wedding shower etiquette

Delegating Responsibilities to Your Wedding Party
Choosing the members of your wedding party can be exciting, but some brides and grooms make the mistake of asking too much of their wedding party.

Choosing the members of your wedding party can be exciting, but some brides and grooms make the mistake of asking too much of their wedding party.

Selecting the members of your wedding party can be a fun and rewarding experience. This is the chance to get sentimental with the friends and family members who have been with you through thick and thin. Of course, it also can be asking a whole lot of the people in your life. Some brides and grooms make the mistake of putting far more on the shoulders of their parties than they should. You want to still be close friends with these people after the wedding has finished, so it is important to take caution.

To get a better feel for what is reasonable to ask of your wedding party members, it is a good idea to take a look at what other people have established over the years. By following a blend of customary techniques and personal adjustments, you and your partner should be able to come up with a balanced plan for the members of your wedding party.

Showers and Outings

Marriage can cost a small fortune. Since you have a lot of financial responsibilities on your plate, it is traditional to turn to the members of your bridal party to foot the bill when necessary. Any finances related to the wedding itself will fall on you and your partner to take care of. However, preliminary events like showers and bachelor or bachelorette parties are a very different story. For the most part, members of the party will be responsible for covering the expenses related to these extra events.

While it is customary for the party members to plan, execute, and cover the costs of these aspects of the wedding, you need to make sure you aren’t asking more than you should. A bachelorette party is one thing, but asking your party members to fly to another country to go on a wine tour for a week is a bit more intense. Stay reasonable in your requests, or cover the costs of the expenses you are demanding. Asking your party members to cover lavish costs for your farfetched ideas can be insensitive.

Covering Your Own Finances 

The men and women who make up your party are going to need to take care of many expenses for your special day. Still, you will need to make sure you are taking care of other costs. Any financial obligations related to hair and makeup on the day of the wedding, for example, will fall onto the happy couple. This is also true of costs centering around transportation to and from the venue, floral accessories like a bouquet, and lodging for the night before the actual ceremony.

Knowing what costs you should be covering can help you to keep the members of your wedding party happy and ready for anything you throw at them. Buying gifts for the men and women in your party will also show your appreciation. Try to get a gift that is both sentimental and effective at showcasing how happy you are to have each individual involved with your wedding.

Travel Concerns 

Finally, travel can be tricky to figure out with your party members. In most cases, people in your wedding party are responsible for arriving at your venue on their own. You also might consider covering some of the costs for members of the party who are traveling a far distance to get to your special event.

The people who comprise your wedding party are going to have a big impact on how your day turns out. When the time comes to start asking members of the party to take care of certain duties, it can be helpful to have a grasp on what you should and should not ask. Use your discretion, and you will be able to take the best course of action.

Contemporary Wedding Etiquette

Wedding etiquette

It can sometimes be challenging to know the most gracious way to handle a wedding-related issue. To further complicate the situation, the rules keep changing. New issues that did not exist even a decade ago, such as when guests should post wedding pictures on social media, bring new questions. Referring to wedding etiquette guidelines is one way to help get your questions answered. There are a wide variety of places you can go for this type of information. Emily Post, who died in 1960, was considered a wedding etiquette guru, and her family continues the tradition today through the Emily Post Institute. They have published multiple books and also have an extensive website and blog. There are numerous other resources to assist you, such as,, Martha Stewart and Real Simple magazine. Here are a few 21st century tips.

The Bride’s Family Is Not Required to Pick Up the Tab

Traditionally, the bride’s family has paid for the wedding and reception, but this is no longer the case. While they should have the opportunity if they want to be in charge, the groom’s family should also offer to help cover expenses. Another alternative is for couples to pay for things themselves. This has become more feasible since many people are choosing to marry later in life and are often financially secure. Second marriages are also common, and even the most generous of parents would probably think twice about paying for two weddings.

Ask Before Posting Photos on Social Media

Don’t rush to post pictures of someone else’s wedding on Facebook and other websites, especially during the nuptials. It is best to get permission from the newlyweds. They may want to do it first. Being distracted by social media may also prevent you from fully participating in the joy of the moment. Another pitfall of prematurely posting is you may be announcing the event to people who were not invited.

If you are taking pictures during the ceremony, it is important to be courteous of the couple, other guests and the official wedding photographer. While many brides and grooms understand people want to capture the moment, flashing cameras can be disruptive, and they won’t appreciate it if you get in the way of the individual they hired to take pictures.

Ontario wedding photographer Lainie Hanlon has had several recent experiences with guests obstructing her pictures because they were trying to take their own. She now suggests her clients consider an “unplugged” ceremony, which involves requesting that guests don’t shoot pictures or video during the nuptials. Some ways this message can be politely communicated are:

  • Enclosing a separate notice in the invitation envelope
  • Posting a message on your wedding website
  • Putting a sign out in front of the church before the ceremony

The Bride Does Not Have to Wear White

It is used to be practically mandatory for brides to choose white gowns, but times have changed. While the white wedding dress will always be in fashion, feel free to pick a different color and less conventional style. This approach may even be a better reflection of your personality. Wedding gowns often come with a considerable price mark-up; opting for something else may be more economical. The same rule applies to grooms and tuxedos; wearing suits or other apparel is becoming increasingly popular.

Double Duty Is Fine Wedding Etiquette

In an effort to be greener, and even cut costs, some couples are using wedding-related items for more than one purpose including:

  • Decorating the reception venue with flowers from the ceremony.
  • Purchasing elegant paperweights to hold down reception seating assignments that can also serve as party favors.

These four examples are only a few of the confusing situations you may encounter on the road to matrimony. If you are perplexed about what to do, never fear, there are numerous places to turn for guidance.