As times change so do the customary wedding traditions kept by past generations. Though the old school practices might not necessarily fit your style, there are guidelines to follow that will never go out of fashion. Whether you’re deciding how much money to gift the happy couple or choosing what kind of favor to give to your beloved guests, wedding etiquette is challenging. Lizzie Post, author, co-host of the #AwesomeEtiquette podcast and all time etiquette master is well-versed in wedding do’s and don’ts that result in respect all around while maintaining your personality.
Post has been writing and talking about wedding etiquette for the past 11 years, making her the go-to expert for all of your courteous questions. No matter if it comes from the couple, the families, the guests or anyone else, the dispute of manners will always be nearby. Post helps in determining the best approach as well as the most common discourtesies to avoid in wedding culture today. Read below for Lizzie Post’s wedding etiquette insight.
What are your top 3 etiquette tips for wedding guests?
1. RSVP RSVP RSVP RSVP (did I mention you should RSVP?)
2. Keep the focus on the happy couple. Whatever is going on in your life, try and keep the focus on the couple.
3. Participate. No matter the style or size of the wedding, the couple and their families have put together an event and their goal is for you to have a good time. If they‘ve set up s’mores, a mashed potato bar, or fireworks down by the beach and please, let’s not forget the dancing; whatever it is, participate! Have fun!
What is the most shocking behavior that most people don’t know they’re doing wrong?
Not sending a wedding gift at all, and not sending a small something if they don’t attend. Most people think the gifts are optional. A wedding is such a huge moment and decision in your life that we honor it with a gift regardless of attendance. That is why I was so excited to partner with Marshalls this wedding season because they make it easy and fun to find a gift that fits the couple and your connection to them. I’m always surprised by what I’m inspired by when I’m in the store (and even if I can’t attend a wedding, I know I can find something special).
What advice do you have for couples to maintain proper etiquette for their own wedding?
Do what makes you feel married. If cutting a cake isn’t a tradition you want to uphold then don’t cut the cake. But, you should do something to signal to guests that it’s okay to leave. A cake cutting is the traditional “last event” that guests are expected to stay for, and some senior guests may be looking for the signal that it’s okay to leave. Also, keep your focus on what has gone right and remember to say thank you to each guest for coming. It may take you a long time, but it’s important to appreciate those who attended such a major life decision and have supported and celebrated it with you.