Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Three Engagement Don’ts!

Anna Post, Guest Author

Holiday cheer often leads couples to start the New Year with the news, “We’re engaged!” Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s many people are sharing news of their engagement. Which leads to the first engagement don’t:

1. Don’t share your engagement news on social media before sharing it with your family.

WEDEngagmentsYou’re engaged, you’re so excited, and you can’t wait to tell everyone! The world of social media sometimes makes us forget the importance of face-to-face and verbal communication. But before you update your status for all to see, be sure to tell parents and children firs-ideally in person or over the phone if that is the only possibility. People want to hear the news directly from you!

Family, such as grandparents, and close friends can be hurt if they find out news of your engagement through something as impersonal as a group email or a Facebook post. So, tell the most important people first, and ask them in turn not to share the news until you’ve made all your personal announcements. Then, tweet and share away.

2. Avoid the rush to gush.

WeddingEtiquette

For more info, click the book cover!

It happens so quickly – you’re engaged one second, and the next, everyone is asking the date, the location, and the names of everyone in your wedding party. Despite your excitement, don’t get too caught up in the pressure to have all the answers.

Instead of sharing undecided plans or digging yourself into a hole by making promises you can’t keep, pause a moment and say, “It’s so early in our planning, we still have lots of things to decide!”

3. Don’t forget the big picture.

With sites like Pinterest full of beautiful wedding images it’s easy to be inspired by every tiny element of wedding planning. But it’s also easy to get lost in those details, even early on. Once you know your date and location, talk with your partner about your top big-picture priorities for the wedding; maybe food and music, or the invitation and flowers.

This will help you create your vision and keep the focus on what’s most important to the two of you as the decisions and expenses mount. And while you’re prioritizing your top elements of wedding planning, put the plans down from time to time and spend time together on the other interests you share.

Copyright © 2014 – Anna Post. Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette. For more information on sharing engagement news, check out, Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition or visit www.EmilyPost.com.

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Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sorry! You Can’t Come to My Wedding!

Let begin here. Adult people should know that invitations are addressed “only” to those who are invited. If the invitation says “Ms. Sally Jones,” only Sally is invited. If the invitation says “Ms. Sally Jones and Guest,” then Sally may bring a guest of her choosing. That’s the rule! Emily Post and many others have made this clear for years.

It really is wrong for an invitee to add an uninvited plus-one. That is beyond rude and is manner-less. If you ignore the problem, your continuing resentment may bubble to the surface when you see these outlaw relatives on your wedding day. It’s entirely up to you whether you say nothing or speak up, but speaking up is the right thing to do.

WEDnotInvitedWhat do you do when an uninvited guest RSVPs for the wedding you didn’t invite them to attend?

Of the many Wedding Planners I spoke with, most feel that you have every right to call those guests and simply tell them that you’re sorry if there was any confusion, but they were not invited with a guest. I would hope they would understand, but if you get some push back, stand your ground, be firm. Some people are just clueless. If space or expense are an issue you will need to tell them you’re sorry but there can be no exceptions. You have the right to graciously not accept the uninvited.

It’s important to make sure your rule (no invitation means you are not invited or no plus one or adult reception) is communicated clearly to your guests, so that no one is left wondering who is invited and who is not. On the invitation itself, the wording on the inner and outer envelopes spell out your intention. Some will put on the bottom of the invitation, “Adults Only Ceremony and Reception,” however most agree that this is improper etiquette and you should assign this task to someone in the bridal party to pass the news. For the plus 1 issue, only address the invitation to who you want to invite and on the RSVP card, consider putting, “One seat has been reserved for you” instead of how many will be attending.

Here are two suggestions from Jordan McBride. You could say:

1. “We’ve always imagined our wedding as a very small gathering of loved ones. As one of my oldest friends, I really hope you can respect that. We’re looking forward to getting to know your new boyfriend when we return from our honeymoon!”

2. “We just received your RSVP in the mail and we’re thrilled you’re coming to our wedding! Unfortunately, our budget/venue won’t accommodate children, so you’ll have to leave them home for the evening. May I help you find a sitter?”

