Etiwhat? Good manners for the matrimony!

by Jenny Bryde 8. December 2014 01:25

Who, what, where, when, why, and how?  And will Aunt Tilly be offended?  Avoiding wedding faux pas can be a daunting task, so today I've collected a number of articles to point the frenzied affianced in the right direction.  Below you will find links to some major guides on how to be proper for your ceremony.  Then again, you may want to throw out the towel and say who cares?  But for those of you who definitely want to avoid Grandmother's severe scrutiny, please feel free to use the tips linked below!

Wedding ceremony basics

Ceremony etiquette 101

Escorting guests to proper seating

Top 24 wedding etiquette questions


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Ceremony Events | Etiquette

Wedding Invitation Wording Woes

by Jenny Bryde 17. November 2014 01:21

I before E except after C.  Okay, I have that one.  When it comes to wedding invitations, however, the rules are a bit more complicated.  Everything from what title to where on the envelope has a rule, and trying to make sure your invitation will be up to snuff for Emily Post can be a little daunting.  Today I wanted to provide some links to the definitive guides for wedding invitation wording in hopes that they can guide you to perfect punctuation.  Along with that, I'm including some of my favorite invitation suites that I've stumbled upon recently.  Beautiful!!  Happy addressing...

Guide from Crane and Co.

Guide from Martha Stewart

Guide from Emily Post


From Ever After Papery

From Royal Style Weddings

From Suite Paper

From Mooseberry Paper Company

Another from Mooseberry Paper Company

From Paper N Peonies

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Etiquette | Jenny Bryde | Stationery

Complaints From Your Future Wedding Guests

by Jenny Bryde 14. July 2014 01:15

It's been a while since we touched on wedding etiquette, so I decided to dedicate this post to a random assortment of wedding etiquette topics.  A heads up that most topics can be debated on either side, but all are interested and necessary to consider when you're planning your wedding.  A good way to think about things is to weigh the pros cons for both the wedding couple, the family, and the guests.  Let's take a closer look at some examples of real life guest complaints afterr attending weddings.  (All of these examples were pulled word for word from wedding chat boards and other websites.)

1) "I went to my "friend's" wedding last summer, in which she had several etiquette breaches, starting with the invitations. I, fortunately, was invited to the entire wedding- ceremony, reception, and cousin, a mutual friend, was invited to just the dance part..."  In this case, it looks like the couple wanted to tailor a wedding with a more intimate gathering for the ceremony.  It also looks like they maybe tried to save money by not inviting certain groups to eat the dinner at the reception but rather to come just to the dance part.  My unbiased opinion?  This is more than okay for the ceremony, but if some guests get fed and others don't, word will spread and people will just not get it.  I would suggest budgeting for a menu and a size of reception that can accommodate all persons you'd like to invite to the reception.  I think it's totally fine to have a smaller gathering for a ceremony.

2) "I had a long term boyfriend and he was not listed on the invitation, which I thought must have been a mistake, so I called and asked if I could bring him- which she said was fine....but 2 weeks before the wedding, she told me not to."  Sometimes in order to tailor the attendance, brides and grooms will decide for or against inviting friends' dates or friends' children or what not.  This can be done for budget reasons or just to keep the gathering from getting to an out of control free for all.  Guests simply will have a wide variety of acceptance levels for this.  Some people grew up in areas where a wedding invite was an open call for you to bring anyone you'd like and that often the whole community would turn out for a wedding.  Brides and grooms need to be specific if they wish to not invite children, for example.  They can do this with specific wording and/or follow up phone calls for the rsvps.  Above all, once you decide whether or not to include certain groups of people, try to make that decision consistent across the board, and for heaven's sake, do not change your mind two weeks before the wedding.  

