(Closed) For Fun: What debatable etiquettes for a wedding are acceptable where you live?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
592 posts
Busy bee

NauticalDisaster:  I like the concept of “cover your plate” although I would never expect it as a bride. I know the rule of thumb in my circle is $50 per person if you’re giving a cash gift. So if you’re bringing a plus one, it’d be $100. If you’re bringing your family of 4 – $200 etc. 

Post # 32
1284 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Inland Northwestern United States


– Cash bars: commence eye-rolling, but still acceptable.  I’ve been seeing a lot of weddings that host beer/wine and the liquor is cash.  This seems to make everyone happy.

– Dollar dances: these are even expected.  In fact, one couple I know did a version of the dollar dance where they auctioned off dances with the bride/groom/party.  People could “buy” the person and select the song.  One person spent $300 to dance with the groom to a wildly inappropriate song.

– Asking for cash / Honeyfund / whatever: I think lots of people think they are obnoxious, but lots of people do them so there must be some level of success.  Again, this same couple mentioned above had not only a “money tree” (a wire configuration resembling a tree that you tuck money and well wishes into the branches as “leaves”) but also auctioned off gifts/favors/services/etc at the reception.  Things like the bride makes you dinner, the groom detail washes your rig, the couple babysits your children for an evening, etc.  This was done to recoup some of the costs and they really did make some money back.  It appears as though I was the only one in the crowd who was gagging over it.

– Mismatched wedding parties

– Registry info on shower invites and wedding insert: totally fine.  Registry info ON the invite is eyebrow-raising, though.  Not that there is really a difference.

– Buffet dinners.  I’ve never been to a plated dinner wedding.  Some buffets are really, really bad though (picture this: Caesar salad, chicken alfredo, and bread with a cash bar.  We left pretty early.)

– Not including parents at all on invites or as the mailing address for RSVPs.  Parents are not really acknowledged specially at all.

– Bridal showers: expected, even if it’s just for family (common)

Not Ideal, But Not Necessarily UNacceptable

– Potluck weddings

– BYOB weddings

– Bonfire receptions

– This has only happened once, but a “floating” reception.  Like the couple got married in the morning, they had a trash the dress session in the river, and then we all went floating on the river afterwards, meaning you sit in an inner tube and drink beer literally the whole day.  All the tubes are tied together by rope so you all stay together.  It was weird … but fun!  They had pit stops planned along the way to restock the cooler and there were hot dogs and snacks at one stop too.

– Once I got an invitation to a wedding at a local park that was “bring your own lawn chair.”  For realz.  We all made fun of this though so I’m going to say as casual as we are, this crossed the line into unacceptable.

– Tiered invitations.  I haven’t personally attended any, but I know couples have kicked the idea around and only chose not to because they ended up having enough room after all or whatever.  I don’t think people would be tooooo upset.  It’s pretty common here to only attend the ceremony or the reception.

– Engagement parties.  I’ve never known anyone who threw one.

Totally Unacceptable

– Gaps beyond a cocktail hour for photos.  We are a really Catholic area and I’m always so surprised when people on the Bee associate gaps with Catholic weddings!  This simply does not happen here and if it did, everyone and their mother would be calling you up to bitch about it.  You’d lose half your guests.

– Destination weddings.  I mean, I guess it isn’t TOTALLY unacceptable, but people reallllllllly don’t respond well to being invited to these if it’s very pricey.  It’s cool to elope with just a few people, but most people in my community don’t have that kind of money to spend on a friend getting married.  I know one person who got married abroad and only three girls from our friend group went.  And people talked really bad about it at first, until they realized her Fiance was from there originally and that’s where they were moving after the wedding haha.  Lots of my friends felt like the invite was just gift-grabbing because the bride knew they weren’t in a position to attend.  I’m sure she just wanted them to feel included, though!

– NOT FEEDING PEOPLE AT THE REHEARSAL DINNER.  This has happened in three weddings of my friends.  They held a “rehearsal dinner” where there was no food.  People were actually livid.  And yes, they called it a dinner, too …

– Sunday weddings.  We do not like this.

Post # 33
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I love learning different cultures! So fun. We are in Florida 🙂

Cash bars: not unheard of but kind of frowned upon in our social circle. It’s popular to have just beer and wine and a limited bar or up to a certain $$. Open bars usually gains a lot of appreciation from the guests. We specifically chose a venue which would allow us to bring our own alcohol. We wanted an open bar without the heavy price tag!

Save-The-Date Cards: expected unless there are no out of town guests or the engagement is short. 

Inviting people to the shower who are not invited to the wedding: rude. 

Including registry on the invitation or in an insert: personally a big no no for me but have seen a lot of people in my area do it. 

Plus ones: case by case. We are trying to include them for every adult 20 and older. 

