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

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 91
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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future.mrs.koban:  I am a Pittsburgh bride too! I saw all of your responses and I was like Yupp. Yupp. Yupp! Although I will say the dollar dance stretches father than the Polish community. I am of Irish decent and Fiance is Slovak and both sides of our family have traditionally had it at our weddings. In fact, one of my FI’s aunts (his godmother to be exact) is letting me borrow a lace apron that she wore on the day of her wedding 20 years ago!

Post # 92
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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piratekitten:  I’m from southern ontario, not Toronto area lol, and we do the same, stag & doe/jack & jill/social, same diff!! Everyone in my area LOVES them, it’s so much fun!! I’ve been invited to 31 for the spring/summer months lmao. Glad I’m not the only one who has these!!

Post # 93
267 posts
Helper bee

Western NY

*No Cash Bars

*Bridal Party pays for their dresses, hair, nails, make-up, etc.

*STD are a new thing

*Bridal shower invites are the same as the wedding

*Huge gaps between ceremony and reception are acceptable, but then most people will skip the ceremony. Skipping the ceremony is a normal occurance.

*I haven’t seen a dollar dance since the 90’s- and like mentioned before, it was a Polish wedding…HUGE Polish community around here.

*Registry information is expected.

Post # 94
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - White Oak Plantation

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Cash Bars: No, and NO. I’ve never been to one.

STDs: 90% of weddings have had them. Most of the time they have photos. We are doing a simple, photoless one.

Money Dance: Common for the South but I won’t be having one!

Wedding Showers: AH! Most couples have an engagement party, bridal shower, honey-do shower (or combined) and then sometimes a lingerie shower.

Groom’s Cake: Always. Never been to a wedding without an elaborate groom’s cake.

Bridal Party: Everyone pays for their own stuff. Dresses, tux rental, hair, makeup… it’s just part of what you sign up for.

Adult Only wedding: Becoming more and more common. (woohoo)

Who pays for what: It’s more common for the bride’s family to pay for everything except the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. It’s becoming more and more the “norm” for bride & groom to pay for their own wedding with family contributions.

Bridal Portraits: I just learned this is more of a Southern thing. Pretty much every bride takes bridal portraits before her wedding day and has them displayed in the reception area.

Post # 95
1894 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

Late to this, but it’s too interesting to ignore!

Location: Kansas City, MO

Socioeconomic status of social group: Young professionals (26+) just out of graduate/post-secondary programs and starting careers. But the KC metro area is very diverse in that there are many transplants from very, very small towns that are really not all that far away.

Cash Bars: It happens but most people find them a bit rude. I see mostly weddings that have unlimited beer/wine/maybe a signature cocktail. Sometimes other liquor is available for purchase. Otherwise it’s open bar.

STDs: Almost all weddings have these, most of them use engagement photos.

<br />Registry information in invites: Not done, considered gift grabby. Wedding websites with this information is okay, though.

Dollar Dance: More common with those who grew up/family is from smaller, rural towns outside the metro area. I personally hate them and most of my social circle feels the same.

The Gap (between ceremony & reception): Depends. Within Catholic families/circles (like ours) it’s not uncommon. Most guests find things to do, many will host small parties (really just drinking/snaks) at someone’s house during this time. Some college traditions (“pre-gaming”) die hard.

Wedding Showers: Most couples have an engagement party (thrown by bride’s family or close friend), bridal shower, and a couple’s showe, typically thrown by a bridesmaid or female family member (not a parent–that is considered bad taste.) Any invitees should be included on couple’s wedding guest list (work showers not withstanding).

Bachelor/Bachelorette parties: Very common, often including a trip somewhere and (for women) a lingerie gift. Expenses paid by guests, often including splitting the bride’s expenses between guests/bridesmaids.

Groom’s Cake: Becoming more popular here, but still about 50/50.

