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.
– 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.