Ariel Meadow Stallings from OffbeatBride.com says, “How you want to approach your response can depend on which angle you want to take. Whatever you do, don’t get into the specifics of how many people you’re inviting or how you’re choosing guests. Keep it vague and loving.”

Blame the budget ~ “Due to tight limitations on our budget, we’ve had to be pretty brutal in chopping down our guestlist. I’m so sad that you won’t be there with us on the day, but we look forward to catching up afterwards!” Read more responses at www.OffBeatBride.com.

What about non-responses to your wedding invitations? It is never safe to assume a guest is attending or not. People seem to have forgotten the importance of RSVPs, so the best thing to do is call or ask a friend to call and ask whether the invitee/s is/are attending or not. This precludes the awkwardness of having invited guests who haven’t responded show up and being unprepared. See more at: http://www.EtiquetteDaily.com/

Emily Post says, “Here is the last word is about RSVP – French for “Repondez s’il vous plait” or, in plain English, “Please reply.” These little letters are the not-so-secret code that you should call or write your host within a day or two of receiving an invitation to let them know if you can attend or not. All invitations have some sort of a reply mechanism – an enclosed card, a phone number, an e-mail address or a mailing address. A prompt reply is a basic courtesy.

If you feel you’ve done everything you can and you are still stressing out, assign this task to your maid or matron of honor. If you feel she may not be someone who can handle this gracefully, pass the crisis on to your wedding planner. That’s why you hired the wedding planner.

BONUS Articles: What to Include (Etiquette Wise) With Your Wedding Invitations
Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP
How To Deal With Wedding Guests Who Don’t RSVP On Time
What to do When an Uninvited Guest RSVPs for the Wedding You Didn’t Invite Them to Attend?
Hiring a Wedding Planner: Why It’s a Good Idea
Sorry, I Don’t Need a Wedding Consultant… My Venue Has One!

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Having a Cash Bar at Your Wedding Reception? Guess What?

Filed under: Receptions,Wedding Etiquette — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Having a cash bar at a wedding reception is a major etiquette error, it’s tacky, in bad taste and a wedding reception faux pas!

Hmmm. Does that answer your question?

The Emily Post Institute was curious if the etiquette around this question is changing. Their poll revealed the following to the question (Total Voters: 998): Is it acceptable to have a cash bar at a wedding?

cashBAR• No, this is the height of bad taste. (41%, 412 Votes)
• I don’t like it but I understand why it might be done. (29%, 291 Votes)
• Yes, people should have the freedom to make this choice. (15%, 153 Votes)
• I think it is fine but I understand that some people might disagree. (15%, 142 Votes)

While the ultimate decision of whether or not to have a cash bar is up to the couple, proper etiquette says that it is not appropriate for a wedding. Alcohol is a must-have expense at any wedding reception, but it can also be a costly one, especially if you are expecting a large number of attendees.

While it is often necessary to find ways to cut costs, a cash bar is never a good choice. Savvy couples are looking for any way to cut wedding costs – and rightfully so. Figure out what is in your budget and offer that. Have a bar that only serves beer, wine and a champagne toast or specialty cocktail.

Having a party at your home? You wouldn’t think of asking someone to pay for a cocktail in your home, so don’t have a cash bar at your reception. People you invite to enjoy your celebration of Love are your guests. Guest don’t pay for drinks! If the couple doesn’t drink it is perfectly okay to have a reception with no alcohol.

DoNotDrinkNdrive8I agree that a wedding is different than a dinner party or inviting friends over. It’s much more formal and should be more elegant. So since we don’t ask guests to bring or pay for anything when we invite them to our home, we wouldn’t do it at an even more upscale event we were hosting.

Consider having a “limited” bar. Serve only soda, beer, wine, spiced and hot mulled cider, coffee, bottled water, and lemonade or have a champagne toast. If you don’t have the budget to provide alcohol for your guests, then simply have a smaller wedding with less attendees. Reduce the number of guests you are inviting before taking away alcohol because the result will be a lot of unhappy guests rather than less guests that are pleased. This often takes out the issue of cash bar altogether.

