Wedding Etiquette 101 | Navigating sticky situations

March 8

Many have mastered the standards of wedding etiquette: when to send your invites, managing the budget, negotiation with vendors etc.

But when it comes to the “tough stuff”- the unique and sticky situations– it can send some into a tail spin of worry, fear and anxiety. Weddings are full of heightened emotions; the last thing anyone wants, is to start a family feud!

So today, I’ll take the  m[ess] out of gu[ess] work, with advice for navigating my top 5 icky situations with grace, poise and efficiency.

Let’s get started, shall we?! 


The infamous “Plus One”

For me, this one appears common sense. However, being a traditionalist at heart, my stance leaves little room for the now common arrangement, of live-in- BF/Gf’s. So, to keep it simple, stick to good ol-fashioned guidelines: If the individual is married, engaged or living with a partner, they indeed recieve a “plus one” status. However, if the person is simply dating, you need not invite their significant other.

Fair warning: if you begin making “exceptions to the rule,” be sure to make the cut-off a clear identifiable place, you can easily communicate with guests. If you sound nervous or unsure of your stance, it will only annoy and aggravate the receiver.


To Invite or not to invite: the Co-Worker

This largely depends on where your getting hitched and how grand of an affair you’re hosting. If your planning a destination wedding or an intimate family gathering, it’s rather hard to believe your co-workers would assume an invite. However, if you preparing for a lavish affair, where your guest list seems never ending, it’s wise to extend an invite to your close co-workers and possibly, your boss. Not only would it appease their suspicions, but its smart business “politics,” which can later come in handy. Lastly, don’t forget: a courtesy invite can go a long way.


Adults only, please! 

Many times these days, couples are choosing to host adult only soirees. I, myself, see nothing wrong with this. After all, it’s your big day and guests should respect the environment you wish to create. In delivering your message, let the invitation do the talking: “Adults only, please.” or simply address the invitation to the individuals invited, excluding the names of children. Should you be concerned people will be amiss to your requests, send a simple email or call before hand, giving adequate time for sitter arrangements. Be sure to set an age minimum that feels realistic and comfortable on your part.


a Non-Alcoholic Soiree

Believe it or not, it’s becoming rapidly common for couples to host an alcohol free wedding.  Not only does it alleviate financial pressures, it eliminates the fear of cousin Bob making a scene! And with gatherings featuring breakfast fare or an afternoon high-tea, there’s little need to break out the “hard bar.” I personally believe, there’s no need to explain yourselves but a heads-up never hurt anyone. You may choose to inform guests in passing, “By the way- there will be no alcohol served at the wedding.” or include a simple statement on your invite, “Please note: Alcohol will not be served.”  


The one that got away….

With preparation in planning commencing far out from your wedding date, situations can change and your environments may be altered. Friends are no exception. Many times, couples will experience a falling out after save-the-dates have already been sent. And the question remains: do you still invite them and send a formal invite?

As much as it may hurt your heart, annoy you or bruise your ego, you must suck it up! It’s extremely rude to re-nag on an open invitation, especially during a monumental time in your life. Try and think of it this way: not including them sends the message that you’re “over it” and you could care less about ever seeing them again. It  also closes the door on them ever, re-entering your lives. But by sending a courtesy invite, you wave the white flag, signally that you see the distance as temporary and you’re open to a kindred re-connection.


Have a tough one you need help with?  Feel free to email me.

Until next time, lovelies- Happy Planning!





About Kailey-Michelle

Grace clinger. Marriage lover. Moment savourer. Passionate Creator. Seeking to inspire this generation as a Professional Wedding Planner, Speaker, Writer and Business Coach, to focus on what matters most in life and leave a legacy of love and service.
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