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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Importance of Etiquette For Your Special Day

As we venture into another wedding season, as an event planner, I think that etiquette is one of the most important elements of any ceremony and reception.  There are so many etiquette details to cover in a wedding and the reception. Often times, brides are overwhelmed and totally forget the etiquette piece in their planning.  Event Planners are the saving grace to any special event.  We provide the guidance on the fine details of a wedding. Yes it is the bride’s special day, and it is all about her and her groom to be. However,  the focus  should be to make this a lasting memory and not a memorable disaster.

 There are many etiquette rules to follow for a wedding and the reception.  I could go on and on about etiquette, but since this is a blog and not a book, my goal is to stress the importance of etiquette.   Etiquette sets the tone of the wedding day from the moment you send out those fancy invitations and save–the-date cards.  Yes, there is such a thing as invitation etiquette for both the bride and her guests. In order to receive your RSVPs in a properly timed manner, you must first send them out in enough time so that your guests can plan.

 Structure is the key aspect of your wedding and etiquette adds that needed structure.  Etiquette is a form of respect and that respect is shown to your wedding party, vendors and your guests.  All these elements are what make your wedding day one of the most special days in your life. For each element of your day, there are details such as how to conduct the ceremony, to conducting the reception.   Starting your ceremony on time is probably the most important aspect of your wedding when it comes to etiquette.  Nobody likes to sit and wait for a ceremony to start. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes; would you like to be sitting and waiting for the bride or the groom to show up?  In order to prevent mishaps such as lateness, it is imperative to follow a wedding day itinerary. If you hire an event planner, this should be one of the major tasks completed by the planner in order to ensure that your day runs smoothly.

Depending on religious practices, ceremony lengths will differ. Therefore it must be understood that etiquette must be in line with religious practices.  Receptions are no different, as they require certain etiquette practices as well. From the introduction of the newlywed couple, to the first dance and the cake cutting, these practices have etiquette standards that will make your reception a memorable event.
Etiquette practices must be engaged right from the beginning of your planning.  There are many books to guide you in the process of using etiquette.  Having a wedding planner assist you with ceremony etiquette is the best way to ensure that the bride and groom understand the protocol for their ceremony.  The Bridal party must also understand the importance of etiquette as well. When etiquette is implemented into a ceremony and reception, everything else will fall into place.  

I am sure at some point we have all viewed or witnessed a wedding that was not so nice.  Most likely, there wasn’t any emphasis on etiquette and the end result was a rushed attempt at something that should have been a beautiful thing. Understanding the importance of etiquette is only half the battle. Incorporating it in to your planning, rehearsal, ceremony and reception is winning the battle.

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