Wedding Etiquette

Preparing for your Wedding


Marilyn Woodman
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    These articles on wedding etiquette are not designed to cover every single situation that come up during a wedding, but to point out the general principles of wedding etiquette and offer some tips in dealing with awkward situations that often arise. 


    We would appreciate your sharing your experiences, and with your permission, we will be glad to publish them on this page, if we feel that it would be helpful to our visitors.  Please write us at to share with us.


    Wedding etiquette is really just a guideline based on tradition.  It actually the art of making those around you feel comfortable and accepted.  The most important part of etiquette is the latter--making those around you feel comfortable and accepted.  That requires putting yourself in their shoes, and it can be an especially tough thing to do when you are up to your elbows in wedding preparations.  It's a necessity, though--with the merger of two families, this is a big day for your friends and relatives too and your behavior, good and bad, will be remembered for years and years to come.



    Now that your engagement has been announced, you need to begin immediately to prepare for your big day.  Your first step is to decide approximately when you are going to get married, and then where you are going to get married.  Notice the word approximately.  Unless you are planning a wedding two or more years in advance, your actual wedding date and time will probably be decided based on the availability of the site of the ceremony, especially if you wish to marry in a church.  In addition, you need to find out what requirements your church may have to allow a couple to marry there.  Some religions, for instance, require classes.  Many religions require that Banns be published at a certain time in advance of the ceremony.  Particularly if you plan on being married within a year, it is very likely that you will get a list of available dates and times from the ceremony site, then check on the available dates of bands or DJs, florists, and a wedding planning, if you are using one.


    Once you have decided on the ceremony date and time, you can begin to plan your guest list.  Yes, that's right--your guest list.  You should have at least a rough idea of how many guests you're going to invite before you talk to reception sites.  Then add at least 50 guests to that estimate, because that's how it's going to turn out.  You would be surprised how that number can mount up, by the time you start counting your guests, their guests, and possibly their children--and no matter how you try to discourage it, there will be children at the reception.


    Knowing at least an approximate number reflects on the physical facilities you will need, and therefore where you will look.  In addition, you need to decide on whether or not you are going to hire a wedding planner, and if so, hire them now.  Often, an engaged couple will wait until the last minute until they're impossibly overwhelmed before they hire a wedding planner--and then pay full price for there services with half the benefits.  A good wedding planner can save you endless time and aggravation, and if you hire a good one, a lot of money but if you are too late in hiring one you can't take advantages of the benefits they have to offer. 


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