Signature cocktails are another great idea and are the epitome of fun and creativity so, the garnishes and accoutrement you use to adorn them should be something that also shows your flair, fun and festivity. How about fruity ice cubes and cocktail stirrers for summertime drinks? Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries will all light up a lemonade or sweet tea as well as a wine spritzer!

Consider choosing a wedding venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. Confirm whether you have to buy your alcohol from the place where the wedding reception will be. You may have signed a contract that says so, but if not, it’s generally much cheaper to buy your own liquor, wholesale – you can get more for your money, and get what you want. Believe it or not, there are venues that do not have liquor licenses and will allow couples to bring in their own. Anything unopened can be returned for a full refund after the wedding.

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Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shower Themes: From Lingerie to the Great Outdoors

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Etiquette,Wedding Showers — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Anna Post, Guest Author

One common approach to bridal showers is a theme shower, which determines the kinds of gifts guests give and offers a fun way to personalize the shower. A few suggestions follow; of course, you can go with any theme that fits the bride and the shower’s hosts – or no theme at all, other than having a good time.

Wine and … (cheese/beer/music/cigars, etc.): This shower can round out the couple’s collection of wines and whichever add-on they like best. Guests should bring a bottle of wine and/or whatever else is requested – fine cheeses, a case of microbrew beer, a favorite CD, or a box of cigars.

wedshower2Tea party: This shower is great for helping the couple stock up on goodies for their morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening mug of cocoa. Presents might be nice teas, coffees, mugs, coffeemakers or coffee grinders, packages of fancy cookies, serving trays, teapots, or teacups.

Around the world: For world gourmets or travel enthusiasts. This party lends itself well to a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres from all around the world. Gifts might be international foods or wines, travel accessories, CDs of world music, or beautiful books on travel and other cultures.

The great outdoors: This shower supplies the adventurous couple with presents to help keep them moving in the wilderness. The invitation should indicate what activities they like to do but, as always, should not suggest gifts. Depending on what the couple enjoys doing, guests might bring them camping equipment, fleece blankets, matching ski hats, or golf clothes, to name a few.

How does your garden grow? For the gardening couple, this party will nurture their green thumbs. The garden shower theme makes for a nice garden party or tea party. Guests can bring gifts like tin watering cans, garden tools, packets of flower and/or vegetable seeds, bird feeders, or sets of his-and-hers garden gloves.

wedshowerTools and gadgets: Especially great for coed parties, this shower supplies the couple with fun tools and gadgets for the house. Think Brookstone meets Home Depot: gifts might be a travel alarm clock, a mini blow torch for crème brûlées, or an all-in-one toolkit.

Entertainment: The idea here is to provide the couple with entertaining things to do. Gifts might be DVDs, CDs, movie tickets, museum passes, restaurant gift certificates, puzzles or games, books, journals, or magazine subscriptions.

Room of the house: Guests are asked to bring a gift for a specific room of the house. Most rooms are fairly self-explanatory, although I did once get stumped by the home office; a nice desk set, a cool paperweight, an assortment of beautiful note cards, or a pair of picture frames could all see you through.

Hours of the day: Guests are given an hour of the day for which to buy the couple a present. 8 am guests might give a set of egg cups or a juicer, while 8 pm guests might give a CD of dinner music or a set of beautiful candles for the dinner table.

Months of the year: Guests are assigned a month of the year and buy the couple a present appropriate to that month. Guests with January might give cocoas or matching cashmere socks; a guest with July might give a picnic basket or croquet set.

Letters of the alphabet: Guests are allotted a letter of the alphabet and buy the couple a present with that letter. Guests given the letter S might bring presents such as a collection of gourmet salsas or a gardening spade and seeds.

Bed and breakfast: Guests are asked to bring gifts for the kitchen or bedroom. This is a great shower to throw as a brunch! Gifts should be for use in the bedroom or kitchen but can go beyond the obvious items if you’re feeling creative, such as a set of books for bedside reading or a poker set for playing a game around the kitchen table. Just be sure your explanation makes sense, so it’s clear you’re still playing along.

