We're passing the blog over to Susie from Knot & Pop this afternoon, members of our List handpicked supplier guide, to talk about breaking the rules...one of our favourite topics. Susie is a Wedding Planner and Stylist who has worked on some seriously beautiful weddings so it's a pleasure to share her words with you all today, along with an exclusive discount on her services for RMW readers. Wedding etiquette can seem endless. But where did it all come from? Many traditions are centuries old, but this is the 21st century and, thankfully, times have changed. Considering wedding etiquette and its confines – especially those that might seem outdated, over played and slightly irrelevant to your life and tastes – let it provide the opportunity to break away from the rules traditionally set. Some traditions are lovely experiences and give good structure to the day, but you're in charge; you can either go with them, ditch them or give them a twist.
It’s your day, so have it your way. That’s our main rule.
InvitationsTraditionally if parents are paying for the wedding it’s expected to have the invitation come from them. If this feels too formal for you, have a chat with your folks. Mix things up. Write it conversationally. Make it personal. Or invite people to your birthday and instead throw a surprise wedding.
EntouragesThere are so many things that can feel as if it’s a division of the sexes when it comes to weddings. Best Man. Bridemaids, Ushers, Flower Girls...Wedding etiquette doesn’t always stop to consider that your best man may be a best woman, or your ushers may also have usherettes. Just ask who you like.
BouquetBefore the days of well washed and perfumed bodies, history would have it that brides had a bouquet to disguise their odour d’natural. If you don’t want a bouquet, think about a wrist corsage, or just a simple jungle leaf...do what you fancy floral wise.
Guest ListThe politics of a guest list are endless. Did they invite both of us to their wedding? How long have they been with their latest girlfriend for again? What’s their new boyfriend’s name? How many kids are they onto now? Any trickier decisions with deciding a guest list are always best to explain to avoid upset. ‘Sorry but we wanted a day free of kids so the adults can really let loose.’ Fairly explained people will understand.
Who Gives You AwayGoing back to the root of things, fathers gave their daughters away with it linked to arranged marriages and often tied to the exchange of money in doing so. Land, social status and political gain went hand in hand with the joining of hands. These days, thankfully, love reigns over and the 'giving away' signifies the blessing of. So back to ‘the who’ of giving away. Maybe your step dad is more of a father figure, maybe you want your mum to walk you down, maybe you want to fly solo...or Youtube ‘JK Wedding Entrance Dance’ for more inspiration. Basically, don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all way to approach to the ceremony.
Where To Sit – CeremonyTraditionally at the ceremony you may be asked to choose a side – Bride or Groom’s. That’s for where to be seated, not in settling any marital arguments...These days, people tend to sit anywhere.
Where to Sit – ReceptionSit yourself central to the action, and who you have alongside you is your decision – a traditional top table with parents either side, or you could get your parents to host their own tables and keep your table to your closest friends.
Receiving LineSome love it (parents normally), some loathe it. If you’re on the loathe side then don’t worry - you can make time to see everyone during other moments of the day. An alternative to the receiving line is for all guests to be seated and then for you to enter for dinner to a massive cheer or mammoth ‘all hands in the air’ song. Sounds good, and it is.
SpeechesAn all man line-up, but it shouldn’t be. The running order traditionally is Father of the Bride, Groom, Best Man. If the Bride wants to step up to the mic then do it, if the Bridesmaid want to share some stories then go for it. Let’s get the ladies on the mic.
Wedding CakeA wedding cake isn't mandatory. Don't feel tied to having a four tiered wedding cake with a porcelain couple on top. In ancient Roman times wedding ceremonies concluded by breaking a cake of wheat or barley over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. You may wash to bash a piñata full of sweets over the dance-floor instead. Just an idea...
First DanceYou’ll know that the dance-floor is traditionally christened by the couple. If you’re feeling nervous about this then don’t feel you have to dance the full song – you can quickly get others up. Or rather than a First Dance with just you two, it could be a First Dance for all with a massive crowd pleasing song. As naff as it sounds, a group first dance to the Hokey Cokey does work after all those bottles of wine with dinner. Believe us, we've witnessed it.
FavoursAt the next wedding you’re at, just count up how many are left at the end of the night.
GiftsWill you be wanting gifts? Honeymoon fund? Charity donation? Do give your guests a steer with the invitation you send, and if you would prefer gifts for your home then a nice way to phrase that is ‘it’s your presence not presents that count but if you’d like to gift us we have set up a gift list at...’
Wearing WhiteWear what you like ;)
Knot & PopIf you want to chat to us about your wedding plans then get in touch. A two hour K&P Consult is a consultation tailored to your needs and perfect for those in the early throws of wedding planning, to help you plan your wedding like a pro. Exclusive Discount - To claim an exclusive Rock My Wedding 10% discount on K&P Consult contact and book in with Knot & Pop prior to 31st January 2017 (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also offer full wedding planning and styling services. Get in touch at email@example.com or visit www.knotandpop.com.
Wedding Planners & Stylists: Knot & Pop