Wedding Etiquette Questions Answered

We accepted wedding etiquette questions from many of our website visitors and answered many of them.

Keep in mind that wedding etiquette of the past has changed a lot and there are very few standards of what is right or wrong because of how family structures are different these days.

I personally feel that the bride and groom needs to be happy with all of the decisions made for their wedding day but at the same time you need to be mindful of your guests comfort.

Sample Wedding Etiquette Questions

I wonder if you can help with a dilemma. We were hoping to be able to invite everyone to the wedding ceremony and a "celebration" after dinner, but not invite everyone to the dinner to reduce cost. Is it tacky to have an intimate dinner between the ceremony and "celebration". I hesitate to use the word "reception" because apparently it gives the assumption that a dinner will be included. What are your thoughts on this situation? I can't find anything on this and don't want to be looked badly upon because of a decision we make.

Traditionally everyone who is invited to the wedding ceremony is supposed to be invited to the reception. (At the same time "traditionally" the brides parents are supposed to pay for the entire wedding which rarely happens these days.) When answering wedding questions, I believe that whatever the bride wants she gets as long as it's done tastefully.

What you can do is have a standard invitation that invites everyone to the ceremony and a "fellowship" to follow. This fellowship/celebration could be held at the church hall and be just finger foods and desserts. You could have your receiving line here and mingle/thank guests for attending your wedding.

You could send a VIP invite for a special reception to your close family and friends. You want to include VIP on the invite and send it separately from the ceremony and fellowship invitation so that

  1. Your VIP guests understand that this reception is only for certain guests.

  2. Only your VIP guests get the address, time and map for this special reception.

  3. You don't accidentally send the special reception information to anyone that is not invited.

I must warn you that everyone may not agree with my advice, but the nature of weddings has changed so much that new approaches to varying situations need to be made.

What Other Visitors Have Asked

Click below to see questions from other visitors to this page...

Food for reception 
Would it be in too bad taste for the reception to be a pot luck and have the guest bring a dish and when the reception is over, donate the leftovers

Introduction of wedding party 
Am I supposed to write what I want said for each person during the introduction of the wedding party at the reception? Does the dj or announcer just

Unique wedding dance 
My fiance and I want to do a different wedding dance like on the tv show, "Rock the Reception". Does anyone know where to find something like that?

order of names 
We are putting name tags on our favor bags with the name of the bride and groom (for the reception)----whose name goes first----the bride or the

Order of Reception Introductions 
Who gets introduced first into the wedding reception? Here is a simple order for the introductions made during the wedding reception. 1. …

Divorced Parents Reception Introduction 
The parents of the bride are both divorced and remarried, who gets introduced into the reception first, the bride's father and wife or mother and husband?

Reception Table Runners Not rated yet
We Are Having 2 Different Colored Table Runners For The Reception. The Tables Are Round And We Are Alternating The Color Of The Runners Having Eggplant

Guest List Problem Not rated yet
We are the groom's parents and are contribting more to the wedding than the bride's side. Our list is much smaller than the bride's parents, however

combining wedding themes Not rated yet
We are having a military wedding but it is the week of Christmas and we would like to find a way to have a military wedding reception. With a Christmas

Abroad Wedding Dilemma Not rated yet
My fiance and myself are from different countries, so no matter how this gets stated or done, it's an abroad wedding for one side or the other (U.S./Scotland).

Reception Not rated yet
Should you open gifts at the reception? No, you should not open any gifts at the reception. Ideally gifts should be sent to the home of the bride, …

How do you decorate a hall?[ Not rated yet
This is my first wedding, I have no clue how to decorate the hall. How should I decorate the hall????? Well decorations have changed over the …

wedding party introduction Not rated yet
What is the wording for the wedding party introduction at the reception? I just need a template to work off of. I know what order you introduce the

My sister and her boyfriend Not rated yet
Who do I seat at the head table? My parents, my husbands parents and my sister and her boyfriend? Is it basically for family? I love my sister

Wedding reception a year later Not rated yet
My wife and I were married last year in Bolivia. She is from Bolivia and I am from the US. We got married there and lived there for 10 months. Unfortunately,

Invite Bride's Father's Girlfriend's Kids?? Not rated yet
Is it rude to not invite the brides' father's girlfriend's kids (whom are all out of the house and starting their own families) to the wedding when

Unexpected wedding guest Not rated yet
What would you do if an unexpected wedding guest turned up and they were not on the table plans? If you don't mind that they attend and have …

head table seating Not rated yet
Hi, I am having head table seating problems. I am Jewish but not having a traditional Jewish wedding. This is the second marriage for both of us.