Lingerie party: Not for the faint of heart! The idea here is to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. A word of warning: Choose your audience carefully with this one. All kinds of lingerie, from negligees and bra and panty sets to chemises and camisoles, slips, garters, and fancy stockings. If you’re not comfortable buying the lacy stuff, cozy pajamas, robes, or slippers are always a welcome alternative. Then there are other sexier parties that offer tools and gadgets of the naughty kind. Home Depo doesn’t sell that kind. 😉

Spa shower: A shower to indulge and pamper the senses. Gifts should pamper the bride and groom, such as bubble bath, scented candles, massage oils, or robes.

weddingpartiescoverSource: From Emily Post’s Wedding Parties: Smart Ideas for Stylish Parties, from Engagement to Reception and Everything in Between by Anna Post.

Larry’s Note: Did you know that the custom of a bridal shower is said to have originated in Holland? Legend has it that one man refused to provide the then-essential dowry for his daughter because he didn’t approve of the marriage. The bride-to-be’s friends then banded together to provide the dowry by “showering” her with gifts. Thus the Bridal shower was born. (Source: YouAreTheBride.com)

Anna Post
Inside Weddings

Copyright © 2011 – Anna Post. Reprinted with permission. Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and the author of Emily Post’s Wedding Parties. She speaks at bridal venues across the country, providing wedding etiquette advice. She also conducts business etiquette seminars for major corporations. A columnist for Brides.com and Inside Weddings, she lives in Burlington, Vermont. Visit their Website and Blogs. Click book cover for more info!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making Your Guest List Budget-Friendly!

It’s never too early in the wedding planning process to start talking about your guest list. First things first. It’s all about the budget! The best way to cut the cost of your wedding is by managing the guest list.

Know what your budget is for food at the reception. Decide how many you want to invite then use the following list to help. If you’re on a tight budget, a smaller wedding may be the way to go. Each guest you invite translates into dollars spent on your wedding.

Here are a few things to think about when you are building your guest list for your wedding and reception. If you are paying for it yourself, you can pretty much invite as many as you can afford. If someone else is paying for the wedding, consult with them about a budget – and stick to it.

Who is so important that you can’t imagine getting married without them there? What can you afford? What is the wedding venue charging per plate? Sometimes a buffet is more economical. Who is absolutely not welcome?

Budget-Wedding-GuestlistRemember: family first!

1. Bride’s list (Family) – Must be invited

2. Groom’s list (Family) – Must be invited

3. Our list (Friends) – Should be invited

4. Would be nice to be invited. If you’re no longer friendly with certain people from your past, don’t feel obliged to invite them.

Narrowing down the wedding guest list is never an enviable task, but since a lot of your major wedding planning decisions are dependent on the number of guests you’re inviting, it’s a good idea to not wait until the last minute to finalize your list. Go through it with a red pen. It is better to first write up a preliminary list, then after a bit of consideration, have a second meeting to finalize the details. There is only one way to include everyone on your wedding guest list and that is increase your budget, which is usually unrealistic. 😉

If your wedding guest list already approaches your budget’s limit, take a step back. You might want to consider making your wedding an adults-only affair. You can trim the reception budget quite a bit if you eliminate having children at the reception. You do, however, run the risk of some close friends who have kids deciding not to show up for the wedding, either because they are offended by your choice or because they have no babysitter. You might want to consider providing guests with the names and numbers of local babysitters.

Kids look cute at weddings in their dress-up duds, but they don’t need to be there if you need to make cuts. It is inappropriate to write “No Children” on the invitations. Note on the reception “RSVP” card that an adult reception will be held after the ceremony. The only correct wording for your “save the date” cards is “Adult Reception,” “Adults Only Reception” or “Adult Only Ceremony and Reception.”

guest_listConsider limiting the amount of people you allow to bring dates. Forget about adding “and guest” indiscriminately to single friends’ invitations.

Will your ex and their date be excluded? Inviting an ex to a wedding is generally considered taboo, however, in some cases it might be acceptable, especially if one partner has an ex with whom he or she shares children.

How about people who are known to always drink to much?

