For newly engaged couples planning a wedding for the first time, it can be stressful to know the proper wedding etiquette when it comes to who's invited to what event.
You’ll want to know first off how much you have in your budget so you can plan properly when creating the guest list. Once you've finalized your wedding guest list, you'll probably discover that you can’t invite everyone on that list to all the wedding events & stay within budget.
From invites to toasts, here’s a breakdown of all the wedding events leading up to the big day and most importantly – who to invite for what event.
When does it take place: 1-3 months after your engagement
An engagement is a celebration in yours and your fiancé’s honor so normally, you won’t do the majority of the planning. Be sure to invite family members on both sides, close friends, grandparents, closest aunts, uncles, cousins, and the bridal party. You might want to invite your entire wedding guest list, but you’ll want to give your engagement party a completely different feel from your actual wedding. And if you’re not inviting someone to your wedding, do not invite them to any of your
When does it take place: 1-3 months before the wedding date
The Bride's Closest Female Friends and Relatives: No, you don't need to invite every single female wedding guest (unless it's a particularly intimate wedding). Simply send invitations to the closest female friends and relatives of the bride.
Close Female Relatives of the Groom: Consider inviting the close female relatives of the groom too, especially if his mother is hosting or helping to plan the party. Essentially, anyone who shares a close relationship with the bride should be there.
When does it take place: 2 months – 1 week before wedding day
One last wild night! Your bridal party will most likely plan this fun excursion. You just have to decide who to invite. Be sure to spend time on the guest list, which usually includes the bride’s closest friends. You should always extend an invite for any sisters of the bride and groom even if they’re not in the wedding party.
When does it take place: The night before the wedding
If you’re footing the bill for your wedding, you and your fiancé have complete control over who to invite. This is the perfect time to practice before your big day so it’s important to invite those who will play a role on your wedding day. This means anyone who is doing a reading, the ushers, and/or your officiant. The immediate family should always be invited to this intimate event. That also includes any parents, siblings, and grandparents.
What’s a party without guests? One of the hardest (but most important) parts of planning your wedding is creating the guest list. It’s a little more complicated, though, than simply making a list of everyone you’d like to celebrate with. There are people you’ll have to invite, others you really want to skip, and those who may or may not make the cut, depending on your venue’s capacity. So how do you decide who does—and doesn’t—get an invitation to your wedding?
Here are 5 guidelines to help you and your families figure it out:
1. Make a preliminary list with just your partner.
2. Decide where you’ll cut off family invitations—and stick to it.
3. Give both families the same number of extra guests.
4. Make the call about children. Do you want children at the wedding or not?
5. Follow modern “plus one” protocol.
Post Wedding Brunch
When does it take place: Morning after your wedding
If the wedding isn’t a solo event, but a weekend’s worth of celebrating, you’ll need to cater to your guests. Why end the celebrating at the reception? Keep the party going and host a morning-after brunch. Proper etiquette is to invite your entire wedding guest list as it’s a part of the inclusive weekend. You’ll get to spend another day with your guests, especially those who you don’t get to see all that often.
Planning all of these wedding related events can be fun, and a way to get you and your guests excited about your big day. But it’s no secret that the cost of these events are going to start to add up quickly, especially when you’ll still have an entire wedding ceremony and reception to pay for on top of it all. What’s important is to invite your family members and dearest friends that you know will make your day extra special. Don’t feel obligated to send out invites to everyone. It’s your celebration!
Don't invite anyone to additional events who isn't invited to the wedding. This may seem obvious, but inviting people who aren't invited to the wedding is inappropriate. It will likely offend them and will look like you're fishing for gifts. The only exception is an office bridal shower, where coworkers want to shower well wishes on the bride.
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