3) "Well, I showed up at the wedding...the ceremony was nice...but afterwards we had to wait almost THREE HOURS to eat!"  This kind of long wait often happens because brides and grooms wait to see each other until the actual ceremony which pushes all formal family/wedding party pictures until after the ceremony.  Depending on the size of the group and the organization, this picture session can make your guests wait, and wait, and wait.  Here are some ways to combat this.  First, work with your photographer so that there is a specific line up of which picture goes when.  Your photographer will not know names of friends and relatives, so appoint someone to help the photographer by keeping an "on deck" group ready to jump in for the next picture.  For your guests, provide some sort of entertainment and/or sustenance while they wait.  Appetizers, music, or fun activities will help the time go by quickly.  You could also consider taking formal pictures before the ceremony if you and your fiance are open to seeing each other before the ceremony.

4) "It was a CASH BAR! I didn't bring any money to the wedding, so I couldn't drink anything...huge bummer..."  This is a tough one.  Having a cash bar is a relief to the wedding budget because an open bar can encourage people to drink more than normal since they wouldn't pick up the tab.  Even if everyone had a "normal" ammount of alcohol, a large wedding can wrack up a huge charge for someone to pick up.  If you opt for a cash bar, you could consider paying for kegs of beer or X amount of bottles of wine.  You could also try to pick a location that had an ATM on site.  Note to all wedding guests: you should probably carry a little cash or a charge card to all weddings if drinking alcoholic beverages is important to you.  You just never know what the bride and groom have planned, and most likely, it would not be specified on any invitation information. 

5) "The dance started and all they played was theme songs to Star Wars, Ghost Busters, and Star Trek...."  First, I want to state that I completely encourage couples to personalize their wedding including the music to suit their tastes.  It's your wedding, and you don't have to go with cookie cutter everything.  If you have a very non-traditional taste in music, consider mixing things up.  Think about what your guests like.  If they aren't all trekkies, you're going to want to throw in some top 40 hits to get them on the dance floor.  There is nothing worse than an empty dance floor, if you ask me. 

There are tons of these kinds of random rants from wedding guests out there, and we'll address more in the future.  What do you all think?  Which of these do you care about?  Which of these will make you say "oh well"?  Chime in!




Advice | Etiquette | Jenny Bryde

Etiquette - Gratuity Guide

by Jenny Bryde 16. February 2014 00:15

As you are planning your wedding budget, take a moment to think about tipping.  Many of the people who work to bring your wedding vision to life are deserving of a tip.  When it comes to tipping, there are tons of different view points and suggestions.  Below, I've listed four major articles/guides on tipping at a wedding, and all of them have different advice!  What does that tell us?  It means that there is no difinitive answer, and you'll have to determine for yourself what you would like to do for tipping.  

Here are some things you should consider:

1 - Of all the people who are working hard for you on your wedding day, which are owners of their own business and which are hourly employees?  You might consider tipping regardless.  Hourly employees usually see a fraction of the total vendor bill as payment for the day.  Owners are not pocketing all money as they have huge overhead costs such as equipment and insurance to cover.  The woman who owns the salon where I usually go to get my hair done will not accept tips as the owner.  Others might depending on their own circumstances.  

2 - Did anyone go above and beyond?  Tipping is supposed to be a polite way to say thank you to someone, and you would especially want to do that if someone rose to the occasion even when they didn't have to.  We forgot our first dance CD and realized this about 10 minutes before we were supposed to start.  The band we hired jumped on their computer and downloaded the songs we needed from itunes and had them set up and ready to go.  We really appreciated this and tipped the band generously at the end of the night.  

3 - What do your vendor contracts say?  Sometimes a tip is already included in the contract and the price you've paid up front.  For example, our food bill already had the standard 18% gratuity tacked on, so even though the wait staff and everyone did a fabulous job, we did not feel like we needed to do any additional tipping.  

4 - What is normal in your area?  We here in the midwest might opperate totally differently with tipping than compared to say New York or Florida.  Talk to other couples and ask questions to your vendors as you develop your budget so that tipping doesn't catch you off guard.  


The's Wedding Vendor's Tip Cheat Sheet

RealSimple's Guide to Wedding Tipping

Martha Stewarts Article on Tipping Wedding Vendors

Emily Post Guide to Everyday Tipping


Taking time to think about gratuity long before your wedding day will save you some last minute frenzy of tacking on expenses last minute.  Who will you tip?