If you see you will be over budget, begin your trims with business associates, then parents of your attendants. The people on your wedding guest list should be people you truly care about, not people you feel obligated to invite.

The first stage of planning your wedding is excitement! Yippeee… it’s FINALLY my turn! You can avoid hurt feelings if you hold off on the big announcement to everyone except your immediate family. I know you’re excited but resist the urge to tell anyone else until you know the wedding’s approximate size and your budget. Remember this is YOUR wedding, not your parents or in-laws. Set limits. I know that may be difficult if one side of the family is paying for the wedding and the other side insists on inviting a bigger share of their friends.

One of the most important first steps is to clearly define your parents’ involvement in the wedding. Odds are, if they’re the ones coughing up most of the cash for your nuptials, then they’re going to be eager to invite everyone on their guest list. And its only proper for the two of you to extend that courtesy.

The easiest way to satisfy everyone and avoid conflict is to set an equal number of guests that each family is allowed to invite. How they choose to select those guests is up to them. Make things clear to both your families early on. Once you have a final number of guests in mind, it’s a good idea to divide the number of invitations by thirds. One for your family, one for the new in-laws and one set of invitations for your friends. Determine how many guests each set of parents will be able to invite. Ask them for a list of names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail that does not exceed the number of guests they are allotted.

Most wedding consultants agree that if you invite 100 guests, about 20% may not respond or show up. Have a small back-up guest list ready for those who decline the invitation. Once the guest list and the budget are determined, you may have to make some adjustments to one or both to accommodate everyone.

It is impolite for a guest to ask if he or she can bring a date, however, it is not impolite of you to refuse. Say, “I’m sorry, Erica, but we have very limited seating at the reception and we just can’t accommodate any additional guests.”

Allow for errors when you order your wedding invitation. By the way, it is always a courtesy to send invitations to those people you know will probably not be able to attend due to great distance or illness. Mail your invitations out at least two to three months in advance for a normal wedding and six months or more if you’ve selected a holiday weekend. Be patient waiting for RSVPs, and don’t hesitate to call unresponsive guests at least two weeks before the wedding.

Plan your wedding guest list according to budget, guest importance and stay with it!

BONUS Articles: Wedding Guest List Mistakes
No Rugrats (Children) Allowed!
6 Questions to Ask Before Inviting Your Ex
The Stages of Wedding Planning on a Budget
Does Your Wedding Guest List Include Out of Town Guests?

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inside Weddings: The Wedding Party

Filed under: Wedding Attendants,Wedding Etiquette,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Anna Post, Guest Author

Unless you elope to Las Vegas or slip down to City Hall for a quiet ceremony, you don’t get married on your own – it takes the help of your friends and family. While your guests will support and celebrate with you on the big day, it’s your wedding party that will help you do much of the heavy lifting during the months of planning.

iswintercover2010Choosing Your Attendants

Many of us know exactly who we’d like to be in our wedding party long before the question is popped. It’s okay to ask as soon as the engagement is announced, and aim to have a decision no later than six months out for the average wedding (three months for a short engagement). Most people ask siblings, close relatives, and good friends who are reliable, can be involved, and who will be courteous, extended hosts on the wedding day.

You don’t have to ask friends for whom you were a bridesmaid, nor are you required to ask your fiancé’s sister to be your bridesmaid, though it’s a lovely and generous way to get to know someone who will be a close part of your life. It’s gracious to allow your potential party members to think about your request before they make a decision; it’s a big commitment of finances and time. There is no requirement for how many attendants to have, and you don’t need the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen.

Your Ladies in Waiting

We’ve all heard horror stories about bridesmaids being “required” to sign contracts, obligating them to responsibilities that should require a salary, and agreeing to ludicrous demands. These are exactly that – horror stories. The reality is much simpler, and much more friendly.

