My maid of honor, Chelsey, is getting married the first weekend of September. (And I’m her maid/matron of honor – how is that for confusing?) As her RSVPs roll in, I am reminded of basic wedding ettiquette that I really need to share:
– Read the envelope. If the invitation is addressed to just Bob & Sue, that means that just Bob & Sue are invited. That does NOT mean that Bob & Sue’s children are invited. Especially not Bob & Sue’s children that are grown, married, and living on their own. If they are invited, they will get their own invitation.
– Sometimes the bride & groom don’t want children (especially young children) at their wedding. They fuss, they get edgy, and let’s face it – they horde all the attention. If they kids are not invited, don’t stop your feet and pout. All you will manage to do is stress the bride & groom out. Find a sitter. Don’t complain.
– Is there a reception after the wedding? If you RSVP that you are attending and then you have to back out, CALL the bride & groom. Let them know. Why? You are costing them money. Sometimes $40 – $50 per head. Yes, they love you and they were willing to spend that much to have you as their guest. If you don’t bother to tell them that you are not going to show up, they pay that money – whether you are there or not. Most places require a final head count approximately 72 hours before the event. If you know, call. Save them the money. (Obviously, if you are suddenly ill or have a similar emergency, you can’t attend. That’s cool. This tip only applies if you know in advance that you won’t be there.)
– Speaking of sick people – if you are ill, don’t attend. Really. I’ve heard horror stories of couples ending up terribly ill throughout their entire honeymoon because of a guest that just couldn’t stand to miss their wedding. No one needs the cooties – stay home. Yeah, it sucks. However, I am sure they will gladly share the pictures with you later. Help keep everyone healthy; don’t give the special gift of your bug.
– Send back the RSVP card, no matter what. There is a stamp on the card. All you have to do is fill in your name. They need the information, send it. Even if it’s after the RSVP date. Most people put that far enough in advance so that if some cards come in late, it’s ok. If you lose the card, send a note, an e-mail, or make a phone call. Just let them know. These people think highly enough of you to invite you, show them that you care about them. (I personally am guilty of not RSVP’ing. If I have done this to you, I’m truly sorry. I have learned my lesson about what headaches this can cause.)
I think that about covers it. Feel free to share any additional advice you might have – or horror stories about your own wedding RSVPs!