Avoid June ruin, study this wedding etiquette refresher

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
June 9, 2004

It’s June. So chances are you’re invited to a wedding, will be attending a wedding or are in a wedding. It’s a confusing time for all of us, especially if we’re not sure we’re even invited.

To help make this a less trying time all around, we’ve come up with some do’s and don’ts to help keep this joyous occasion relatively stress-free.

Do’s and Don’ts for the bride and groom:

Don’t invite guests hoping they won’t come. Murphy’s Law will slap you in the face and you’ll end up with too many people on your big day.

Don’t expect guests to pay for your wedding. Nothing is tackier than informing your guests how much their meals are costing you.

Don’t spend beyond your means, especially if it means you won’t be able to honeymoon.

Do allow a guest to bring a date if you find out after invitations were sent out that they are in a serious relationship.

Do put items of all price levels on your bridal registry. There’s nothing more obnoxious than a couple who only register for items over $100.

Do warn bridesmaids and groomsmen that standing with perfectly locked knees can cause them to faint during a long, hot ceremony. (For real! We’ve seen this happen.) Suggest they flex their legs a bit throughout the nuptials.

Do send thank you notes shortly after receiving gifts. Yes, we know all the etiquette books say you have a year to acknowledge them, but do you really want to have that hanging over your head when you’re trying to navigate your way through the first year of marriage?

Do’s and Don’ts for invited guests:

Don’t RSVP for people who weren’t invited. If the invitation is addressed only to you, don’t take it upon yourself to tack on a second or third person.

Don’t confront the bride and groom to ask why your kids/mom/roommate aren’t invited. Maybe they’re on a budget. Maybe the venue only seats a certain number. Maybe they just don’t like them. Chances are, they won’t like you very much if you keep haranguing them. According to Emily Post, it’s impolite for you to ask, but it’s not rude for the couple to tell you you can’t bring a guest.

Do remember to send a wedding gift if you’re unable to attend, especially if the couple has gifted you at your wedding.

Don’t ask where the bride and groom are registered if you’re not intending on sending a gift. You’ll just come across as stingy.

Do RSVP by the date requested. The last thing the couple need to do as their wedding approaches is track down people.

Don’t RSVP “yes” if you’re not sure you can make it. Chances are each plate is setting the bride and groom (or their parents) back at least $50.

Don’t recycle old gifts you don’t like. Chances are they won’t like them either. But if you must, remember to check the box for telltale signs of regifting — like the original card addressed to you!

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