The maid or matron of honor is the bride’s right-hand woman. She helps the bride select the bridesmaids’ attire, lends a hand addressing invitations and place cards, and organizes the bridesmaids’ luncheon as well as the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride. During the ceremony, she holds the groom’s wedding ring and the bride’s bouquet. At the end of the ceremony, she arranges the bride’s train and veil, and then returns the bouquet. She also witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate. During the reception, she stands in the receiving line, gives a toast if she wishes, and helps organize guests. Afterwards, she assists the bride out of her dress, for which she then takes responsibility while the bride departs for her honeymoon.

The bridesmaids’ responsibilities are more general: attend fittings, parties, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It’s a myth that the bridesmaids must throw a shower for the bride, though showers can be hosted by the bridal party. Bridesmaids stand in the receiving line, mingle with guests, dance, and participate in the bouquet toss. The bridesmaids and maid of honor each pay for their own dresses, alterations, shoes, and accessories, as well as their travel to the wedding and group present to the bride and groom. The couple traditionally arranges for the bridal party’s lodging.

A Few Good Men

The best man has by far the most responsibilities of all the attendants. Among many others, he organizes the bachelor party for the groom and arranges the groomsmen’s gift to the groom. He helps the groom choose the wedding attire and coordinates fittings or rentals for the groomsmen. He keeps the bride’s wedding ring during the ceremony, witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate, and makes sure that the groom’s wedding-related payments are prepared and delivered at the ceremony. He offers the first toast at the reception and dances with the bride and other guests. Like the maid of honor, he takes care of the groom’s clothes after he departs.

The groomsmen attend the bachelor party, their fittings, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. They help escort guests to their seats if there aren’t separate ushers, and then stand with the groom during the ceremony. At the reception, they dance with the bride, bridesmaids, and other guests.

Little Helping Hands

Flower girls and ring bearers make charming additions to a wedding. The flower girl precedes the bride down the aisle holding either a small basket of flowers or a tiny nosegay similar to the bridesmaids’ flowers. She might carry a basket of petals that she sprinkles in front of the bride as she walks down the aisle. (I recommend silk petals, as real ones can become slippery.) She attends the rehearsal, but often not the rehearsal dinner due to her age.

The ring bearer walks down the aisle after the bridesmaids and ahead of the flower girl, holding the small cushion upon which the wedding ring is pinned (not sewn). He stands with the groomsmen or sits with his parents or the groom’s family during the services. He exits with the flower girl, if there is one. These members of the wedding party are usually young relatives of the bride or groom, and typically range in age from three to seven years old.

Wrapping it Up

The best gift you can give your wedding party is a pleasant experience while they help you prepare; however, it’s important to thank your attendants with a tangible gift as well. Jewelry is a popular gift from the bride to her bridesmaids, while classic gifts from the groom include cufflinks, ties, monogrammed flasks, and engraved key chains. The gifts can be the same for everyone, or chosen on an individual basis. The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to present these gifts to the wedding party and acknowledge their help in front of your close friends and family. Regardless of where you present your gifts, make sure your attendants know what you know – that you couldn’t have made it to the altar without them.

Source: This column first appeared in “Inside Wedding’s” Winter 2010 issue.

Anna Post
Inside Weddings

Copyright © 2011 – Anna Post. Reprinted with permission. Anna Post is the etiquette columnist for the magazine Inside Weddings, a national bridal magazine based in Los Angeles. Visit their Website and Blogs.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wedding Etiquette

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Etiquette — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Emily Edwards, Guest Author

I was raised with a heavy emphasis on Etiquette and Manners: Don’t chew with your mouth open; Send thank you notes when you receive a gift; Wait until everyone at the table has gotten their food before you begin eating; etc. etc.

etiquetteWell, as a kid this translated into rules, rules, rules… and I was not exactly a rule-oriented little girl. In fact, I liked to break the rules any chance I got, just for the sake of going against the grain. In fact, my favorite phrase was, “You’re not the boss of me!”

But one of my moms taught me that Etiquette was not just in place to “tell us what to do.” Rather, it was just an agreed upon way of doing things so that everyone (i.e. society) knows what to expect and there is not chaos and confusion.

A good example of this is traffic laws. Could you imagine if everyone was just doing their own thing on the roads and not following the agreed upon driving etiquette? I know some of you are saying, “As a matter of fact, yes I can! There are a ton of rude drivers out there.” And that is exactly the point.

