Bridal Etiquette
and wedding invitation etiquette

Before sending out your wedding invitations, with regards to bridal etiquette, be absolutely specific in the invitations. Find out the names of partners and spouses of people you wish to invite and get them right. This means a phone call.

This is also the ideal time to inform your guests of your policy towards inviting children, dates for unwed guests and even gifts registries or cash gifts.

Whether to invite children is a delicate matter. You may want to cut costs or ensure a peaceful evening without little ones misbehaving or their sleeping habits. Either way, it is your decision. Make it crystal clear by inviting your guests to an `adult reception and leaving the children's names off the invitation, if this is your intention.

If you are inviting children, again be specific! Never send invitations saying `Mr & Mrs Smith and family. How do you cater for that? You need to know exactly how many people are coming so each has a chair and a dinner. The names of the children must be included in the wedding invitation. Grown up children receive their own invitation if bringing their partner, not their summer fling.

If your guest is married, engaged or living with their partner, both parties are invited by name on your guest's invitation. For a quiet life, never send out an invitation that reads `guest'. Your sworn enemy could come as somebody's date. Having place names at the dinner table also makes it much harder for wedding crashers it happens.

It is never appropriate for single guests to ask if he can bring a date unless they are engaged or in a long-term relationship. You have every right to decline politely.

If you consider inviting out-of-towners, use your best judgement. Is this person truly a close friend whom you need to attend? Remember, the cost of travel and accommodation can be significant. If you aren't close, or the cost is too great, send a wedding announcement.


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