Disclaimer: The top 5 questions were deduced based on an informal Facebook poll of the blogger’s friends. However, all of these are common etiquette questions, although we acknowledge the list is far from exhaustive.
1. How much to spend on gifts?
There are engagement showers, bachelorette/bachelor nights and weekends, and bridal showers. The only event that requires a gift is a shower since the intent is to “shower” the bride with gifts. How much depends on what you can afford, what other people are spending in your circle of friends, how well you know the couple; and whether you’ll be spending a lot of money on plane tickets and accommodations. The wedding gift should be the largest gift if you’re giving multiple tokens of affection.
2. Plus ones, do all singles get one?
If a guest isn’t married or in a serious relationship, it’s perfectly acceptable to invite them solo. What to do if a guest RSVPs for two even if you did not include “and guest” on the envelope? Call them to explain that you’re having an intimate wedding and, unfortunately, are unable to invite everyone with a guest. However, if you see that most guests are couples, evaluate the possibility of extending a plus-one invitation to your few single friends and family.
3. Kid-less weddings
Rather than put “adults only” on the invite you can try just addressing it to those who you wish to attend. But people lose the envelope or assume that everyone in their family is invited so why not send a one-on-one email? Something along the lines of, “It’s black tie, and we’re not having kids, but let us know if there is anything we can do to help to secure childcare.”
You’ll get a B grade if you compile a list of trusted sitters in the vicinity and put this on your website.
You’ll get an A grade if you secure an on-site babysitter(s) from say 4:00 pm till 11:00 pm. This is a great option especially for out of town guests who may not be able to or feel comfortable leaving their children hundreds of miles behind.
4. What do you wear?
Take your cues from the language found in the invitation. Beyond that, ask a member of the wedding party or take note of how dressy the bride likes to be in other situations. Does her closet include Prana and Teva instead of Prada and Tom Ford? Above all, don’t bother the bride with this question. If anything, you’ll feel more comfortable if you step up your game fashion-wise than if you opt for something you’d wear any other day.
If the invite reads:
A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested. At the very least a tie AND a sport coat.
A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. For any monochromatic choice, step it up with some embellishments or a fancier shoe or purse than you would normally wear.
Semiformal or Dressy Casual
Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening wedding (blues, reds, greens, purples); choose light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding (yellow, orange, turquoise, aka light blue for the men reading this.
A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.
A cocktail dress that is slightly longer than knees and a shoe that isn’t a flat unless you really can’t stand any height or you hurt your ankle. Note, if it’s an outdoor wedding and the ground is moist, you could be sinking into the ground, so maybe those flats will come in handy.
Although casual invokes comfort, it does not equal beach wear/dive bar/any bar wear so leave your jeans, shorts, and tank tops at home. Assume business casual to be on the safe side.
Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.
A knee length or slightly above the knee dress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse.
5. Cell Phones & Posting to Social Media
Guests: Don’t comment on photos of the wedding unless it’s something as simple as “Great wedding, great couple.” Be aware that if you post pictures of the wedding you are broadcasting to the world, and the couple’s network too if you tag them, who was there and who wasn’t. At a minimum, don’t post any photos until you see one member of the couple has posted them. Your Facebook family can wait a week or so until they see how great you looked in your dress. Trust us, we asked them.