Bridal Showers

Is it acceptable to invite someone to a bridal shower who is not invited to the wedding?

Usually no, however there are a few exceptions. If a general shower is held at work for all employees to attend, it does not mean that they all need to be invited to the wedding. If the couple is having a courthouse ceremony or destination wedding, it would still be appropriate to throw a shower with guests who will not be at the ceremony. For any other showers, the guest list should include only those that will be invited to the wedding.

I am the maid of honor and would like to throw a bridal shower for the bride but can’t afford to pay for everything. Is it appropriate to ask the bridesmaids to help pay for the expenses?

If you don’t include them in the planning, don’t include them in the paying. Instead of asking them to contribute a certain dollar amount, ask the bridesmaids if they would be interested in helping you put together a shower for the bride. See who would be interested in taking charge of different responsibilities, such as decorations, the cake, invitations, etc. It is very common for the bridesmaids or other friends and relatives to help out with the shower. By letting each one handle a particular detail it helps spread out the financial burden and the satisfaction of putting together something special for the bride. If someone is too busy to help but would like to contribute money than by all means take them up on it, just be sure the bride knows they were a part of making the celebration possible.


What is the proper etiquette when choosing bridesmaids? Do I have to have the sister of the groom in the wedding, if the groom and her are close?

You may choose whomever you please to be a bridesmaid. Your bridesmaids should be trustworthy, reliable people that you can count on to support you during the wedding and throughout your marriage. This issue deserves a conversation with your fiancé. You may want to include her as a nod to your new family. Otherwise, it is becoming more acceptable to have men stand up for the bride and women stand up for the groom. Your fiancé’s sister can stand up for your groom, if you so choose.

My bridesmaids range in size from a 4 to a 24, how do I find a dress that will look good on all of them?

Bridesmaid dresses don’t always have to look identical. You may choose a particular color and fabric and let the girls choose the style they look and feel the most comfortable with. Talk to your bridal shop for ideas on dresses that might work well together or discuss options of having sleeves or neckline changes made to flatter each figure.

I’m having difficulties with one of my bridesmaids and am regretting asking her to be in my wedding. Is there any way I can tell her i don’t want her in my wedding anymore?

Unfortunately, this does happen. Unless you want to absolutely sever all ties with your bridesmaid, it is best to sit down with her, talk about the issues you feel are the problem, and allow her to share her concerns. Discuss whether or not she still wants to be in the wedding and see if the problems can be resolved. She may be grateful to have “an out.”


My fiancé and I are moving after the wedding and would really prefer monetary gifts. Is there any way to let our guests know this?

Many couples have good reasons for desiring cash gifts instead of another type of gift, however, it is unacceptable to formally request them. What you can do is tell your absolute closest friends and family members that cash gifts would be welcome and hope that your guests will find out from word-of-mouth. Do not register for fewer items in your bridal registry hoping people will take the hint. You will simply receive miscellaneous items you do not want. Also consider some travel agencies and furniture stores have registries where people can actually put money
towards a large purchase.

Is it customary to give a gift for a second wedding even if I gave a gift for the first wedding?

Showers and registries are perfectly normal for second weddings, however, it is up to the guests to decide if they feel it is appropriate to bring a gift, especially if they attended and gave a gift at the first wedding.


I’m having a formal reception, complete with butler passed hors d’oeuvres and white glove service. I don’t want anyone showing up in jeans. how do I tell my guests to dress accordingly?

Ideally, guests would understand that a formal event after 6 o’clock is a black tie affair, however, if you’re concerned at all you may simply include “Black tie” on the bottom right hand corner of your invitations. This should clear up any questions.

Although no children have been invited to my wedding, one couple’s RSVP included their children. We have limited space, how do we address this issue? I know there will be hurt feelings if others see these children at the wedding and their children were excluded!

The fact that your invitations were only addressed to the adults should have been a clear indication! Call the couple and explain that the wedding is a small, intimate affair, and while their children are wonderful, you don’t want anyone else to feel hurt. In addition, point out reasons from their perspective. Perhaps the venue is not kid-friendly. Chances are, they were not even aware of their oversight and will be more than happy to comply. Otherwise, you may want to consider hiring a babysitter, especially if you expect other families to do the same thing.

My wedding is at 1:00 but we cannot get into the reception hall until 5:00. We don’t have enough room at our house to entertain all of our out-of-town guests. What do we do?

Unfortunately this is a common problem. If it is possible to find an intermediate location such as a park shelter or hall where light refreshments can be served that would be ideal. Without adding expense, another option would be to include information with the invitation on various tourist locations, museums, or other points of interest guests may enjoy while waiting.


Can we include where we are registered on our invitations?

It is never acceptable to include registry information on your wedding invitations or in the same envelope as your wedding invitations. It is in poor form and too much like asking for gifts. Invitations are a celebration of your marriage, which is about much more than gifts.

What is the difference between an announcement and an invitation?

A wedding announcement simply proclaims your news, there is no inviting involved. Announcements are typically used in cases where a small private ceremony is held, or if the destination is far away. Announcements are typically sent on the day of the event or shorty after. The invitation on the other hand may be similar in some of the wording, but the main purpose is to invite the recipient to attend. Invitations are sent out typically 6 to 8 weeks in advance of the wedding.

Thank You Notes

How long after the wedding should we mail out thank you notes?

Traditionally, you have four weeks after the wedding to send out thank you notes. For gifts received before the wedding, the norm is two weeks. Try to keep up with your thank-you notes. As gifts come in, send out a note, so it doesn’t become overwhelming.