Your Etiquette Questions, Answered! Part 1

Posted by Kim on Apr 02, 2013

Photo by King Street Studios

Yesterday, we asked you to send us your burning etiquette questions, and all this week, we’ll be answering them! Today, we’ll discuss hosting a ceremony and reception in the same room, dealing with stepparents, and letting guests know about your registries.

Carey asks (via Facebook): The venue where we our having our ceremony and reception is one large room. Is it proper etiquette to ask people to sit at the reception tables during the ceremony or should I try to separate the space into ceremony and reception?

This isn’t so much of an etiquette issue as a stylistic one. There isn’t anything wrong with asking guests to sit at tables during the ceremony (as long as everyone is comfortable and can see the proceedings). However, we think it’s best to create a different environment between the ceremony and reception. Is it possible for you to divide the room? Or to create a more traditional ceremony space, host cocktail hour in a different part of the venue, and re-stage the room for the reception? Find out what other couples who married in the space have done – and ask for photos – to help you make an informed decision.

Marie asks (via comments): What is an appropriate way to let guests know where you have registered? Is it tacky to put them in the invitations? I have noticed a lot of weddings I have been to lately doing that.

It is not considered proper etiquette to include registry information in your wedding invitations. The best way to let guests know about where you’re registered is to include this information on your wedding website, and provide the link on your save the dates. You can also inform your close family and wedding party about your registries, so they can provide an informed answer if other guests ask.

Kari asks (via email): I’m recently engaged, so I’m overjoyed with wedding planning and things to come. However I’ve hit a bit of a road block because my parents divorced when I was young, and remarried, leaving me with stepparents. I love both my stepfather and stepmother dearly, as they have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Do you have any advice on how to include everyone equally without upsetting anyone? I’m stuck!

There are lots of ways to incorporate both your parents and stepparents in your wedding. Particularly if your stepparents are contributing financially, be sure to include them on the invitations and allow them to be part of the planning process. At the ceremony, your stepparents can have important roles – if you’d like, you can have your stepfather walk you part of the way down the aisle, and then your father can escort you the rest of the way. Make sure your stepmother is given a prime seat – you may also have her walk down the aisle, or even do a reading if you’d like to give her an even bigger role. You can also save a special dance for your stepfather at the reception. The most important thing is to make sure that everyone is comfortable – and that you’re as communicative as possible with all sides. Your stepparents will be honored and grateful that you’re making such an effort to include them in your special day.

Do you have etiquette questions for us? Send them our way via email, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section!