Call it a bridezilla moment if you will, but I need to rant. I am so tired of the scapegoat ‘you can’t teach class’ when it comes to wedding etiquette. Uh, yes you can? Not being raised with proper manners isn’t even close to being an excuse. We live in a world where etiquette doesn’t have to be taught by your parents, all. you. have. to. do. is. GOOGLE IT.
This very effective form of getting information on how to behave in particular situations will fair you well in all arenas of your life, but especially in the world of weddings. Where there exists arbitrary rule after arbitrary rule.. mixed in with SOME VERY IMPORTANT rules that you should at least be aware of.
As a guest to a plethora of weddings in the past, I too have found myself bumbling around google searching for answers to my pressing questions… like: when do I buy the gift? and what if the registry is full? Do people still gift lingerie at bachelorette parties? Was that ever even a thing? Duties as a bridesmaid? What if I loathe my bridesmaid dress? Do you still send a gift if you don’t attend the wedding? What are the customs of a Jewish wedding? But really, when do we get to do the horah? …and the list goes on. Google is my ally, by best resource… and I am generously willing to share its magical secrets with you.
Now, this rant didn’t come about because of gifts we have received. Every gift, whether big or small, I cherish so deeply.
This isn’t about wearing white to bridal activities. I wouldn’t care if everyone in the entire place wore white, probably wouldn’t even notice. It’s not about meddling or drama… or budgeting or vendors. Not about guests who drink too much, or embarrassing speeches. No, no. This rant, my friends, is about the RSVP.
We’ve had quite a few RSVPs come back with pluses added that were not given. Believe it or not, one came back with two pluses. (Let that sink in). Not to mention I’ve had to squirm through quite a number of uncomfortable confrontations about bringing guests or if so-and-so was invited. I have even had to wince through the cringe-worthy “how come I wasn’t invited?” We truly wanted to invite all of our friends, we would have loved to. We started with a list close to 400, that we cut to 175. 400 people that we love and care about that we wanted to be able to celebrate with. People that it pained us to cross off the list and not be able to invite.
And 175 wasn’t arbitrary! To add guests brings us in the uncomfortable position of adding another bus (this is the one that set off my rant- another bus because I’m over by 3 people we didn’t invite!), more rentals, more food, more favors, more staff. But more importantly, 175 keeps the wedding intimate, filled with only our nearest and dearest. We wanted to avoid having to introduce ourselves to anyone at the wedding… because we wanted everyone there to already mean something special to us. You can understand that, can’t you?
SO, if you’ve found this page using the magic of the google, then I feel inclined to leave you with some lessons for RSVP etiquette.
Here they are. Foolproof Class.
- If it says “+ guest” on your envelope, you get to bring a guest! Please write your guests name along with your name on the RSVP card.
- Speaking of that. You need to write your name on the line of the RSVP. You’d never believe how many people forget to do this.
- If it doesn’t say “+ guest” on your envelope, you don’t get a guest. Just you are invited. by yourself.
- If you have a significant other, you may, under certain polite circumstances, inquire one time with the bride and groom if there’s any possibility of bringing along your significant other. Would I personally ever send this text or make this call? nope. But it has not offended me when a guest politely brings up once that they would really love to bring along their new boy/girlfriend, especially since they are traveling such a distance. Please remind the bride and groom that you are sorry to bother them and you completely understand if the answer is no.
- If it says RSVP by a certain date, it means put the card in the mail by that date.
- Put your initials next to your entree choice. Put your guests initials next to their entree choice.
- Do not assume your children are invited. If their names are not on the invite, they are not invited. But it might not just be because the bride and groom don’t want little heathens running amuck, it very well could be that the venue does not allow children! Or if they do, you have to take out an extra insurance policy. This is perhaps the most difficult one for the bride and groom, and thus the most important one to take note of!
I am so grateful that I’m in a position where our loved ones are so excited to celebrate with us that they want more the merrier, and we are honestly doing our best to accommodate everyone. I don’t blame anyone for slacking in the RSVP etiquette department, just had to get a quick rant off my chest so I can move on and get back to pulling all nighters panicking about minute details that no one will ever even notice.