Post # 34
2890 posts
Sugar bee

nanabana:  It’s too bad there’s a big misconception about this rule of thumb, mostly, I assume, from people who are foreign to this concept. It’s really not the bride and groom who expect their guests to cover their plates. On this website, there are countless ”my friend is getting married and here is an explanation about the context of the wedding, how much cash should I give ?”. Of course, people will answer ”give how much you want, how much you can afford, if you want.” It’s all good advice, but it’s not a satisfying answer, especially to someone who might not have attended many weddings and simply doesn’t have a clue about what is expected or what are the norms. Nobody likes to be considered ignorant and cheap. 

The ”you should aim to cover your plate” advice is just that, an advice for undecisive guests who seek reassurance. They’ll never know how much it has cost the bride and groom anyway. Any amount is an appropriate amount, but when in doubt, you can’t go wrong following this guideline.

Post # 35
927 posts
Busy bee

j_jaye:  I’m in Victoria too and agree too! Except wedding party attire, which I think can go either way. I’ve never been a bridesmaid but of my girlfriends who have many had to buy their dresses. Actually my Darling Husband has been a groomsman twice, one he had to pay suit hire and one he didn’t. 

One thing I’ve noticed that I can’t stand but seems to be accepted here: including a note (often a cheesy poem) with the invitation about wanting cash for gifts. 

Post # 36
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Location: Central California

Cash bars: Accepted, but wine/beer is typically open

Save-The-Date Cards: Expected. I currently have 11 on my fridge (from over a few years).

Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: Only if it is an office/work shower.

Including gift list/information in invitation: Acceptable, but it makes me cringe

Wedding Website: Expected.

Money Dance: usually Mexican/Filipino cultures, but I’ve seen a few other couples do it as well.

Pot luck: No way.

Honeymoon registry: Accepted.

Post # 37
2699 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

FantasticFawn:  +1 NYC bride here

Post # 38
7199 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

FromA2B2013:  I doubt all of mine are regional.. some are definitely cultural.

Location: Southern California

Culture: Mexican-American

Socio-economic: Middle class

<br />Asking parents approval- highly suggested

Engagement parties- unheard of- would probably be considered attention seeking

STDs- New but acceptable

Cash Bars- acceptable

Inviting people to showers but not the wedding- Unacceptable (though in high female concentration offices they will often do a shower at lunch or after work for everyone regardless of who is invited to the wedding)

Dollar dance- acceptable but less and less common (People are PISSED we’re not doing it)

Including registry cards- Required. People will fucking lose it if you don’t. Generally you put the card the store gives you in the invitation suite. We are just including it on the website. Most of the women will know from the bridal showers anyway. 

The “gap”- generally acceptable but no longer than 2 hours. (I went to a wedding in the Midwest with a FOUR HOUR gap and I was the only one who found it odd)

Asking for cash- now uncommon (when I was young I remember a lot of people stating there would be ‘wishing wells’ or ‘dollar trees’ available at the reception. I never see that now.

Honeyfunds- new and frowned upon

Including +1 for adults- Only for married couples

Tiered receptions- unheard of in my circle but the Portugese community at church does this and it’s totally expected. (exception- church members often go “technically uninvited” to ceremony only)

Bridesmaids- I don’t know a single bride who has paid for their maids’ dresses. I also don’t know anyone who’s required hair/makeup but I’d assume the bride would pay for that part because it’s “above and beyond” what you’d expect when you agree to be in the bridal party. Brides generally give jewelry to wear at the wedding as the “gift” though true gifts are becoming more common place. 

Post # 39
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Location – London, UK

Cash bars – Expected, but with some drinks included for reception usually

Save-The-Date Cards – Accepted, but not expected

Potluck – Never heard of before the Bee, not unacceptable but not normal

Wedding party attire – Norm is for bride & groom to pay, though not unacceptable not to

Bridal shower – Not done here, seen as gift grabby

Gaps – Mainly occurs when the ceremony and reception venues are different and require travel

Bridal registries – Not really done, all weddings I’ve been to have been “No gift required, but if you would like to, then money would be appreciated” or Chinese, for which the normal gift is money.

Honey fund – Heard of it, but no one I know has done it

Engagement parties – We tend to do engagement drinks, which is just a celebration drinks, absolutely no gifts expected and engaged couple often pay for some amount of drinks


Post # 40
2341 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

UK bee from Yorkshire:

Cash bar: Normal. Duty on alcohol is high here and once hotel mark-up is added its extortionate, we had a cash bar at my first wedding and it is a cause for glee but never expected. 

Reception welcome Champagne/ Sparkling wine: Paid by hosts, not called “Cocktail hour”.

Save-The-Date Cards: Not normal

Wine and water with wedding breakfast: Usually paid by hosts

Wedding attire for wedding party: Paid by hosts

Wedding shower: Not done (baby showers aren’t done either although I believe they might be on their way, Boo!)

Sending gift registry information with invitation: Normal for 1st weddings, but perhaps less so than 20 years ago. We didn’t and it caused confusion. Politeness dictates there are plenty of low cost items included.

Potluck: Never encountered this but if a couple was yoing or strapped for cash I can’t see people objecting but it would be very, very, unusual. 