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Etiquette | Jenny Bryde

The Anatomy of an Address

by Jenny Bryde 9. February 2014 01:07

You're sitting down to prepare your invitations for mailing.  All you have to do is get out your address book and get to town right?  Well, sort of.  How should your envelope be addressed for your sister who recently divorced?  For your cousin who is a doctor and whose husband is a lawyer?  For your sixteen year old niece?  

There are so many combos of people and situations that it is easy to get lost.  You definitely need to reference a guide as you're going through your addresses, and when it comes to etiquette, Emily Post is your tried and true source.  The Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition is now for sale!  This would be a great resource for any bride!


Here is a sample from the Emily Post website to get you started:

Addressing a Woman

Maiden name

Ms. Jane Johnson
Miss Jane Johnson*
*usually 'Miss' is for girls under 18

Married, keeping maiden name

Ms. Jane Johnson

Married, uses husband's name socially

Mrs. John Kelly
Mrs. Jane Kelly*
*Nowadays this is acceptable
Ms. Jane Kelly

Separated, not divorced

Mrs. John Kelly
Mrs. Jane Kelly
Ms. Jane Kelly


Mrs. Jane Kelly
Ms. Jane Kelly
Ms. Jane Johnson (maiden name)


Mrs. John Kelly*
*If you don't know the widow's preference, this is the traditional and preferred form
Mrs. Jane Kelly
Ms. Jane Kelly

Addressing a Couple

Married, she uses her husband's name socially

Mr. and Mrs. John Kelly


NOTE: Traditionally, a man's name preceded a woman's on an envelope address, and his first and surname were not separated (Jane and John Kelly). Nowadays, the order of the names—whether his name or hers comes first—does not matter and either way is acceptable. The exception is when one member of the couple 'outranks' the other—the one with the higher rank is always listed first.

Married, she prefers Ms.

Mr. John Kelly and Ms. Jane Kelly
Ms. Jane Kelly and Mr. John Kelly
*Do not link Ms. to the husband's name: 
Mr. and Ms.John Kelly is incorrect

Married, informal address

Jane and John Kelly
John and Jane Kelly

Married, she uses maiden name

Mr. John Kelly and Ms. Jane Johnson
Ms. Jane Johnson and Mr. John Kelly

If you can't fit the names on one line:
Mr. John Kelly
and Ms. Jane Johnson
*Note the indent, either name may be used first

Unmarried, living together

Mr. John Kelly & Ms. Jane Johnson

Note: Use one line

A woman who outranks her husband:
elected office, military rank

The Honorable Jane Kelly and Mr. John Kelly

If you can't fit both names on one line (note indent):
The Honorable Jane Kelly
and Mr. John Kelly

A woman who outranks her husband:
professional or educational degree

Dr. Jane Kelly and Mr. John Kelly

Both are doctors (PhD or medical) and use the same last name

The Doctors Kelly (omit first names)
Drs. Jane and John Kelly / Drs. John and Jane Kelly
Dr. John Kelly and Dr. Jane Kelly / Dr. Jane Kelly and Dr. John Kelly

Both are doctors (PhD or medical), she uses her maiden name

Dr. Jane Johnson and Dr. John Kelly
Dr. John Kelly and Dr. Jane Johnson



Ms. is the default form of address, unless you know positively that a woman wishes to be addressed as Mrs.

Professional designations—use only for business

Jane Kelly, CPA

Note: Do not use Ms. or Mr. if using a professional designation.
Socially, drop the professional designation and use Mr., Ms., or Mrs.: Ms. Jane Kelly

Attorneys and some court officials

Jane Kelly, Esquire

Note: If using Esquire, do not use Ms. or Mr.
In conversation or socially, 'Esquire' is not used; use Mr. or Ms.: Ms. Jane Kelly

Attorney at Law

Ms. Jane Kelly
Attorney at Law

This is an alternative to 'Esquire' for attorneys. Use Mr. or Ms. and use two lines with no indent


Having a guide to follow as you make your way though your invites will save you the worry of whether they are proper or not.  When in doubt, check EP out!

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Etiquette | Jenny Bryde

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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