(Closed) Confused on wedding etiquette

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Accomodate guests or accomodate the bride and groom
    Guests : (15 votes)
    42 %
    Bride and groom : (21 votes)
    58 %
  • Post # 3
    1471 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @babypearls:  I believe that if a couple has an ethical stance on something (and a real one, not just “I like it so I’ll make something up”) then they ought to be able to incorporate that into their wedding. Don’t eat meat because you don’t like the treatment of animals in captivity? Then have a vegetarian wedding. I respect that. You’re Jewish? Then have a Jewish ceremony. Your religion dictates no dancing? Don’t have dancing. You personally believe alcohol consumption is wrong? Don’t have alcohol.

    I think the line comes when a bride and groom choose something because it is convenient or cheaper for them, but doesn’t allow them to be a good host. So not having alcohol because it’s cheaper, but spending the money on some aspect of the wedding not related to hosting (your dress, decorations), can be seen as rude or inconsiderate. But not having alcohol because your religion dictates it is different (to me).

    So it really depends on the reasons behind it, at least to me.

    Post # 4
    668 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Etiquette by definition is for the comfort of your guests. That doesn’t necessarily mean giving them everything they might want, but it does mean making sure they are not in a sitaution that makes them uncomfortable or creates tiers of guests —


    Your example of dry wedding. Dry weddings are completely within etiquette. As long as guests are provided food and non-alcoholic drinks, they should be comfortable. Alcohol is an extra. However, a cash bar IS against etiquette — you create a situation where some can have alcohol (those who can afford it/have cash/etc) and those who can’t. You are hosting your guests, and making them pay for something is not hosting.

    Or for example, etiquette is also giving guests the courtesy of respect. They are adults. They should know how to dress, so dress codes are really not appropriate unless 1) the venue requires a certain dress code or your event is truly black tie. Arbitrary dress codes because you “think” someone will come in jeans are not okay.

    As to the vegetarian/meat issue — meat eaters will eat vegetables; vegetarians will not eat meat. The rule is you must feed your guests. So, yes, you need to provide a vegetarian friendly option for vegetarians because they CAN’T eat meat; you do not need to offer meat to meat eaters since they CAN eat vegetarian food.

    Comfort is about meeting the basic needs and that is what etiquette is about.


    Post # 5
    182 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I think it should be a balance of both. I think of it like inviting friends or family over for dinner but on a larger scale. You are the hosts, so the event should be a reflection of the bride and groom while making reasonable steps to be gracious to your guests. To address the bar issue specifically, it is absolutely fine to not serve alcohol at your wedding if that is what the bride and groom want. It is not okay to charge your guests for drinks, ever. If the bride and groom are vegan, they can absolutely have a vegan dinner. Etiquette comes into play when notifying guests ahead of time about something like this. For meal related limitations, you can add something to the RSVP card. For receptions without alcohol, you can make a mention of it in an invitation insert or with your reception information. 

    Post # 6
    9086 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Etiquette is about your guests. However, I don’t feel that a bride and groom should do something they are actually against or cannot afford purely for their guests’ comfort.

    Post # 7
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Etiquette Snob here.. lol

    Pure and simple there is one rule on this that should supercede any others… and that comes from “Traditional Etiquette”

    As a Host you get to decide the type of event you wish to hold… and that includes all manner of things like Where, When, Who, What is Served, etc.

    Your Guests whom you invite have the option of attending, or declining.

    There is a movement of late that permeates here a lot on WBee that Guests should be given even more consideration as to THEIR WANTS

    (ie I want Alcohol – I want Vegetarian Meals – I want Adult Meals for my Children – I want to be able to bring a date… and on and on it goes)

    And often you’ll read good arguments that pull on the heart strings of Hosts that they should therefore accomodate the Guests… because afterall a Good Host is considerate of their Guests needs

    BUT needs are different from wants.

