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ETIQUETTE FOR BRIDAL GUESTS

Dear Ann Landers: I am a wedding coordinator. Over the last eight years that I have worked with young brides, I have noticed one area where improvement is needed - not for the bridal couple, but for the guests. I would like to share my guidelines for those who are invited to attend the nuptials:

1. Respond promptly to a wedding invitation.

2. If no response card is included, write a short personal note to the host and hostess saying whether you will attend. Their names are on the invitation, and the address should be on the envelope.

3. Single people may bring a date only if the words "and guest" are written on the invitation. Parents may bring children only if the children's names are specifically written on the invitation. Otherwise, do not bring them.

4. If you accept, GO. If, after accepting, you find you cannot attend, call the hosts immediately and inform them.

5. Dress appropriately. Remember, this is a wedding, not a nightclub. If the event says "black tie," don't go in a business suit. If you dress inappropriately, it will look as if you didn't understand the invitation.

6. Never use another person's wedding to announce your good news - no matter how good the news may be. You are not entitled to any of the limelight on someone else's wedding day.

7. Do not bring gifts to the reception. Send them before or after the wedding day. Gifts at a reception are a burden for the newlyweds or their parents since they must transport them elsewhere.

8. If you accept the invitation, send a gift. If you decline the invitation, you should send a gift or a card. The choice is yours.

9. Before leaving the reception, try to find your hosts and thank them for inviting you to such a lovely event. They will appreciate it.

- Wedding Coordinator Out East

Dear Coordinator: Thank YOU for sharing your know-how. You've done a splendid job of spelling out the fundamentals - which will be helpful to many. I hope my readers will clip this so they can find it when the need arises.

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