Post # 1
This is just a fun thread and I would love to know how it differs between locations and friendship groups. Time and time again we see threads asking if such and such is acceptable on an etiquette basis and the response is usually mixed going from “you absolutely cannot do that” to “of course you can”.
So below are just some of the things I often see asked and whether or not they are considered acceptable where I am from/in my friendship groups. I have also included my basic location.
Location: Southern England
Cash bars: Acceptable
STDs: Acceptable but not expected
Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: Probably not done a lot but I have been to a hen party for someone’s destination wedding, which I would deem acceptable.
Inclauding gift list/information in invitation: Acceptable (and probably if not done then the assumption would be made they didn’t want anything specifically)
I can’t think of anymore at the moment but please answer for you and add any you can think of. This isn’t supposed to be a debate about what’s right or wrong, just what works/doesn’t where you are from.
Post # 2
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Cash Bars: Unthinkable! Bless your heart!
STD’s: kind of “newfangled” but OK
Inviting people to parties or showers, but not wedding: NO! Your mama raised you better than that!
Including gift list/information in invitation: No, just no!
Post # 3
Great thread idea. I’ve got myself tied in knots over etiquette threads on here.
Location: Northern England
Cash bars: Acceptable – I always assume it’s a cash bar. But I’d expect the host to provide drinks for the toast and with food
STDs: Acceptable but not expected
Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: I’ve not heard of local brides having showers. I’d not invite anybody to the hen party who’s not at the wedding but wouldn’t have a problem if they did – a hen party isn’t a gift giving occasion and I’d understand that for a range of reasons, you can’t always have everyone at the wedding
Inclauding gift list/information in invitation: Acceptable but I’d also ask them if not included. I’d also expect a couple to be direct about a desire for cash rather than a gift. For me, if a couple says ‘we aren’t asking for anything’ (which is what we’ll be saying to friends), I’d take that at face value and send a card.
Post # 4
Location: Pacific Island
Cash bars: Acceptable
Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: NO – even though we got thick skin here, any invitation to parties and showers comes an expectation of an invitation to the main event.
EXCEPTION: Unless they are only invited for the church–through the church pastor announcing it–then that’s acceptable to be honest.
Including gift list/information in invitation: Yes – because people in my circle are not easily offended and they are too busy with their careers and lives to want to call a complicated phone tree list just to know I register at BedBathandBeyond.
Post # 5
Location: Washington state
Cash Bars – expected
Honeymoon funds/dollar dances – never heard of them before the Bee
Asking for money instead of gifts – typically seen as rude
Throwing your own bridal “shower” – not rude. However, most of them are called “showers” and there are no presents exchanged. Just a luncheon or something. But they are still called “showers” on the invitation.
Post # 6
Location: Denver, Colorado
Cash bars: Acceptable-weddings are not cheap! (We are having an open bar only for cocktail hour)
STDs: Acceptable but not expected (I’ve only been sent STDs a couple of times)
Inviting people to parties and showers but no wedding: No. Very rude to do.
Including gift list/information in invitation: No, but it is acceptable to include the wedding website on a seperate piece of stationery with your registry on the website. Or you can go old school with word of mouth.
Post # 7
Cash bars: No. Huge no.
Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: Not acceptable.
Including gift list/information in invitation: Only acceptable on the shower invitation (of course), but not on the wedding invitation.
Post # 8
This is among my social circle/family so I don’t know if it speaks to everyone in my area
Location: Southern CA
Cash bar: Acceptable – usually there is money “put behind the bar” and when that runs out it becomes a cash bar. I’ve been to weddings where a member of the bride or groom’s family will put more money towards it throughout the evening.
STD: Acceptable but not necessary. Email STDs have gotten more prevalent though.
Inviting people to showers/parties but not wedding: RUDE.
Including gift information on invitations: I think it’s tacky but other people have said that it’s not. I got into a heated conversation about it with my sister. I’ve been told that a lot of people put a card in their invitation suite with registry info. And also, it’s listed on their wedding website.
Post # 9
I’ve never been to a wedding with a seating chart, and it’s never been a problem. People around here would just be offended if you told them where to sit.
Post # 10
Location: New Zealand
Cash bars: Acceptable, probably even expected. Assuming the bar accepts EFTPOS/credit card that is. It would be weird to have to actually pay in cash.
STDs: Acceptable, but not expected. I’ve only ever received one Save The Date.
Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: The mere fact of having a bridal shower (or any party for which the sole purpose is to receive gifts) here is questionable in terms of acceptability. I’ve never been invited to one. Bachelorette parties are common, but you probably wouldn’t invite someone to your bachelorette party if they weren’t invited to the wedding.
Including gift list/information in invitation: Acceptable, and expected. If someone didn’t provide their registry information in the invitation I would choose a random physical (or experience) gift for them. Cash gifts are less common here than they appear to be overseas.
Who pays for the bridesmaid dresses: The bride and groom. It’s a wedding cost that you factor into your wedding budget, and if you can’t afford to buy bridesmaids’ dresses (and you’re not happy with them just wearing dresses they already own) then you don’t have bridesmaids. Most brides here only have 2 or 3 bridesmaids.
Post # 11
Cash bars: The norm, although we had a free bar, and they are appreciated.
STDs: Acceptable but not expected.
Inviting people to hen parties but not wedding: Rare, depends on circumstances. Gift giving at pre-wedding parties is not the norm.
Wedding showers: Gauche, seen as unacceptably gift-grabby.
Including gift list/information in invitation: Acceptable/ expected.
Asking for cash gifts: Common as people get older and older when they marry, statistically, and don’t require gifts for their home in the same way.
What US bees call “tiered receptions”: Very common/the norm for weddings held locally. Evening only guests are not expected to bring gifts.
Post # 12
Location: Las Vegas
Cash bars: I haven’t experianced a cash bar but guests are expected to tip per drink.
STDs: Not necessary unless there are guests traveling across country or from other countries
dancing for dollars- haven’t seen that since the 80’s
asking for cash- rude, there is a small prevelance of theft from card boxes at weddings so I don’t like to give something that could be easily stolen
Including gift list/information in invitation: either companies where registered mention or a link to wedding website
bachelor/ bachelorette- sometimes joint, guys go to strip clubs, girls get comped bottle service at clubs
Post # 13
Oh, and Bridesmaid’s outfits etc: If you want them in something specific (hair, shoes, dress) you (the bride and groom) pay for it. Likewise, if you want groomsmen in matching ties etc, you pay. If you don’t mind exactly what they wear, they pay.
Asking parent’s approval prior to the proposal: This would be extremely unusual.
Another interesting fact is that it can be hard to get a marriage license in England and Wales, depending on which location you want to get married in. It’s easiest if you either have a secular ceremony in a registry office, or you get married in a C of E church. Ceremonies must all be on licensed premises (eg no outdoor weddings).
Post # 14
I’m from the East coast of Canada and cash bars are the norm. I’ve never been to an open bar wedding here- it’s just not done. I inquired with my venue and they didn’t even know how to go about having an open bar.
Post # 15
I love the idea of paying for the wedding party’s outfits! Where we live, it’s nomal to let them pay for themselves, but we didn’t like the idea. Our wedding party was all male (my brothers stood with me instead of bridesmaids) and we paid for all nine tux rentals.