Colors with peach Not rated yet
Please, what other color can I combine with peach and brown? You will usually want to limit your color scheme to include only one to two colors, …

Order for parents Not rated yet
Who is introduced first at the wedding reception, the bride's or groom's parents? Usually the groom's parents are introduced first at a wedding …

January wedding colors  Not rated yet
I would like to know what kind of colors work well for a second wedding in January? If you like the idea of a winter themed wedding then winter …

Late reception Not rated yet
What is proper for after 7pm reception, Dinner or Hors D' Oeuvres? Having dinner after 7pm is definitely appropriate.

Long or short dress ? Not rated yet
Should parents, grandparents wear long or short dress to an evening wedding reception? That depends. If it is a formal / black tie event then …

Order of Introductions Not rated yet
In what order should introductions be made when the wedding party arrives at the reception? Should the bride and groom's parents be included?

Post 2nd reception plan dilema Not rated yet
My brother & his now wife, were united in marriage this past weekend. They had the most beautiful, elegant, romantic, wedding/reception that was

Special Instruction Card Not rated yet
We are having a very informal outdoor wedding and have several requests for our guests. Our requests are: We would like them to dress very casual.

Guest Count for a Destination Wedding Not rated yet

Ecort cards get creative Not rated yet
We are beng married in a back yard in August 2010. I want to list all the names and tables on 1 item and there will be placecards at the table. I

Place cards for the reception Not rated yet
What name do you put on a married women's place card, Mrs. John Doe or Mary Ann Doe? For the escort card (the card that tells each person or …

Reception entrance deceased parent Not rated yet
The mother of the groom is deceased. So is it appropriate to announce the groom's father and his girlfriend after the bride's mother and father are

Invitation sent to unwanted guest Not rated yet
How does one tactfully UN-INVITE a relative whose lack of sophistication and social grace may prove to be an embarrassment at a large(500+ guests),

Reception only invitations Not rated yet
We are having a small private ceremony in a few months, but a huge reception. We are only sending out invitations inviting people to the reception but

Possible order of events  Not rated yet
Which comes first? I know the cake cutting is last. We are serving finger foods, punch and cake and mints. What is the order of tossing the garter,

Guest to pay for dinner Not rated yet
A friend of mine wants to have an intimate dinner with about 50 close friends, however, can not afford to pick up the total cost. How would you word

Hor d'ouerves  Not rated yet
I have a small dilemma. I am having my wedding reception start at approximately 7pm. My in-laws think I don't need to serve hor d'ouerves, but I feel

Bridal Shower Not rated yet
How long before the wedding should the shower be held? You should hold the bridal shower at least two weeks before the wedding so that the bride …

Do you have to provide wedding favors? Not rated yet
We are providing an upscale dinner and dance. Do we need to provide party favors? Wedding favors are a tradition. Favors are given by the bride …

Ipod or dj? Not rated yet
My fiance and I have never seen a wedding dj we liked. The horrible radio voice and the pushy-ness to get people to dance is a major turn off for us.

Different date, different dress? Not rated yet
We are getting married in Vegas. I'll be wearing a wedding gown with only a few closest family members attending, but we'll be having a wedding reception

What theme should I use for a wedding on the farm? Not rated yet
I want to have my venue on the farm, with a white tent and a open venue. What theme should I use and what colours. Truthfully any color you …

Adult Reception No Kids Not rated yet
I was curious as to what the etiquette of an adult reception is. I personally feel that if the invitation says adult reception, then NO KIDS should

Casual Reception Invitation Not rated yet
I have already had my wedding ceremony and recepton. I am now having another reception that is just hor d'oeuvres at a friends house so that some of

Open wedding closed reception Not rated yet
Question... what do you do if you want to have an open wedding but closed reception. For example, a friend of mine is sending invites to the wedding

Divorced parents dance Not rated yet
When it comes to the parents having to dance together, who should they dance with if one is re-married, and one is not? You do not need to …

Invitation based wedding etiquette questions are also very common.