The Hythe Imperial Hotel guide to wedding etiquette

Here at the Hythe Imperial Hotel, we help many couples experience the wedding day of their dreams. Weddings can vary enormously, from the laid back to the very formal, but there are some common themes as to what is ‘expected’ from a couple in the build up to the wedding and the event itself – here are just a few pointers on wedding etiquette.

Announcing your engagement – if you have just got engaged, of course you will want to tell the world but do make a point of telling your family and close friends personally before splashing the news all over social media! (And don’t publicise anyone else’s engagement news as that is their business!)

Asking for financial help – it is best to be upfront with your loved ones if you need any support to pay for your wedding. But remember, it is not a competition and attitudes around this delicate subject vary enormously depending on personal circumstances and experiences. Any financial help at all should be gratefully – and graciously – received.

Offering a free bar – there is absolutely no need to cover the cost of the drinks for the whole night, though it is fairly standard practice to provide a welcome drink and the wine accompanying dinner. But you need to do what is right for you and your budget.

Asking for money instead of gifts – this is a tricky one and an opinion divider but if you already live with your partner and don’t need a traditional list of household items, you could perhaps ask your guests to contribute to a ‘honeymoon fund’.

Do we have to invite friends’ partners? – there is no obligation to do anything as it’s your wedding but the key is to be consistent and treat your guests fairly.

Should singletons be offered a ‘plus one’? – Plus ones can get expensive; some couples also prefer not to meet someone for the first time on their special day. It is worth considering of the guest will be happy solo – if they are unlikely to know anyone else at the wedding welcoming their plus one will make for a happier time!

Do we have to invite friends of our parents? – this really depends on your relationship with your parents and whether you get on with their friends. Again, consistency is key here – if you are inviting your parents’ friends, then the same offer should be extended to your partner’s. It your parents are contributing to your wedding, it is probably polite to let them bring along some chums.

When should we send invitations? – these should be sent around three months before the wedding. If you are getting married in the summer and are worried about people booking holidays, then consider sending a ‘save the date’ well in advance so that your family and friends don’t miss your big day. Some couples chose to include in Christmas cards!

How should we word the invitations? – it is traditional for the invitations to be from the bride’s parents (especially if they are paying for the wedding) but if you are happier sending it from you and your partner, then that’s fine too! Include as much information with the invitation as you can including your gift list, the dress code, hotels and so on.

And finally – don’t forget to pen thank you notes once back from honeymoon – they should be sent within three months of your big day!

The Hythe Imperial wedding planners have many years’ experience and can advise on any aspects of your special day. Contact us for a show-round today

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