I Don’t Think My Bridesmaids Realize The Costs Of Being in My Wedding. What Can I Do?

 Bridesmaids, Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on I Don’t Think My Bridesmaids Realize The Costs Of Being in My Wedding. What Can I Do?
Oct 222013
 

Bridesmaid dresses and alterations, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, travel costs to a romantic venue—being in a wedding party can get expensive shockingly fast. What to do you if your friends aren't aware of the rising costs? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding party questions in our daily post.

I'm worried my bridesmaids don't realize the costs of being included in my wedding. What can I do?

"Your friends often don't consider the expense until the bills start to mount," says Jodi R. R. Smith, president of Boston-based Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. That said, Smith suggests you start by letting them know that their expenditures are appreciated. This in itself can go a long way. Then, think about strategies to help keep their costs down. This can include scheduling your shower and bachelorette for the same weekend so your girls don't have to travel twice, seeing if anyone wants to share a room, allowing your bridesmaids to wear shoes they already own with the dress and gifting them with their wedding-day accessories. And finally, tell them all that no wedding gift is necessary. Their presence is their present!

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What Do We Do If One of Our Attendants Backs Out Right Before the Wedding?

 Bridesmaids, Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on What Do We Do If One of Our Attendants Backs Out Right Before the Wedding?
Oct 142013
 
What if a bridesmaid or groomsman backs out before the wedding

Photo: Brian Finke

After you pick out your bridesmaid dresses, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, and figure out all other bridal party considerations, you're all set! Right? Right, as long as nobody backs out. Our wedding experts are here to help you figure out last-minute bridal party cancellations in our daily post.

What do we do if one of the attendants backs out right before the wedding?

Traditionally, once an attendant accepted the role, only illness or a death in the family was a reason to back out. Today, a critical business trip or work-related issue can force a groomsman or bridesmaid to have to step down. If this happens early in your planning, before all of the attendants have confirmed, you may ask someone else to fill the role—a close friend or relative whom you think would be honored by the invitation. It's a kind gesture to absorb any costs of his or her participation, as the substitute wouldn't have been expecting such a potential blow to the budget.

If an attendant cancels right before the event, then carry on without replacing them. Usually, issues involving the processional or table seating can be easily rearranged. Avoid asking someone else to stand in at the last minute—they will feel very second best. Know, too, that it's okay to have an uneven ratio of bridesmaids to groomsmen; one lucky guy or girl will just get to walk the recessional with two people on their arm.

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Do We Have to Give Gifts to Our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen?

 Bridesmaids, Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Do We Have to Give Gifts to Our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen?
Sep 112013
 

You know you want to have bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and more, but do you need to give them gifts in addition to including them in your special day? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your bridal party questions in our daily post.

Do we have to give our attendants gifts?

There's no wiggle room on this one—your friends are contributing their time and money, so it's only fair that you and your groom show your appreciation with a present. It doesn't have to be expensive—but some token of appreciation is definitely needed.

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Aug 022013
 

It's natural to care about your bridesmaids' dresses and appearance, bIut there's no need to start a fuss with your closest friends. Our wedding experts help you navigate this conversation in our daily etiquette post.

Can I ask my bridesmaids to cover their tattoos?

You can—as long as you ask nicely and help facilitate the process, either by hiring a professional makeup artist to do the job (most pros use a drying spray on the concealer so that it doesn't rub off on clothes) or by giving each maid something to slip over her shoulders, like a boxy brocade jacket or a stylish shrug. But before you do either of these things, you should realize that tats on your bridesmaids' backs will not take away from the elegance of your wedding. The overall setting and style of a celebration, and gracious hosts (you and your fiancé) are what create a high-toned ambience.

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Should My Future Mother-in-Law Host My Bridal Shower?

 Etiquette, Showers & Parties, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Should My Future Mother-in-Law Host My Bridal Shower?
Jul 292013
 

You'll have many pre-wedding parties leading up to the big "I do," but family members shouldn't be listed as a hostess on any of the shower invitations. Instead, give your bridesmaids and family friends a chance to plan these gifting celebrations!

Is it proper etiquette for a mother-in-law to host a bridal shower?

No. Members of the couple's immediate family (sisters, mothers and grandmothers) shouldn't host showers, since the whole point of this particular party is to add to the bride's trousseau, and your families shouldn't be the ones asking for presents on your behalf. Non-related bridesmaids, friends of your mother or your fiancé's mother, or more distant relatives generally assume the hostess duties.

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Is it OK to Have a Small Wedding Ceremony But a Big Reception?

 Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Guests, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Is it OK to Have a Small Wedding Ceremony But a Big Reception?
Jul 252013
 
Big wedding reception ideas

Photo: Brian Finke

Before asking guests to join you only at your wedding reception, give your decision some extra thought. Our etiquette experts explain how to make your close friends feel part of your wedding day no matter what in our daily post.

We'd like to have a small ceremony but a big reception. Is that OK?