Bridal Party: Everyone pays for their own stuff. Dresses, tux rental, hair, makeup. On occasion, a bride will cover some costs (nails, etc. If you’re a lucky bm, it’s the dress). Also, definitely expected to be “helpers” for the bride. Not necessarily day-of, but in preparation for the wedding. 

Adult Only wedding: Becoming more common, thankfully. There are still many weddings that are glorified children’s dance parties though. Definitely some push back on adults-only from slightly older generations.

Who pays for what: I think a lot of families still see the wedding as the bride’s family’s responsibility, but this is shifting. A lot of couples are contributing or paying for their own (my social circle is getting a bit older (late 20s/early 30s) as well, so that makes it more feasible to do so.)

Bridal Portraits: Not very common here, defintely more of a southern thing. Not really considered bad taste, just uncommon. Engagement photos are very much the norm though, and often displayed at the wedding (canvases or framed).

Tiered Receptions: VERY rude. Invite me or don’t.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by DrunkInLove.
Post # 96
1552 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

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TwinkleBoss:  Great responses! I love who you hang out with! =)

Post # 97
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

long island

Cash Bar: COMPLETELY unacceptable.

Save the date: Expected

Gift list: only in the bridal shower/engagement party invitation. We dont do physical gifts for weddings here anyway


Post # 98
6 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

New York, USA


Cash Bar: Greatly appreciated by the guests

STD: Totally acceptable, especially for longer engagements. Also acceptable to only send them to those whom you want to guarantee at your wedding.

Invitation to parties and not wedding: Unacceptable

Registry on invitation: Apparently this is considered rude but I only learned this since I’ve been planning a wedding. As a guest I do not care at all. Its such conflictong information! People say you MUST bring a gift to a wedding but then say it’s rude to include where you’re registered on the invite? Wedding registries are there for a reason. I digress because we will only be adding our wedding website (which has registry info) onto the STD. I’m only doing this because I’ve read so many harsh opinions about including the actual places. 

Paying for bridal party: Not common, when the party agrees to be in the wedding this kind of falls under their “responsibilities” however, if anyone is in a particular financial situation we would help.

Parents paying for wedding: Only if your parents are in a situation to do so, otherwise the couple often pays and gets some contribution from the family.

Dollar dance: Not in my culture or area

Post # 99
347 posts
Helper bee

Very interesting! I see lots of fellow Brits writing that cash bars are expected and accepted, which makes me wonder if this is not just national/regional, but perhaps related to one’s social circle (e.g., a bit of U versus Non-U)?

In my social circle (southern England), a cash bar would raise eyebrows. I just phoned a few of my friends to do a quick informal survey, and whilst many of us have been to weddings with cash bars none of us had one at our weddings. A cash bar is perfectly acceptable at public charity events, but not at private functions — so the reasoning.

Save-the-Date cards: not expected, and might even raise eyebrows as too American

Engagement party: contrary to what others have stated, these are quite common in my experience. In traditional circles, such as mine, the bride’s parents will post a brief announcement in the “Forthcoming Marriages” column of the newspaper of their choice. Relatives and friends will then send letters of congratulations. The engagement party is hosted by the bride’s parents in their house and not at a restaurant. It’s a smallish family affair to celebrate the engagement. Presents are not expected.

Bridal showers: not acceptable

Hen do/Stag do: expected

Bridesmaids dresses, accessories, flowers, etc.: paid by bride and groom

The best man and ushers typically wear morning dress. In my social circle people own morning dress (often inherited from a father or grandfather), paired with whatever light-coloured waistcoat and tie they happen to have in their wardrobes. I don’t remember a wedding where everybody had the same waistcoat, shirt and tie. I have also seen dress uniforms if the groom is in the military and kilts in Scotland. I suppose if somebody insisted on identical clothing, then the groom would pay.

Wedding gifts list: Not included in invitations. Guests enquire with the bride’s mother, and presents are posted to the bride’s family. You graciously accept whatever you receive — even if it’s a horrid vase or ugly tea set that had hitherto been hidden in some great-uncle’s sitting room. You can always stick it in a cupboard :-).

