There is never a lull when it comes to wedding questions and I’m addressing a few that we have recently received. There are many more, so stay tuned for the next increment of questions soon… Let’s get started:
How long do I have to RSVP to a wedding invitation?
The practical answer is to respond as soon as possible, giving the wedding planner enough time to plan accordingly. The best case scenario would be to respond within a week of receiving the invitation.
If we haven’t heard from several invitees, is it okay to call and ask if they will be attending?
When the date for final numbers is getting close, have a designated friend or family member make the call, saying they are following up on the invitation. Make sure to encourage the caller to keep their tone of voice positive, not punitive.
How can I politely decline a request to be a bridesmaid?
It’s always kinder to gently decline a request than back out later, once the pressure and financial obligations get too overwhelming. If you know you cannot make the monetary or time investment being a bridesmaid requires, let the bride know upfront. Tell her you are honored to be asked, and will be as supportive as possible, but would prefer to do it “behind the scenes”. Explain the situation and assure her it’s nothing personal, and you will be front and center at the wedding and reception.
Do I have to send a gift if I don’t attend the wedding?
Depending on the relationship you have with the couple, use your best judgment when determining if you should send a gift. If you don’t know the person(s) very well, the answer can easily be no, however, if you are close friends, a family member, or the couple is the daughter of your best client, sending a gift would certainly be a better decision.
Can I ask my guests to leave their cell phones in a basket by the entrance of the church?
It’s off-putting to most people to be asked to give up a piece of personal property, sending the message you don’t trust their actions during your ceremony. I would suggest you have someone make a brief announcement, requesting cell phones be silenced during the ceremony. If you don’t want pictures posted of your event on social media, use this opportunity to make that clear as well. “The ceremony will begin in a few moments. The bride and groom respectfully request all cellphones be silenced at this time.”
Can I take pictures during the wedding on my cell phone?
Some couples may welcome social media, while others may be completely against it. It’s always best to ask in advance so you are not offending the bride, groom, family members or the professional photographer. Keep in mind, taking a picture and posting it on your Facebook may offend someone that was not invited to the wedding.
I know my great aunt and uncle will be unable to attend my wedding ceremony. I want to send them an invitation, but don’t want to appear as if I’m asking for a gift. Should I send it anyways?
If you share a close relationship with your aunt and uncle, by all means send one their way. An invitation does not require a gift, however, you aunt and uncle may want to give you something special. Let them decide, but feel free to mail an invitation so they will know they are included in your special day.
I am invited to a coworker’s wedding (I don’t know him very well) and plan to go as a sign of respect. I would like to leave the reception early and I am wondering when the best time to make my exit is?
The traditional departure time is after the cake has been cut, however, if you absolutely have to leave earlier, find the bride and groom, let them know it was a beautiful ceremony and you are going to have to make a quiet, early exit. They will surely be glad you came and appreciative of your effort to attend the ceremony.
I find it easier to give cash, rather than using a gift registry. Is it better to write a check, or give cash to the bride and groom?
Both cash and checks will be greatly appreciated, and it becomes subjective, depending on the bride and groom. Some people prefer cash (however, never mailed, or left unattended on a gift table), while others can keep better records of checks when writing thank you notes. Either way, make sure you deliver the money via a safe venue.
How long do I have to send out my thank you notes? We are traveling for a month after the wedding and wonder if I should ask for help from my family members while I am away.
A thank you note should come directly from the person(s) who received the gift. Make a point of sending out your thank you notes as soon as possible upon your return. Most people will know you are on a honeymoon and won’t expect to hear from you until you get back. You might want to divide and conquer between your husband and yourself. If you want to ask your family for help, perhaps they can organize the gifts and the thank you note list of addresses, making it easier for you to send out your thank you notes promptly when you return home.
For more wedding tips read my Huff Post article, Wedding Etiquette: 8 Tips to Surviving the Season.