The two things that cause our couples the most stress during their wedding planning involve who should be invited to the wedding followed by who should sit with whom at the wedding reception. With the cost of weddings today, it’s no surprise that couples are feeling both the psychological and financial pressure associated with this part of the decision making. So what do wedding guest list etiquette mavens say about this? Read on.
When creating your guest list, do so with across-the-board, clear cut distinctions in place. By this I mean, if you’re going to invite one cousin, you need to invite all of your cousins. This is not the time to play favorites as it could easily lead to hurt feelings that may last a lifetime. If space is an issue, limit the invite list to Aunts and Uncles only.
What about single guests? Should they be allowed to bring a date to your wedding? The short answer is yes and no. If that guest is in a committed relationship, by that I mean if they are engaged or living with someone, then yes their significant other should be invited to the wedding even if you don’t know them well or at all. If that guest isn’t in a serious relationship, you are not obligated to extend an invitation that includes a date. The exception would be if that particular guest doesn’t know the other guests invited to the wedding. Under those circumstances it would be a lovely gesture to offer them the option of bringing a date in order to help them feel more comfortable.
Now let’s talk about children, another sore subject for many of our couples. If you don’t want children at the wedding, the first step is to address the invitation to the parents only. This can be a sticky subject because some guests may still presume that invitation includes the children. If this happens, gently but firmly explain that your venue is too small to accommodate children and while you sincerely wish that Johnny and Suzie could join you, it’s simply not possible. Another option is to invite the children to the ceremony and arrange for a professional babysitting service during the reception. Many parents will welcome a night away from the kids and this is an extremely gracious and thoughtful gesture on your part. A wonderful babysitting service in MA is called Seeking Sitters, a service that provides one time babysitters who have all been professionally screened. For more information on this service, please visit www.seekingsitters.com or call Kim Schofield at (508) 842-3310.
There’s no question that weddings can be an etiquette minefield. If you find yourself worried sick over what you should or shouldn’t be doing, consider hiring a Wedding Planner even if only for a few hours to answer your etiquette questions. A Professional Wedding Planner has been trained to handle these kinds of details and if that little bit of help leads to your peace of mind, then it is money well spent. For a list of MA Wedding Planners that you can find in your area, please contact the Association of Bridal Consultants or visit their website at www.bridalassn.com.
Happy Planning Everybody,
New England Wedding Professionals ~ President
Association of Bridal Consultants ~ Professional Bridal Consultant
Sullivan Travel ~ Travel Agent
2010, 2011, and 2012 Bride’s Choice Award ~ Wedding Wire
2010, 2011, and 2012 Setting a Higher Standard in the Wedding Industry Award ~ NEWP