Category Archives: Miss Manners

Save the Date Cards

Once you have set your date and established a guest list, you may consider sending save the date cards. Save the date cards are an excellent way to formally announcing your engagement, while politely allowing your friends and family to mark their calendars. They are also especially helpful if you are planning a destination wedding, or if your nuptials are being held over a holiday.

Like many aspects of wedding planning, save the date cards also require specific etiquette protocol:

Save the date cards may be mailed up to one year, or more, in advance of your wedding, however they do not replace a formal invitation, and should mention that a wedding invitation will follow.

Every guest who receives a save the date card should also receive a formal invitation. For instance, you must not invite a guest and later choose to not invite them. So, when sending save the dates, one must be certain of their guest list.

Save the date cards should be simple. All that is required are your names, wedding date, and the city.

Save the date cards come in many forms. They may coordinate with your formal invitations; there are also many fun designs that show your personality. In our modern era, save the dates can even be emailed with links attached to a couple’s wedding website.

Wedding Registry Do’s and Don’ts

wedding-registryDo choose stores that are low, medium, and high-end. Also, register for many gifts in a wide range of prices, so guests have a variety to choose from.

Don’t tell your wedding guests where you are registered. Once you have registered, give the information to immediate family, very close friends, and wedding party, and allow them to spread the word. If you are asked where you have registered, it is perfectly fine to tell, but it is not proper to include registry information in a wedding invitation. Registry information may be included on a wedding website, as long as the actual name of the store is not included on the same layer as the main wedding information. Organize your website so that guests must click down one level to locate registry details.

Do complete your registry four to six months before the wedding. This will give guests time to purchase gifts for the big day and also for your shower.

Don’t ask for money. However, while it’s inappropriate to ask for money directly, financial registries have made this less awkward by allowing couples to register for their honeymoon through a travel agency or an online service such as TheHoneymoon.com. Some banks have programs that allow couples to establish a special account to which guests may give money earmarked for a down payment on a home.

Do display your gifts in a central location within your home, such as your dining room, to share with your intimate friends and visitors. Emily Post’s book states that wedding presents should be sent ahead of time so they can be unwrapped and displayed in the bride’s home “to show them off in a pleasing manner, not to brag but to show appreciation of people’s kindness”.

Do review your registry every few weeks, and more frequently as the wedding approaches. Use your updated registry to help you keep up with your thank you notes. Ideally, you should acknowledge every present immediately; writing a note the day you receive it is best, but sending it within two weeks is also acceptable. Of course, the period surrounding your wedding is a busy time; if you fall behind, just make every effort to send a thank you as soon as you can, but no later than two months after the event.

Who to Invite?

Are your guest list and budget incompatible? Try creating four lists and label them A, B, C, and D. Your A-list should include those who you cannot imagine being absent on your wedding day, such as immediate family members and close friends. Aunts, uncles, cousins and other friends you’ve stayed in touch with should make up your B-list, while your C-list should include coworkers and your parents’ friends. Finally, your D-list will include distant cousins, friends you have lost contact with and your parents’ colleagues. As your list grows and you need to eliminate people, start with your D-list and work your way backward.

It is appropriate to invite an unmarried person without adding “and guest” to the invitation, however if it is known that this person is dating someone seriously, it is thoughtful to invite his or her significant other. It is not acceptable to invite one-half of a married couple, one-half of a couple living together or one-half of an engaged couple.

Think carefully about sending wedding invitations to people you know cannot attend, as it appears to be a solicitation for wedding gifts. If there are people you would like to inform about the wedding, you may send them a wedding announcement after the wedding. If there are people you know will not or cannot attend, but who may feel slighted if they did not receive an invitation, then by all means send one.

If you work in an office of fewer than 10 people and wish to invite coworkers, the proper thing to do is to invite everyone. If you work for a larger company, you may choose to invite only a few colleagues. Remember that if coworkers are married or have a serious significant other, you must include their partners on the invitation.

Wedding Invitations: What to Write?

Your wedding invitation undoubtedly sets the stage for your wedding. Whether you are a modern or traditional bride, it is essential to choose an invitation that represents your personal style. Once that decision is made, selecting the correct verbiage for your invitations is of utmost importance. Here’s a quick rundown for Miss Manners:

Names and Spelling
The host(s), or who is essentially paying for the wedding issues a wedding invitation. The hosts’ name(s) are mentioned first and are spelled out to include middle names and titles. Titles such as Mr. and Mrs. are not spelled out. Doctor should be spelled out, unless the name would be too long to fit on one line. The phrase “the honour of your presence” is used when the ceremony will take place in a house of worship. Honour is spelled with a “u” in the British fashion. For other venues “the pleasure of your company” is the traditional wording. If the bride shares her parents’ last name, only her first and middle name are used. The groom’s name is spelled out, and is preceded by a title. For example: Mr. Stephen Eugene Hall.

Date and Time
The date is also spelled out, as is the year. Note that there is no “and” two thousand thirteen. The day of the week and the month are capitalized; the year is not. Use the phrase “half after” when indicating time, rather than “half past” or “four-thirty.” The phrases “in the afternoon” and “in the evening” are not necessary. Provide the city and state of the wedding location. The state is spelled in full, but may be omitted if all guests are local.

RSVP
RSVP is only used on reception invitations or combination wedding/reception invitations; it’s not used on wedding-only invitations. When used, it goes on the lower left. RSVP on its own indicates that replies should be sent to the return address on the outer envelope of the invitation. If you want replies sent to a different postal address, or to include an email address or phone number as alternative methods, then that information should be put on the lower left below RSVP. RSVP isn’t necessary if you’re including stamped addressed reply cards.

Do not mention gifts or attire on the wedding invitation. It is assumed that most weddings are semi-formal. For formal weddings, “Black tie” may be written in the lower right on a reception invitation.