Your ceremony guest list can certainly be pared down to a few key players. However, before you make the decision to keep things intimate, ask yourselves this: "Will we look back and regret the fact that everyone we love didn't get to see us seal the deal?" If you don't think so, then go for the smaller ceremony. It's important to do what makes the two of you comfortable and happy.

However, it's inevitable that your decision will make some other people unhappy. Here's how to cushion the blow: Have your ceremony videotaped and set up a TV at the reception so guests can catch the highlights. Also, ask the DJ or band leader to announce all the "firsts" at your reception (your first toast, meal, dance and bite of cake as hubby and wife). By making a big to-do about these first moments, people will really feel like they are a part of your wedding day (without needing to see the first kiss). Bonus tip: Your invitations should make it clear that the recipient is invited to the reception only. (For example, "You are cordially invited to the reception celebrating the marriage of..."). Otherwise you'll have a room full of people scratching their heads and wondering what happened to the "I dos."

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Can You Have a Rehearsal Dinner Without an Actual Rehearsal?

 Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Guests, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Can You Have a Rehearsal Dinner Without an Actual Rehearsal?
Jul 242013
 

Yes, you can have a rehearsal dinner without an actual rehearsal! Our wedding experts explain why your guests will want another night of food and fun with friends in our daily post.

We aren't having a rehearsal. Do we still need to have a rehearsal dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is more than just grabbing a bite to eat after the rehearsal. Hosting a pre-wedding event gives you a perfect chance to spend a little more time with family and friends before the real frenzy of your celebration begins. Also, rehearsal dinners are a great way to greet out-of-town guests when they arrive and make them feel welcome.

So go ahead and skip the rehearsal if it's not necessary, but don't skip an opportunity to get together with family and friends. If budget is an issue, consider this: The groom's parents often offer to host this event in the couple's honor. If you're paying for the shindig yourselves, just make sure to set a reasonable budget and stick to it. Scout out some inexpensive-but-fun local restaurants, or consider a backyard BBQ. Neither option should put a big dent in your overall wedding budget.

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Is It Immature to Give Tequila As a Groomsmen’s Gift?

 Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Is It Immature to Give Tequila As a Groomsmen’s Gift?
Jul 232013
 

So, your fiancé wants to give out tequila bottles as groomsmen gifts—immature, or right on the money? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the idea in our daily post!

What's a better groomsman's gift— cuff links (my choice) or a bottle of tequila (my fiancé's pick)? I think giving booze is juvenile.

Although cuff links have a certain sartorial significance, most guys—unless they're big into rocking French cuffs—don't have a use for them. Chances are the groomsmen will be psyched about getting something that they will actually enjoy. And, to be fair, tequila has gone upscale with the arrival of several high-end brands that can cost as much as a bottle of premium scotch. Still not convinced? Have your fiancé pair the tequila with cool crystal highball or shot glasses, which will make the gift more formal than frat boy.

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Should My Maid-of-Honor Wear the Same Dress as My Bridesmaids?

 Bridesmaid Dresses, Bridesmaids, Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on Should My Maid-of-Honor Wear the Same Dress as My Bridesmaids?
Jul 172013
 

Your maid-of-honor wants to stand out as your number one gal but she doesn't have to wear a different dress. If you want your closest circle wearing the same frock, our wedding experts suggest other ways to make your best friend look and feel special in our daily post.

My MOH told me her dress should be different from the bridesmaids' dresses so that she'll stand out. I never heard of this before, and I want all the girls in the same dress. What can I do to make her happy without making her look completely different from everyone else?

Believe it or not, your MOH is right. Traditionally, her dress does differ slightly from the other girls' so that she's recognized as your number one attendant. That doesn't mean you should put her in a black cocktail number while the rest of the maids wear flowing lavender gowns—the difference should be subtle, like a distinctive neckline or sleeve, or a complementary color. Another option is to have her carry a different bouquet—lusher than the other girls', or monochromatic instead of multicolored.

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I Was a Friend’s Bridesmaid Five Years Ago. Do I Need to Return the Favor?

 Etiquette, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Party  Comments Off on I Was a Friend’s Bridesmaid Five Years Ago. Do I Need to Return the Favor?
Jul 092013
 

We all know times change and friends grow apart, but is it rude to not invite an old friend to be your bridesmaid? Our wedding experts are here to answer your etiquette questions in our daily post.

Do I have to ask an old friend to be in my bridal party just because I was in hers five years ago?

Picking your attendants isn't about payback. It's about including people who supported you and your fiancé as your relationship grew, and who shared in your happiness once you got engaged. The truth is, people change and grow apart. One day you're a bridesmaid in someone's wedding; the next day, you're only a name on her Christmas card list. Chances are your old friend is quite aware that you two are no longer bosom buddies and she'd probably feel funny about accepting a role usually reserved for the bride's current confidantes. Invite her to the wedding—if she's a real friend she'll be thrilled just to be a guest.

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