TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
One of my (many) tasks as a wedding planner is not only to help create the overall design of a beautiful event, but also to help my clients navigate some tricky wedding planning questions. Like how much to tip your vendors, who should walk down with who and so on? To answer a few of these, below are a few wedding etiquette questions I am frequently asked!
It was once frowned upon to wear white or all black to a wedding. White was reserved strictly for the bride and an all black outfit felt like a downer. However, most modern couples know this day is special no matter what people wear! There has even been a recent trend for guests and/or the wedding party to be in all white as well. And wearing all black can be classy and elegant! To make this wedding etiquette tip easy, add a dress code to the invitation to help guide guests to the appropriate attire. Although I still think you should steer clear of white as a guest unless specifically noted on the invite. It’s not your day after all.
I recommend to send save-the-dates at least 6 months out from your wedding and for invitations, 2.5-3 months is best (to catch stragglers who forget to RSVP). Always add in a date guests need to RSVP by and read through your venue contract for any deadlines. Most venues and caterers will require a final head count 10 days to 2 weeks out from your wedding. Once you submit your final headcount, it’s almost impossible to subtract, so I always caution my couples to submit a guest count that is 100% a “yes”. If people that are wavering, add them a week out. If you’re planning a destination wedding, or you have a lot of guests traveling from out of town for your wedding, I encourage my couples to give extra time to plan. I suggest even a year ahead of time for save-the-dates and 4-3 months out for wedding invitations.
Traditionally, proper wedding etiquette called for immediate family and the wedding party to be included to the rehearsal dinner. However, a recent trend is a welcome party for all guests ahead of the wedding. This is a great chance for more one on one time with guests so you don’t have to feel rushed trying to talk to everyone on the day of, especially if they’ve traveled from all over. Couples are also opting for rehearsal brunches or lunch gathering instead of the traditional dinner to allow for more time with loved ones before the big day.
This is one of the trickiest wedding etiquette questions I get asked by my couples. Ultimately, the option of giving your guests a plus one is entirely a personal choice for you and your partner and what your budget allows. However, I always tell my couples to be consistent. Don’t pick and choose which guests can bring a date, or you’ll risk hurting feelings. If you and your partner are concerned about people you don’t know at your wedding (and also paying upwards of $150/person for someone you don’t know), then don’t include the option for a plus one. Consider your venue’s space and your budget to help you decide! And how long your friend or family member has been with that person.
These are just a few the questions for wedding etiquette I receive from clients and I hope it was helpful! While it’d be nearly impossible for me to answer every question here, I’m happy to help answer any and all questions for my clients while we’re in the planning process! If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment below!