We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,
“I just don’t know what tradition is!”
or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”
or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”
We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex, or sticky, areas of etiquette worry. In this one we focus on wedding parties, their responsibilities, and how to best navigate those conversations.
After the cheek-cramping smiles and “Holy moly, is this really happening?”s of the proposal have subsided slightly, you might start to think about to whom you want to tell your great news. Shortly after the news has been spread and you’ve dipped your toe into the planning pool, the consideration of wedding parties creeps in. Some couples know without a second thought who they want standing up with them in their ceremony. Some have no wedding party at all. Wedding parties have shaken up the status quo a lot recently with Bridesmen, Best Maids, and more! Still, we are presented with several etiquette questions surrounding the wedding party.
Once again, communication, consideration, and compromise are KEYS to succeeding here. Being a part of a wedding can be stressful and seem clouded in unspoken mysteries. So we encourage you to open the door to those 3 C’s. It will help you and your loved ones glide through this process with ease.
Asking someone to be in your wedding is an intimate honor. How you ask is uniquely up to you. However, the commitment does not end with their acceptance. You have a few responsibilities to help them be the best attendants possible and to help you be the best host possible. Traditionally, when asking for someone to join your wedding party, it was understood who was financially responsible for what. Did you know, traditionally, the couple pays for the lodging of their wedding party the weekend of the wedding? Did you know, traditionally, the wedding party is financially responsible for their hair and makeup and attire for the event? Now this blog wouldn’t be an Infinity Events blog if we didn’t help you “create your own adventure”. It is definitely up to you and your fiance to decide what you can afford to cover for your party. However, we advise you find a way to discuss this with them. A statement as simple as, “We would love for you to be in our wedding party, and we will gladly cover your hair and makeup costs.” or “While we are not able to cover your airfare to our wedding, we will have a room reserved for you.” would help clear up for them what they will need to save up for.
Keep in mind that your wedding party might not all know each other. It’s helpful to create a page or message link to help facilitate these new relationships. Sharing phone numbers, emails, even addresses can help connect your party so that you are not the only point of contact on the wedding weekend.
On the wedding day, be sure to feed your people. They are committing a whole day to celebrating and supporting you! It is important that you thank them by providing food and drinks that day. Some couples choose to also give their party gifts of thanks. Discuss this with your fiance to find what fits best with you and your budget.
Now, on the other side of this, say YOU have been asked to be a part of a wedding party. What etiquette should you be aware of? Gifts, showers, trips, attire, active assistance. What falls on you? Well, it’s traditionally the Maid of Honor and Best Man’s duties to throw the bachelorette and bachelor parties. But these days, the whole party can chip in with ideas and or finances. And what kind of party are you throwing? You could throw a shower or brunch, a full weekend getaway, or a week long cruise. It’s important to learn what the couple wants. You want to make sure you are celebrating them the way they wish to be celebrated.
And finally, keep in mind that in many cases, the couple is planning their first wedding. They may not know what they need help with. So it is important to reach out throughout the engagement to see if they need any help with ideas or logistics or anything.
We understand that relationship dynamics are endlessly complex and unique. If you are struggling with how to navigate a conversation or clear up a miscommunication, reach out to your Infinity Events Certified Wedding Planner to talk it through. It often helps to talk it out with someone neutral first. We are always glad to brainstorm or give advice on what we’ve seen help couples and their parties succeed!
The Infinity Events Team!