Whether it’s your very own big day or someone else’s your attending, you don’t want to put your foot in your mouth or make a humongous faux pas, because they can be super-embarrassing! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 things we’re most often asked here at Elegance of Elena, on the subject of wedding etiquette. They’re in no particular order, so here we go!
What Should I Wear?
When you receive a wedding invitation, look for clues about what to wear. If the invitation states “white linen” and the wedding’s in the evening, you can expect more formality than if the wedding were to be held during the day. Hopefully, you’ll know the bride and groom well enough to take a stab at the style, but if you’re really stuck, just ask!
Who Foots the Bill for What?
Traditionally, the bride’s father would fork out the readies for his daughter’s nuptials, however, today’s brides and grooms tend to be more practical and self-reliant than of old. While the parents may still pay for the wedding, costs are forever rising and it isn’t always possible. So, nowadays, the bride and groom often save up and cover the cost of their own wedding.
Will I Be Expected to Bring a Gift?
We’re asked this a lot, and we always advise the same thing: If you're going to accept an invitation to a wedding, then it’s always appropriate to give some kind of gift. As for bringing it to the wedding with you; that’s up for debate, as the bride and groom will have a lot on their minds on the big day, and having to find somewhere to park a grizzly bear-sized fluffy teddy may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. As such, we’d say sort out the gift beforehand.
Plus, the bride and groom themselves often have to decide whether they're going to buy gifts for wedding attendees, so this is something of a universal issue.
What’s the Correct Way for the Bride to Toss Her Bouquet?
When tossing the bouquet, the modern bride needs to be au fait with a number of important factors on the day. Aside from the wind speed and direction (joke!), she’ll need to consider the setting, the number of unwed ladies amongst the bridesmaids and regular guests at the reception and the general demeanour and sensibilities of everyone present.
Then, in order to avoid hurting the feelings of perhaps the least eligible woman at the reception, she’ll simply turn her back to them and chuck it as hard as possible over her shoulder, being mindful not to aim too obviously!
Where Should I Sit During the Ceremony?
Traditionally, the groom’s guests sit on the right-hand side facing the alter, while the bride's guests sit on the left. This is, however, just a tradition and can change in accordance with the happy couple’s wishes.
What’s Correct Wedding Dance Etiquette?
Historically, the order in which the wedding dances take place has been modified to suit the bride and groom’s circumstances. However, traditionally, there's the first dance, followed by the father and daughter dance. Then comes the mother and son dance, which can be followed by any additional dances that are deemed appropriate. Granddad and second cousin twice removed dance, perhaps?
Is it Okay to Take Pictures or Video at the Wedding?
Nowadays, 99.9% of people have a camera on their phone, so it’s highly likely that at least one person will get a photo, video clip or even live stream part of the do. However, we’d advise you to ask a member of the wedding party for permission, just out of good manners and politeness.
What Should the Toasts Be?
Toasts to the newlywed couple are supposed to be joyous and inspiring. Often, they’re quite humorous, recalling events from the bride or groom’s life, but they should always be tasteful and not negative or too embarrassing to either of them.
Can I Bring a Guest to the Wedding?
Always be mindful that weddings cost an absolute fortune, so never assume it’s alright to just bring someone else along with you. You should only ever bring a guest to a wedding if the invitation states that you may. Often, they’ll say your name “plus one” or “and guest”.
Is It Appropriate to Bring a Gift to a Second Wedding?
As we stated earlier, if you’re planning to attend a wedding, it’s always appropriate to go bearing a gift or to give one beforehand, no matter how many times one of the happy couple has been married previously.
We’re Here to Help!
We hope you’ve found this blog useful, and that it has allayed at least some of your etiquette insecurities. Here at Elegance of Elena, we’re here to help in any way possible, so if you’d like a chat with a member of our little team about anything wedding-related, just give us a call on 0116 462 5347 or e-mail us at: email@example.com
We can’t wait to hear from you!