Wedding, Bride, Groom.
Wedding, Bride, Groom.

Basic Wedding Etiquette For The Wedding Parties

I wonder who were the Kardashians of cavemen times. Surely there had to be a family who had all of the nicest furs and beef and bedazzled cave painted caves but nobody knew what they did to earn it? And I think what really gets people upset about the Kardashians is that they think they don’t have the best etiquette.

So in this article, we will talk about proper wedding etiquette.

Whether you look at aboriginal committment ceremonies, the multi-day Indian wedding festivals or a simple courthouse wedding, they all have their own sets of guidelines and manners to follow. My redneck relatives may not be as posh as upper crust Park Avenue types but they have their own important wedding etiquette too.

We can celebrate or blame the Victorians for our traditional wedding customs. They were an educated and well-mannered society. Because they valued manners and behavior so much, there were many books written about wedding etiquette in the 1800s.

But what are the fundamentals? Should we stick to everything Emily Post told us to do?

Wedding Event Social Manners Basic Principles

Here are some of the basic wedding etiquette for the wedding parties and the guests:

For the groom and bride:

  • If you are having a formal wedding celebration, then you must have formal wedding invitations. If it’s going to more like a party with close friends and relatives, then an informal invitation is ok.
  • Send out the invitation 6 weeks before the wedding. If you are going to have a destination wedding, then you need to send out a Save The Date cards at least 6 months prior. That way guests have time to save up and pay for the trip as well as get time off from work.
  • Unless your church has a strict dress code, then you don’t need to have a traditional white dress. Really any color is good to go these days. Except for black. Unless of course you’re doing a goth chick wedding.
  • Grooms can wear either a suit or a tux. If you’re having a beach wedding, then nice cargo pants would be ok.
  • In your invitation, put a link to your wedding website. On the website, you can list where you are registered. It’s still not socially acceptable in the west to ask for cash.

For the guests:

Before the wedding – reply to your invitation within two weeks. The couple needs to know how many people are coming to plan their reception.

  • If the invitation is formally worded, then assume it’s formal attire. Even if the invitation doesn’t indicate how to dress.
  • Guests don’t have to buy anything. So if you are tight on money or ran out of time in buying a gift, don’t miss out on the reception to celebrate with them

Before or one year after the wedding, gifts may be sent to the couple. This is a nice touch, in particular for family and friends who were not able to make the ceremony. Or in the case if the gift is impractical to carry back and forth from the wedding venue.


This is a guest post. You can get more wedding tips by reading more articles like this from Mark Wilcox at