First, many apologies for my absence and sporadic posting for the last several weeks. Flesh and blood life can become all-consuming and over-full at times so something has to give. For me, it was writing and reading blogs.

I have had so many ideas and experiences I want to share, but I'm usually thinking about them in bed before I fall asleep and I never, ever remember them when I wake up. But what follows is a first-hand experience I've learned from and I hope you'll find it helpful too.

My daughter was married earlier this month. She is our first child to be married and our only daughter, so we're not likely to have this same experience again as parents of future grooms, but I believe some of the lessons learned apply whether you are a bride, groom or parents of either.

My List of Wedding Etiquette

  1. Please send your RSVP as soon as possible. Quantities of food, wedding programs, seating and favors all depend on the number of guests. The sooner the guest count is in, the sooner those other details can be finalized. I am very, very guilty of not sending in RSVPs until the last minute - even when I know well in advance whether or not I will be attending an event. Shame on me.
  2. Please make your own arrangements to and from the airport. We are all very busy that last week leading up to the wedding. Having to also fit in airport trips is very inconvenient. Picking up guests during rush hour is stressful and time consuming. Returning them to the airport before dawn following the wedding is exhausting for already exhausted people.
  3. Please don't be offended if the bride, groom or parents do not visit with you personally at the wedding. We all tried our best to make sure everyone was greeted, but there just wasn't enough time to hold long conversations with everyone. We were blessed and pleased by your presence and would have spoken to you longer if possible.
  4. Please be sensitive to the new couple's needs. I do not really like gift registries. I prefer to buy something with a personal meaning that will hopefully be cherished for decades. However, through my daughter's experience, I've learned there may be very good reasons a couple requests - or does not request - certain gifts.  My daughter and son-in-law will be moving to Peru for about five years this fall. They cannot afford to ship box loads of gifts, and it is much less expensive to purchase many items for their future home in Peru. So while I still prefer the personal touch, sometimes money is truly the best gift.
  5. If the families of the bride or groom, in a moment of temporary insanity, invite you to be a guest at their home instead of staying at a hotel, say NO. The days preceding the wedding, when I should have been concentrating on wedding preparations, were spent cleaning house, cooking food ahead of time and rearranging sleeping accommodations in anticipation of house guests. All things I would not have bothered to do if extended family was not going to stay with us. Also, please don't stay for an extended visit after the wedding. We were TIRED. Having to entertain guests the week after the wedding just added to the feeling of exhaustion.
There you have it, my special wedding etiquette tips which might or might not ever show up in any other published wedding etiquette guide. Do you agree or disagree with any of the tips or do you have any you'd love to add? Feel free to join the discussion in the comment section.


  1. Good stuff! And it's not til you're in that boat that you really know for sure what's important. Welcome back, Elizabeth! I've been missing your smiling face!


    1. True of most things, right? We don't know what's what until we have been through it.
      Thanks Linda.

  2. Good ideas. I would not have thought of a few of them. We've had two sons marry, where the duties of the parents are different than with a daughter. Your girl is lovely! Beautiful dress, too. congratulations!!