Different cultures, religions and people in general have varying traditions when it comes to weddings. For the modern bride it’s hard to know how it all works sometimes; so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions by brides and answered them for you.
1. How do you tell people their kids aren’t invited?
Let’s be honest here, kids playing tips on the dance floor while you’re trying to cut the cake is just not cool. So sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and let people know that you won’t be having any children at your wedding. As long as you are giving enough notice for your guests to find babysitters, writing “adults only” or “strictly no children under the age of . . .” on your invitations is fine. You could also include a note explaining that as much as you would love to invite their children, you simply cannot do so because of space or cost limitations.
2. What order does the reception go in?
As with all things to do with your wedding, it’s really up to you what order things happen in at your reception. But, if you’re a sucker for traditions, here’s a standard order: after the bridal party is announced, so too are the bride and groom and they usually kick things off with their first dance. You can also do this after dinner. Then comes the toasting, which you can have either during dinner or before if you want guests to remain standing, glasses in hand. After dinner it’s time to party with occasional stops for activities like the garter and bouquet toss. Toward the end of the reception, comes the cake cutting which is followed by more dancing and music before the big farewell. Of course things might work in a different way if you’re having a cocktail style reception with no seated dining.
3. Are plus ones necessary?
When it comes to plus ones, the general rule is that if your guest is married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship, then their significant other should be invited – even if you haven’t met them yet. Some couples are a little more lenient and include dates for anyone in a relationship, or even allow people to bring a friend. This is a nice gesture for guests who might not know anyone else at your wedding and will otherwise be awkwardly sitting alone the whole time. Other couples are a little stricter, especially if their venue is small or they are just trying to keep the numbers down. Either way, keep it consistent. You don’t want your guest thinking it’s personal.
4. Who is required to make a toast?
Traditionally, the Best Man should give a toast and he should also be the first to make a toast. The Maid of Honour usually makes a speech too, although if there are others in the wedding party that want to give a toast, they can too. You might even want to combine two peoples’ toasts into one, for example your Maid of Honour and Bridesmaid. In some cultures it is tradition for the Bride’s father and sometimes the Groom’s father to also make speeches. Of the newlyweds, it is common for just the groom to make a toast, but the bride may say a few words too if she pleases. The best thing to remember is that the number of toasts should be kept to a minimum and should be short and sweet, you don’t want to bore your guests.
5. How much alcohol do you really need at the reception?
If you can’t afford to have a bar tab running for your entire reception then it’s completely fine to just have beer and wine provided to guests or perhaps a bar with only a small selection of drinks. You could even opt for having the bar tab open for just specific times during the night to cut costs.
6. Should parents be allowed to invite people too?
Parents can get really excited when it comes to their children’s weddings, but it’s important that they don’t get too carried away and start inviting their entire book club. Let them invite a few of their close friends, especially if they are contributing a hefty amount to the wedding budget, just make sure you set boundaries. Once you know what the capacity of your venue is like, give your parents a rough number of guests they can invite and ask them to give you a list.
7. Is it selfish to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday night?
We all know having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday night is a great way to get a venue you love at a lower price, but this can make things hard for your guests, especially if they live far away or have work the next day. If your guests are mostly family, then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If not, it’s a good idea to have your wedding on a long weekend, so people have an extra day off. Regardless, the majority of people will still come to celebrate with you, so don’t stress too much.
8. How soon do you need to send thank you notes?
Thank you notes for your guests are often put off, but you really should send them out no later than a month after the wedding. If you’re going on a honeymoon which has a lengthy flight time, a clever idea is to write them while you’re on the plane to and from your honeymoon destination.
9. How do you deal with guests who haven’t given an RSVP by the date you asked?
There is nothing more annoying than reaching your RSVP date and realising that only a handful of people have bothered to let you know that they are or aren’t coming. No matter how clear your instructions are, failure to RSVP is something that almost always happens. The best thing to do in this situation is to just call each guest and politely ask them if they will be attending. You can’t just assume they aren’t coming because a lot of the times they will rock up anyway.
Main image from myweddingdecorations.net