    A considerate Host will for example whether hosting a Party at home or a Wedding Reception, will make a note to ask those that are invited if there are any dietary or health issues “that they should take into consideration”

    But to reach out and make that statement is purely optional


    Yes it is great if the Menu has a Vegetarian Option on it… or the Hostess has noted that you are alergic to fish so has changed the main course she had planned (which she wouldn’t have revealed to you necessarily when she Invited you or placed the phone call to ask your Dietary or Health issues)

    BUT it is not a Requirement of hosting.

    If one ends up at an event and doesn’t like the meal options, then you either politely eat what you can, or leave early to grab a bite on the way home.

    What the Host has chosen doesn’t make them a bad host… just shows that there are people in the world who think differently than you might if you were hosting (and paying)

    So ya, it ALWAYS comes down to the Host getting to decide.

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 8
    12247 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @classyashley:  +1000000 <

    Literally the best explanation in the entire world!

    Post # 9
    1348 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I guess I’ll put my two cents on this one since I feel so strongly about it…

    I’ve been to weddings where there wasn’t any music, dancing, alcohol, etc. Was it fun? Sure, I got to talk to peoplemI cared about. Have I had a better time at other peoples weddings where they did have these things? Yes. 

    If you as a couple feel really strongly about something. Example, you both are vegan or vegetarian, then it doesn’t even make sense to me to have meat at your wedding. You could have a meat option just to please meat eaters; however, if you are ethically against it, why would you want it in a place where you are celebrating your marriage? 

    Same with alcohol! 

    I just don’t understand why it’s all about pleasing the guests to the point you wouldn’t even be able to eat at your own wedding. Or enjoy your own wedding. 

    In My Humble Opinion, you can have fun without alcohol. You can also eat a dish without meat in it. It wont kill you… 


    Post # 10
    168 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I went to a wedding a few years ago where the bride was vegetarian but her husband wasn’t. She had a vegetarian meal but everyone who was a meat eater had meat with their meal. I don’t remember what it was we had but I think it was a roast dinner. We know of two vegetarians coming to our wedding so of course they’ll get a vegetarian meal, along with anyone else who is vegetarian but everyone else will be getting a meat dish.

    I have to disagree that it’s unacceptable to have a cash bar. Here in the UK the only alcoholic drink the guests get for free are the bottles of wine on the tables and champagne/sparkling wine for the toasts. Any other drinks they get themselves from the bar, and guests expect this and come prepared. While I’m sure a bar where people don’t have to pay would be welcome, I don’t know anyone who’s had this.

    Post # 11
    2565 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    It’s a mix of both, and it depends on the situation.  If a vegan/vegetatian doesn’t serve meat that is fine, just like a couple having a dry wedding/no dancing/dietary restrictions for religious reasons.  Providing a vegetarian option is proper because, as PPs mentioned, otherwise they have nothing to eat.  That would be comparable to a couple having their reception during meal time but not hosting a meal.  A couple shouldn’t have to provide every guests favourite thing to eat for one night.  I don’t demand ahi tuna and lobster as a wedding guest, so people shouldn’t demand meat.

    Conversely, if a couple wants to host a cocktail reception so they can provide a few chairs and tables to cut down on rental costs, no.  A chair for every butt is required.  Or you dream ceremony space and dream reception venue are a 3 hour drive apart? No.

    Post # 12
    6345 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @This Time Round:  Yup, totally agree.

    I think that if a couple goes beyond that, then that’s great; more power to them. But it is NOT a ‘requirement’ as far as etiquette goes to do so.

    We are going above and beyond to accommodate our guests and ensure that they enjoy the day, because we want to, and can afford to do so; but not doing so would not mean we were bad hosts necessarily.

    Post # 13
    1301 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    Most of the bar/alcohol questions I see on the bee are money related, not ethics related.  If there’s anything that has to do with ethics, I think the beliefs of the bride and groom trump what guests may want.  If the couple is against alcohol for ethical reasons, then by all means they should have a dry wedding.  However, if they’re spending a ton on flowers or chose a venue that is way above the average price for the area and then want to have a cash bar, that is something I think is rude, because they are putting one of their preferences above doing what’s best for their guests.

    The topic ‘Confused on wedding etiquette’ is closed to new replies.

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