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Saying "I Do" To Wedding Etiquette
As a wedding consultant, I am asked questions about etiquette more than any other topic. Brides generally fit into two categories when it comes to etiquette: those who want to plan knowing that their actions will be socially acceptable to avoid any embarrassment, and those who aren't concerned about etiquette because "it's my wedding and I'll do what I want, thank you very much."
This article is intended for the latter bride. It is certainly nice to have the table set correctly, the appropriate person in the appropriate spot, etc. However, have you ever considered that other people's feelings are at stake?
Not only can you avoid looking a little silly by overlooking simple etiquette, you can also be kind and considerate to those closest to you who are sharing in your special day. For example, I know of a bride who asked her sister-in-law to be in the bridal party, but not her brother. As I'm sure you can imagine, her brother was not only hurt but was placed in an awkward situation when asked by a guest why he wasn't in the bridal party.
Weddings are stressful enough as it is. Unintentionally hurting a loved one causes tension and disappointment for many. You don't want to start your new life by leaving your loved ones in the dust in your old life.
In my professional opinion, the best course of action to take concerning wedding etiquette is to either discuss your situation with a wedding consultant or read as much as possible on wedding etiquette. Once you are fully educated and well-informed on the topic of wedding etiquette, combine the part of the etiquette that makes sense to you with what you really want for your wedding. Oh, and don't forget to ask the groom his opinion (that would be the proper thing to do, you know)!
Besides wedding consultants and books, there are several great websites that can assist you when determining the correct etiquette for your wedding. Some of these sites are http://www.bridalblog.info and http://www.theknot.com. Be sure to look for helpful information on these sites.
Another great avenue for wedding etiquette is to talk to an elderly person about his/her own wedding. Oftentimes, today's society does not adhere to etiquette as much as was done in previous generations. Not only can you get some great information, you will probably brighten this person's day. Showing interest in someone else's life is another great etiquette tool to have in your bag.
Whatever you decide to do, always keep in mind that wedding etiquette is yours for the taking. It's not something you have to put a deposit down on, taste, or fit onto someone's schedule. It's simply taking the time to let the people you invite to your wedding know that you care enough about them to take their feelings into consideration, even if it is your day. Pleasing your guests in any situation should be the goal of a hostess; pleasing your closest friends and family on your wedding day speaks highly of you and your groom.
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