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Dine’s Wedding Etiqutte Guide for 2020

07/02/2020

With January topping the charts as the peak month for wedding enquiries and the first wedding season of a new decade just around the corner, Helen Eriksen, founder of Helen Eriksen Wedding & Event Design, is providing her expert insight into dos and don’ts to make sure you’re well prepared for the big event.

Fast becoming a completely personal, rather than traditionally religious event, people all over the world now design their own weddings in bespoke detail. No two ceremonies are the same and traditions are often left at the door.

But what does this mean for wedding etiquette? With the turn in decade placing us firmly in the digital age, do traditional rules remain, or have they been updated to make way for new ones?

Dine has partnered with Helen, who plans and designs elegant and luxurious weddings throughout the UK and Europe, to deliver the definitive guide to wedding etiquette to see you through your own big day or attendance at another’s.

When it comes to your big day, make it truly yours. I firmly believe that your wedding planning journey should be just as memorable as your wedding celebration.

“Be open minded about your day and never rule anything out – at least initially! It’s a good idea to be receptive to other people’s advice and ideas, but make sure you have the day you want.

Helen Eriksen

1. RSVPlease…

When you receive a wedding invite, whether you can attend or not, it’s good manners to make sure you let the bride and groom know at least at least four weeks before the big day.

It can be frustrating for the wedding party and wedding planner if they receive a late respondent when the seating plan and order for the evening meal has already been submitted.

Helen says:

“As a guest, you will often receive a ‘Save the Date’ at the six-twelve month out mark, followed by an official wedding invitation at least six-weeks before the wedding. This should be ample time to check whether you can be there on the day, so it is expected that by the time the final seating plan is made, the wedding party have no last-minute surprises…”

 

Belle & Beau Photography

This also applies to bringing a plus one to a wedding when not stated on your invite.

Helen adds:

“Cost per head for wedding guests can get very high, so bringing a plus one without them being invited is really not the done thing.

“A way around this is to ask the wedding party to consider assigning you a plus one if they have any other guests drop out or decline when you send your RSVP.”

 

2. Keep it anti-social

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – these big hitters are here to stay and with that comes the desire to showcase your friend of family member’s wedding live to one or all channels.

Even so, keep your phone switched off during the wedding ceremony. No one wants embarrassing alarms and ringtones going off mid-vows, but it also makes sure your phone doesn’t get in the way of official photos.

Nkima Photgraphy

More and more couples now explicitly ask attendees to leave their phones at the door with assertions such as ‘This is an unplugged ceremony’, specifically to ensure guests aren’t distracted or experiencing the day through a lens.

Helen says:

“This unplugged rule also applies to the wedding party pre-ceremony, as there have been instances where bridesmaids have uploaded an image or video of the bride to their social media accounts and the groom has logged-on and seen her before the wedding!

“There are many responsibilities for members of the wedding party to take care of pre-ceremony, so leaving your social updates for later in the day shouldn’t be a problem.”

 

3. Leave your ‘Big News’ at home…

When a group of friends or family members get to a certain age, the milestone invites tend to all flood in in the space of a year or two. When one friend is celebrating their wedding, another could be ready to announce the pregnancy of their first child.

But, be mindful and don’t steal your friend’s thunder – it isn’t acceptable to announce your promotion, pregnancy or engagement news on another’s big day.

Helen adds;

“Announcing big news at another person’s wedding is parallel to showing up in a white dress and really should be avoided. It really is the bride and groom’s big day to celebrate with their loved ones and having that overshadowed by someone else can be really disappointing.”

 

4. It’s good to give

Traditionally, guests bought the bride and groom household items from their gift list, but as couples tend to live together well in advance of their nuptials these days, gift requests been updated to include honeymoon money, charitable donations and in some cases, nothing! Either way, it is important to keep note of any particular requests the bride and groom make on their invitation and stick to it.

For destination weddings, especially weddings abroad, it is considerate to bring a smaller, ‘packable’ gift with you instead of a large item which may be costly for the newlyweds to take back to the UK with them.

Helen advises:

“If a couple is hosting a destination wedding abroad and asked for honeymoon contributions then you should probably refrain from bringing a large present with you for them to carry along with them. Even though it isn’t as common anymore, some couples still choose to go on their honeymoon straight after the wedding party, so lugging their presents back home falls to the wider wedding party.”

 

 5.Do it your way!

Wedding day frustrations occasionally build from the pressure to appease the wants of family members and friends. Sometimes this is unavoidable, however, it is important to remember that other members of the wedding party and attendees may have their own rules for what makes a wedding, it doesn’t mean they have to apply to yours.

Helen says:

“When it comes to your big day, make it truly yours. I firmly believe that your wedding planning journey should be just as memorable as your wedding celebration.

“Be open minded about your day and never rule anything out – at least initially! It’s a good idea to be receptive to other people’s advice and ideas, but make sure you have the day you want.

Helen adds:

“Your wedding should reflect the two of you, and that doesn’t always mean adhering to tradition. If you want to make a speech as the bride, do it! If you want a child-free day, that’s up to you. An alternative to the wedding breakfast? Not a problem. Adding personality is so important: they can transform standard parts of your wedding day into things that become the most memorable elements of the occasion.”

 

Howsham Hall
Emma Pilkington

Whether you’re looking forward to a traditional romantic wedding, a simple and elegant affair or an informal theme – Dine will design the dream day for you. Our mission statement is to ‘make every event special’.

Our most recent blog showcasing our top 2020 wedding trends will help you get the creative ideas flowing, so all that is left to do is share them with the Dine team!

Helen and Dine have been managing and designing luxury weddings together for couples and their guests for a combined 40 years. From traditional British weddings to personalised, if you are looking for a wedding management team in Yorkshire, get in touch.

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