Wedding cocktail/ drink (bespoke): Hadn’t even heard of it pre Bee.

Sand ceremonies etc.: Eh? You what?

Humourous Best Man’s Speech at the Groom’s expense: Obligatory. Peonies to your best mate who is just a great guy all round are poor form. You can say something a bit nice at the end if you are a big girl’s blouse. The bride should never be insulted though but she isn’t the subject of the Best Man’s speech, that’s for the FOB and the Groom who are complimentary, although the FOB will sometimes include funny stories.

Wishing well: Nobody would have a clue, if there was a poem explaining the way it works it would result in muted incredulity and giggling and little or no cash I suspect. Can’t see it happening here.

Post # 41
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia here!

Maybe somebody will be interested how it’s done in the land of everlasting snow and bears

Cash bars: never ever, no way. If you can’t provide free alcohol make it alcohol free then!

Save-The-Date Cards: not really a thing here but not rude of course.

Potluck: never heard of before the Bee.

Bridal shower: we don’t have it but it would definitely be considered gift grabby and plain rude! I personally don’t get it either.

Honeymoon registry or any registry: not a thing. People usually give cash without any reminder 🙂

Wedding party (and their attire): don’t have that. Only maid of honor and best man but some couples go without.

Gaps: pretty common, like 2-3 hour gap. Usually guests travel with a couple while they’re having their pictures taken. Couple provides light food and drinks for that period.

Outdoor ceremony: not possible. Every wedding ceremony is required to be held in a special goverment office, very nicely decorated. There’re several of them in the whole city and also some special ones which we call Wedding Palaces – they are gorgeous inside and outside, literally like a palaces.

Rehearsal dinner: don’t have that since we don’t have rehearsals either.

B-listing: just rude.

Dollar dance: never heard of before the Bee.

Including +1: usually only for long relationship or married/engaged couples.

Post # 42
6290 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

FromA2B2013:  fellow UK bee here! Live in Greater London. 

Cash bars: the norm. We’re the only people I know who had an open bar (pretty much, there were  a couple of restrictions). I expect a cash bar if I go to a wedding. 

‘Tiered’ guest-lists: I don’t know anyone who hasn’t done this and invited people to the evening only 

Not inviting spouses in certain situations: eg we invited colleagues to the evening without their spouses, and this is very much the norm for our social circle

The ‘gap’: it is common to have one or two gaps during the day eg between ceremony and reception/wedding breakfast and evening reception. Most guests actually like having some down time and being able to freshen up/get changed. We’re attending a church wedding in the summer, so I’ll be getting changed in the evening and will appreciate half an hour to an hour to do that


Also, showers would be considered tacky with a capital T where I live, likewise asking the bridal party to foot the bill of their attire. I don’t know anyone who would consider doing either. 

Post # 43
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Location: Ireland

Cash bar: totally acceptable, ive never been to a free bar!!

Save the dates(refuse to call them STDs): acceptable, but not necessarily needed as most people are local. I am sending them to people living out of Ireland.

Showers: not done here! 

Engagement parties: also not really done, if they are it’s a small party.

Registries: not really the done thing, have heard of them but not any of the weddings I’ve been to.

Paying for bridal parties clothes,hair and make up: Yes. We all always do this. It would be highly rude not to.


Post # 44
134 posts
Blushing bee

Location: South Carolina

Cash Bar: not usually done, but I’ve been to a couple weddings with one. 

STD: completely acceptable but not really considered a necessity 

Inviting people to showers/parties but not the wedding: considered very rude! 

Having multiple showers: completely expected and normal; guests are not invited to multiple showers unless they are family or in the bridal party and gifts are not expected frI’m them at each shower. 

Engagement parties: never heard of them until I started reading the Bee. There might be a surprise  (to the new bride-to-be) gift-free party planned by the groom immediately following the engagement, but i’ve never known anyone to have a planned party at a later date.

Dollar dance: not a thing here at all

Paying for bridal party: some brides will offer to pay for hair and make-up, but the bridal party almost always pays for their own dresses (unless case by case the bride wants to help someone out who may be struggling financially)

Registry on invitations: I’ve always seen this done and had no idea it is considered rude some places until reading here! 

Inviting SO’s: always done no matter the length of the relationship. A lot of single people get a plus one also, but it is considered more of a coutreaat thing and no one (single person included) expects the single person to bring a guest most of the tone. I had no idea inviting plus ones could be so controversial! 


Post # 45
1648 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


Things that are acceptable in my hometown

Cash Bars(but we didn’t!)

Jack and Jills(we didn’t)

Inviting people who aren’t invited to wedding to my bridal shower(we did!)

Inviting people to just the dance part(mostly because venues are so small in my hometown you won’t find a place for more than 100 people unless it’s fully outside)

Bridesmaids paying for their own dress and shoes.

STD’s- acceptable but not expected

Things that aren’t acceptable

Putting registry information on invitation/STD

Not paying for hair/make up for bridesmaids


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