|When it comes to giving gifts, flowers, plus-ones and other perks to your wedding party, family and guests, it can be hard to remember all the right traditions and rules of etiquette. Here are some tips on planning the perks.
Who gets a plus-one?
The wedding etiquette on plus-ones is a bit tricky. Ultimately, it’s up to your discretion. If it’s within your budget to allow every guest to bring a date, then when you compile your guest list, you’ll have to assume that your head count will be twice that amount. Traditionally, everyone over the age of 16 is invited to bring a guest. When inviting a friend that has a boyfriend or girlfriend, address the outer envelope to one recipient’s house and the inner envelope with the couples’ first names.
If you’re on a tight budget, you have every right to simplify your guest list. Consider having a light hearted conversation with any of your single buddies that may not know that a ‘plus one’ invitation doesn’t mean that you MUST bring a date. Let your friends know before the invitations arrive that they have an option to also attend your wedding solo, while still allowing them the option to choose. All in all, many of your close friends may have more fun attending the reception stag, especially if they are friends with your other guests.
Who gets corsages and boutonnieres?
The tradition of giving corsages and boutonnieres to wedding party members has less to do with who carries them and more to do with an ancient Greek belief that flowers would ward off evil spirits. Nowadays, it’s simply a lovely accent to your wedding parties’ attire.
There are no strict rules of etiquette that dictate which individuals should be given corsages and boutonnieres. With the exception of the bridesmaids, who generally carry a bouquet of fresh flowers, anyone who contributes to the Wedding Day or participates in your ceremony may be expecting to receive a corsage (such as your grandparents, godparents or extended family members). As a rule of thumb, if you give one grandparent a corsage or boutonniere, you should give every grandparent and great-grandparent the same honor.
In lieu of a boutonniere, the groom can provide a monogrammed pocket square in the color of the bridesmaids’ wedding dresses that can double as a ‘thank you’ gift to each of his groomsmen. The pocket square can also add a ‘pop of color’ to the grooms’ side of the wedding party much like a boutonniere.
In place of costly corsages, provide a single flower (which can cut your costs significantly) to those most near and dear to you, before your ceremony begins. Have a vase ready for them to place their flower in at the reception until they are ready to depart at the end of the night.
Who gets to sit with the bride and groom at the reception?
Traditionally, the bridal party will be seated with the bride and groom during the reception at one long table, often on risers that face the rest of the guest tables. Yet, many couples are opting to be seated at a sweetheart table while the rest of the wedding party is seated with their spouses, family or close friends. The sweetheart table can seat just the couple, or it can include the best man and the maid of honor and their significant others, or even the parents of the bride and groom.
Who gets a personal greeting from the couple?
Well, in Indonesia, it’s not uncommon for weddings to have upward of 1,000 guests—all of whom are entitled to personal greetings from the bride and groom before the reception can begin. Finding time to greet each guest on your Wedding Day should be a piece of cake in comparison. However, depending on the type of reception you’re having, you might be crunched for time. Try this: Just after your weddingparty has entered the reception and your guests have been seated, borrow the MC’s mic and take a moment to thank all those who came to witness and celebrate your Wedding Day, letting them know how important their presence means to the both of you. You can still make a plan as a couple to try and greet each guest individually without the added stress of worrying about whether or not you will miss anyone. You can also make a pact with your spouse to keep all guest greetings short and sweet.
Who gets party favors?