If people are going through an intersection on a red light, changing lanes without signaling, or double parking… what does that cause? Chaos. Confusion. And sometimes disaster.

Well, the same is true with Etiquette. I know that Etiquette has been shifting and changing to accommodate our modern world and times, but the problem is that with everyone putting their own modern twist on Etiquette, it is losing the consistency of knowing what to expect… the very essence of why we need Etiquette in the first place.

For example, many people have started treating the acronym, R.S.V.P. as what you do if you are coming to an event. Some even make the mistake that it means, “Regrets Only.” They have forgotten or disregarded that R.S.V.P. is French for “Repondez, S’il Vous Plait” which means, “Respond, Please.” Respond if you are attending. Respond if you are NOT attending. RESPOND. This can have a huge impact on the host/hostess when planning an event. Especially one as large and typically formal as a wedding.

Since, as a Wedding Consultant, not following Etiquette has become one of my biggest pet peeves, I will spare you of me getting on my soapbox about the topic. But let me just say this: Following Etiquette is important. It may not be as dire as a traffic accident, I know. But please, Brides, Grooms and Guests alike, take the time to do your research and make sure you are following the proper Etiquette. It does not exist to boss you around, it is just common courtesy.

BONUS Article: Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP

EmilyEdwards

Copyright © 2011 – Emily Edwards. Reprinted with permission. Emily Edwards is the owner and lead consultant of Your Heart’s Desire. She has over 10 years of experience as a Wedding Consultant and currently plans and coordinates over 15 weddings a year here in this beautiful state of Arizona. Call Emily at: 623-628-6280. Visit her Wedding Blog.

Your Heart’s Desire:
Winner of 2010 Best of Weddings – Presented by The Knot
Winner of 2011, 2010 and 2009 Bride’s Choice Award – Presented by WeddingWire
(We are proud to say that the Awards above are based on Votes and Reviews from our happy couples!)

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP

Filed under: RSVP,Wedding Etiquette — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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RSVP. Fr. Abr. Répondez s’il vous plaît!. Literally, “respond if you please.” Often included in wedding invitations, and when included, etiquette demands a response.

RSVPWedding rules typically state that you should be clear in both language and meaning about times, locations, attire, activities, directions or anything else that may or may not be involved in your special day.

Be sure to send out invitations well enough in advance of your bridal shower or wedding for your pending guests to plan accordingly. A rule of thumb says you should order your invitations, etc., at least 4 to 6 weeks before they’re scheduled to be mailed. Mail your invitations at least 6 weeks before the wedding date, and ask for a response at least three weeks before the wedding date.

It’s a good idea to order at least 25 more invitations and envelopes than you think you will need. Why? Because it’s much more expensive to re-order than to order more than you need at the beginning and to cover mistakes in addressing, re-mailing to a current address, etc.

replycardMost wedding invitations have a reply (RSVP) card included. Brides often have a problem on her hands when an occasional reply card is sent back with no names filled in.

Here’s a little tip which will ensure that you avoid this problem all together. Place a small, inconspicuous number on the back of each reply card before enclosing it with the invitation. Use a list to record each guest’s name along with the number on the reply card you are enclosing for them. If someone forgets to fill in their name, a quick glance at your list will tell you precisely who the reply card belongs to.

If you don’t receive a reply from some guests by your reply date deadline, don’t hesitate to call them. An accurate count is vital for food preparation, seating arrangements and other accommodations.

It’s estimated that about 7% to 10% of the guests who respond with a “yes” won’t actually show up at the wedding. In addition, another 20% to 30% won’t make it to or stay for the reception. You may want to have a line to check for “Attending the wedding” and another for “Staying for the reception.” This can wreak havoc when budgeting for a sit-down dinner. You might want to consider a buffet-style dinner instead.

By the way, it’s considered improper etiquette to put registry information on your wedding invitation. Assign this task to friends and family and have them inform everyone. Read, “Honeymoon Gift Registry

Check out Travelers Joy Honeymoon Registry.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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