combination of high-end and mainstream. Think William Sonoma plus Macy’s, for example. If yours is an e-crowd, try Amazon.

We can’t control the weather…

RiverAll
On this absolutely beautiful weekend, which seems to be about a 10 from coast to coast, I’m reminded of how weather-obsessed we all become as the big day draws near! Many brides are fortunate to have gorgeous wedding days, but those with “weather issues” are no less elated on the big day, and neither are their guests.

If we agree that we can’t control the weather, then what is the point of this post? The point has three parts:

1. When planning your wedding, don’t assume the weather will cooperate. To wit, a beach wedding will be just lovely on a balmy, 70-degree day. But what if wind-swept rain is what you get? What’s your plan B? Remember, even if the last-minute tent has roll-down sides, it can still be pretty miserable under it.

2. When choosing a venue, imagine it in the rain. Do you still love it? My daughter’s venue was on a river, with gorgeous views. But I reminded her to look at the room and picture rain outside. Could she still imagine her reception there? She could.

3. Have a contingency plan for pictures. If it’s pouring or windy and you can’t do your pictures in at the river/garden/beach or wherever you had planned to do them. then what’s the plan? Think about this ahead of time, and plan to take more photos in the church or in a suitable area at your reception site.

…oh, and make sure the limo guys have nice big golf umbrellas in their trunks!

The RSVP: Regretful? Sarcastic? Very Problematic.

A fun tongue-in-cheek follow-up to my plus-one issues post! Great blog…you should check it out!

I Just Want It To Be Perfect

During my last (admittedly sporadic) session of stalking Twitter for interesting and amusing wedding-related content, I came across this highly entertaining photo of one of the better wedding RSVPs I’ve ever seen:

Now, wedding RSVPs are nobody’s favorite detail — except perhaps for the designers and stationers who cackle gleefully and rub their hands together thinking about all the piles of money they can get out of you for one tiny little square piece of fancy, recycled, eggshell-white paper with scalloped edges. Or whatever you end up using. Still, they’re one of those necessary evils. If you’re planning on having guests at your wedding — and let’s face it, most people are — you’re going to have to figure out how many of them are actually going to show up, where you’re going to exile some of them and for the love of god what you’re going to feed…

View original post 565 more words

Idea of the Day: A worthwhile favor

donations

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on personalized candy bars or some other token for your wedding guests, why not make a donation to a favorite charity and make small announcement signs to display at the reception? My daughter and her husband’s donation to the American Cancer Society was made in their grandparents’ names, and we displayed signs at the check-in table, at the bar, and at the gifts table. The signs matched the invitation suite and place cards, and we slipped each into a simple lucite standing frame. Easy to do, and feels good too.

Click on donations link above to see a sample!

Most important on your list….

US Passports

1. Leaving the continental U.S. for your honeymoon? Find your passport NOW, make sure it’s up to date, and scan it so you have both digital and hard copies. Always know where to find this critical document. Believe me, there are horror stories, and I lived through one.

2. Your marriage license. This is the most important item to bring to your ceremony. Whomever has the clipboard and itinerary on your wedding day should make sure this is on the top of the list! Again, horror stories.

These things may seem ordinary and boring compared with parties, shoe shopping, hair and nail appointments, but a misstep with one of the above necessities can ruin everything.