A wedding is one of the most important days in anyone’s life. Yet it can be one of the most stressful periods too thanks to the huge amount of decisions and wedding etiquette required to wade through.

From invites to setting dates, dress codes and gifts, there is a Do or a Don’t attached to every decision. Getting it right means less chance of drama and angst.

To keep the drama to the minimum and the decision making pain free, here is a selection of what Formal Image like to call – Wediquette: the Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Etiquette.

 

Setting the Datestock 2

Choosing one day out of 365 would be easy, no? Be sure to consider the following before setting the date.

  • Does it clash with public holidays, school holidays or a major sporting event?
  • Spring and summer are the busiest times of year for weddings. Consider holding the wedding in autumn or winter for more venue and supplier options
  • If guests need to travel long distances, give them enough notice to prepare and save for their trip to the wedding

 

Budget

This is a tricky area and will depend on the financial situation of the couple getting married, if it’s a first or second marriage and if the parents are getting involved. The average cost of a wedding in Australia has been estimated at $28,000 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

When creating a budget for a wedding, do the following.

  • Consider whether parents are contributing. Be clear with asking them how much or what they’re paying for so there is no misunderstandings down the track
  • Get at least three quotes for each area of the wedding – venues, entertainment, flowers etc. and be sure to compare them
  • Negotiate with the suppliers
  • Be mindful of everybody’s financial situation – your own and parents
  • Do not go into bad debt. Stay away from credit cards
  • Use open communication. Putting your head in the sand is not a strategy

 

As for who pays for what, some families follow the traditional model while other families take a more modern approach. Here is a guide for you:

 

TRADITIONAL

stock 3The Bride

  • The groom’s wedding ring
  • A gift for the groom and her attendants

The Groom

  • The bride’s wedding ring
  • A gift for the bride and groomsmen
  • All flowers for the ceremony including bridal bouquet, bridesmaid’s bouquet, and corsages for mothers and buttonholes for all male attendants.
  • Church fees or donations
  • Cars and transport for wedding party
  • The honeymoon

The Bride’s family

  • The bride’s gown
  • The reception
  • Photographer, videographer and newspaper announcements
  • Wedding cake
  • Invitations and place cards
  • Flowers at the reception
  • A wedding gift for bride and groom

The Grooms family

  • A wedding gift for the bride and groom
  • They may choose to make a contribution towards the celebrations

The Wedding Party

  • Bridesmaids/groomsmen would pay for their own attire
  • Hen’s night hosted by maid of honour
  • Bucks night hosted by best man

 

MODERN

The Bride and Groom

The bulk of the ancillary expenses have been taken by the bride and groom or as agreed by the families.

The Bride’s family

  • Food and venue hire for reception
  • Flowers for reception
  • Any further expenses as agreed

The Groom’s family

  • A wedding gift for the bride and groom
  • Beverages for the reception
  • Any further expenses as agreed

The Wedding Party/attendants

  • Bridesmaids/groomsmen to pay for their own attire
  • Hen’s night hosted by maid of honour or bridesmaids
  • Bucks night hosted by best man or groomsmen

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Invitations

Invitations should be sent no later than six weeks before the wedding date with the RSVP date two weeks before the wedding. Enclosing stamped self-addressed envelope is a good way to encourage prompt replies.

Match all the stationery – invitations, rsvp cards, name places, thank you cards and order of service programs, even menus. It looks consistent and high quality when the same theme is running through everything.

Address invitations using the full name of your guest. Don’t use nicknames or shortened names.

Mr and Mrs George Smith

If the Smith’s children are invited, they should be listed by their first name on the invitation. Don’t say ‘and family’. Their idea of their family may be different to yours!

If children are not invited, discuss it directly with your guests. Don’t include it in the invitation. Explain your reasons why when you have a chat with them. It may be a safety concern or the bride and groom may just want their grown-up guests with children to relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about what the kids are up to.

If going traditional and the bride’s family is paying for the bulk of the wedding, invitations would be from them.

Brides Parents
Request the pleasure of the company of
Guest’s name
At the marriage of their daughter
Bride’s name
With
Grooms name
At name of venue
Address of venue
On (date)
At (time)
And afterwards at
Name of Venue
Address of venue
At (time)
Dress code
RSVP
We would be honoured if you could share the celebration with us.

If the groom’s parents are also paying for part of the wedding, it is appropriate to include them on the invite too.

Brides Parents
Along with
Grooms Parents
Request the pleasure of the company of
Guest’s name
At the marriage of their children Brides Name with Grooms name

 

Or if the bride and groom are hosting their own wedding they can choose to word the invite differently.

Brides name and grooms name
Request the pleasure of the company
Guest’s name
In the celebration of their marriage

 

Gifts

This is the part you would think would be quite straightforward, yes? Unfortunately no. There is wediquette attached to the giving of wedding gifts too.

Here’s some things to remember.

  • If organising a gift registry, enclose a card in the invitation advising guests of this.
  • A wishing well is when a couple request money as a gift. A separated card enclosed with the invitation, often with a small poem, is the usual method of informing guests about this. Never write it on the invitation
  • Don’t forget the thank you cards. It’s just good manners to send people a thank them for attending and for the gift.

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Procession

At the ceremony, the bride’s guests are seated on the left side of the church or ceremony area facing the altar or Marriage Celebrant. The groom’s guests are seated on the right. Parents and siblings of the respective families are seated at the front.

If there are ushers, the head usher should escort the mother of the groom to her seat with the father of the groom following behind. The mother of the bride should then be escorted to the left front seating area.

The groom, best man and groomsmen stand to the right of the ceremony area waiting the entrance of the bride and her entourage.

The order of entrance of the bridal party is bridesmaids first followed by the maid of honour. The flower girl follows the maid of honour. Traditionally, there is a change in music to herald the entrance of the bride and her father.

The bride enters on her father’s right arm and leaves with the groom on his right arm.

 

 

There is a lot to think about and many decisions to make, we know. You can be sure that when it comes to dressing the groom and his groomsmen, Formal Image can help with menswear wediquette too.

Not only are the staff at Formal Image trained in all things fashion and style for men, they also know a thing or two about the whole wedding process and organisation.

Experience, knowledge and a fantastic range will make the menswear selection of the wedding process relaxed and enjoyable for everyone.