Your Etiquette Questions Answered! Part 4

Posted by Kim on Apr 05, 2013

Photo by Carolina Studios by Gillian Reinhardt

Thank you so much for submitting your etiquette questions to us! We received a bunch of queries, and because the WeddingWire team wants to help clear up any wedding-related drama in your lives, we’ll continue to answer a question a week for the next few weeks. Feel free to continue submitting questions to us via FacebookTwitteremail, or the comments below. We’ll try to answer as many of your tough etiquette questions as we can! Here’s today’s Q&A:

Courtney asks (via comments): What’s the proper etiquette on rehearsal dinner invitations? Can we include the rehearsal dinner invite in the bundle with our wedding invitation (obviously, only adding that in for the people invited to the rehearsal dinner)? We’ve heard it’s a great way to save some money, but we’ve also heard it’s tacky to not send them a separate invite. Thoughts?

We usually recommend sending out rehearsal dinner invitations under separate cover, especially if there are two different parties hosting the separate events. For example, if your parents are paying for the wedding and your spouse-to-be’s parents are handling the rehearsal dinner, there should be two invitations. Also, if you do include the rehearsal dinner invitation with the wedding invitation, your guests may think everyone is invited to the night-before celebration which can cause confusion. So, bottom line: To be on the safe side, keep the invitations separate.

Danielle asks (via email): I am planning a wedding in a relatively short time and because of budgetary concerns, can only invite about 75 people.  How do I leave guests out, especially members of the extended family, without offending them?  Would it help to contact them directly and explain to them why they did not receive an invitation?

The most important thing to remember when creating your guest list is consistency. If you invite one first cousin, you have to invite them all. If you create these sorts of guidelines and stick to them, there’s a smaller chance people will be insulted. Be open and honest with your uninvited family members and friends – these are people who love and care about you, so they’ll understand. And, if you’d like, you can even throw a casual barbeque or cocktail party after the official wedding to celebrate your marriage.

Crystal asks (via email): My ceremony and reception are in the same location – and of course there is an open bar for the reception. The hotel is about a 15 minute drive away. Is it expected nowadays to have a shuttle to take guests to and from the hotel, or would it suffice to provide cab information in my welcome bags? Transportation really isn’t in our budget, but I don’t want anyone to be put out (or, worse, driving after drinking!).

Providing transportation for your guests is a thoughtful gesture, but it’s not a must. Talk to the hotel where your guests are staying – many hotels can provide an inexpensive (or even complimentary!) shuttle if a significant number of guests are staying there. You can also ask your venue for suggestions on transportation companies – perhaps they have connections to help you get a good rate. If that’s not an option, you can certainly provide cab information in your welcome bags – or even better, arrange for taxis to be waiting outside your venue at the end of the wedding. That way, guests won’t be stuck waiting for too long.

Daryll asks (via Facebook): Is it insulting or otherwise inappropriate to include a line on your wedding invitations regarding requested dress for your wedding: black tie optional? formal attired preferred or similar?

It’s not insulting to include a dress code on your invitation. Our only recommendation would be to use standard language so it’s not confusing for your guests. “Black Tie Optional” is probably the easiest to understand – men can wear tuxedos, but a dark suit is okay, too. It may sound like fun to have a creative dress code like “Country Club Chic” or “Renaissance Attire Preferred,” but such attire restrictions will be confusing and even stressful for your guests – so avoid them!