Three Wedding Day Etiquette Blunders You Must Avoid

If you’re planning a wedding anytime soon, you’ll want to introduce yourself to Mrs. Emily Post. Post is the author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, which is a book every bride-to-be should keep close at hand during her entire wedding planning process.

Post’s guide outlines everything from whose parent’s names come first on the invitation, all the way down to what’s an appropriate gift for groomsmen and everything in between. It’s long been considered the final word on proper wedding etiquette and you’ll never go wrong taking Post’s advice.

Now if you’re not sold on the idea of reading a 432-page book on etiquette, here are three big takeaways from Post’s book that every bride should remember.

Honor Your Guests
Most wedding guests are pretty forgiving when it comes to wedding day etiquette blunders, but there’s one breach that’s totally inexcusable. It is absolutely essential that the bride and groom personally greet every guest and spend a few moments thanking them for sharing their special day with them. This simple gesture costs nothing and leaves your guests with a great impression of you and your new spouse.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
After the wedding, there’s one more step that etiquette-smart couples always engage in and that’s sending out thank you notes. Yes, writing out a couple hundred notes takes a lot of time, that’s why you have a three-month (not one-year) grace period to get them out.

Your guests spent plenty of time and money on your wedding gifts and acknowledging them with a simple card shouldn’t be a big stretch for anyone.

It’s also necessary to send out thank you’s to everyone who attended your bridal shower, too. These cards are expected to go out no later than two weeks after the shower. (Guys get a pass on this one, as no thank you is necessary for your bachelor party.)

Make a Good First Impression
No matter what you’re doing, first impressions are always important and for your wedding day, the invitation is that first impression. For better or worse, your guests are going to judge you personally by the quality and content of your wedding invites, so you want to get them right.

Post recommends sending out wedding invitation at least six to eight weeks before the big day. With that sort of lead time, your guests will have plenty of time make travel arrangements and get time off from work for the event. (And, in case you’re wondering, bridal shower invites should be sent out three to six weeks ahead of time.)

While invitations are usually pretty formal, that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun, too. There are plenty of great websites like Creations by Leslie that offer modern looks that are still appropriate for a formal wedding.

Weddings can be huge events with multiple moving parts (including showers, rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties) so you’ll probably need a little help keeping track of everything. Emily Post is more than happy to fill that role in your wedding planning process, so take advantage of the advice she has to offer.

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Andy Perry writes about family and relationship.

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