Celebration format: late morning or early afternoon church ceremony, immediately followed by a wedding breakfast for all guests. May be followed by a dinner dance later in the evening for a smaller group of guests (typically family only). A famous example of this practice would be the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who had roughly 2,000 guests at the ceremony, about 700 at the wedding breakfast, and 300 at the dinner hosted by Prince Charles.

Favours: I had never heard of this.

Potluck: unacceptable

Money dance: I didn’t even know what this is, and had to do a Google query. I believe such an event would cause a collective heart attack of all elderly female guests from moral outrage, and a collective heart attack of elderly male guests from overexcitement. It’s simply not done.

Children are typically included in the ceremony and wedding breakfast. If there is a dinner and dance, they may stay during the first part of the evening and will then go to bed. Children as bridesmaids and pageboys, often dressed in white, are not unusual.

Post # 100
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Location: Alabama

Cash Bars: Nope, no way. Always an open bar.

STD’s: Expected

Inviting people to parties or showers, but not wedding: No ma’am! Basically everyone you invite to showers or parties better be invited to the wedding to.

Including gift list/information in invitation:  Never seen that before. I don’t think too many people around here would like that one.

Bridal Portraits: Definitely expected!

Bachlor/Bachlorette Party: Expected

Parents paying for the wedding: Brides folks pay for the wedding, mine won’t be since its my second marriage. They were kind enough to offer but there was no way I was letting them pay for 2 weddings.

Wedding Favors: Expected

Post # 101
616 posts
Busy bee

Location: Washington State

Cash bars: I haven’t been to one so it must not be common where I am…but if I went to one I wouldn’t think it was unacceptable? I wouldn’t have a cash bar though.

STDs: Again…not something I’ve ever gotten. I’ve been to quite a few weddings as I’m of the age where all my friends are tying the knot but they just send out invitations. If I received a STD though I wouldn’t find it strange.

Inviting people to parties and showers but not wedding: This ones a no-no. If you invite someone to the shower you had better already have them on the wedding guest list.

Including gift list/information in invitation: Where I live it would be strange to receive the invitation without this! I always get invitations with business cards from the locations they are registered.

Asking for Cash as a gift: Pretty common where I live.

Dollar Dance: Haven’t heard of this before.

The Gap (between ceremony & reception): If the wedding and reception are at the same location there typically is no gap. If they are in different locations then there tends to be a gap.

Wedding Showers: Most brides where I live have a shower. The Maid/Matron of Honor or Mother of the Bride tend to host.

Bachelor/Bachelorette parties: Very common but not everyone has one.

Groom’s Cake: I’ve seen it on weddingbee but never at a wedding that I’ve been to.

Bridal Party: Usually bridal parties pay for their own dresses/shoes/jewelry/tuxes. Every once in awhile the bride will pay but not usually. It is custom here to give the bridesmaids and groomsman gifts from the bride and groom.

Adult Only wedding: Haven’t been to one.

Who pays for what: Couldn’t tell you. I know my SO’s little sister got married and the bride & groom/bride’s parents/groom’s parents all split things pretty evenly. When my SO and I get married my parents will most likely pay for a big chunk and then him and I and his parents will pay for smaller chunks. But I couldn’t tell you what other people in my area do because it isn’t really something you ask.

Bridal Portraits: No one does bridal portraits here. Well…there may be bridal portraits of the bride alone, but they are taken on the day of the wedding. What I’ve seen on here is that sometimes brides will get hair and make up done and put on their dresses and have pictures taken alone weeks prior to the wedding and that is not a thing here.

Tiered Receptions: I’m not even sure what this is…so I would say it is not a thing here.


Post # 102
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015


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ClaudiaKishi:  Who could afford an open bar with east coast friends and family?  I figured out with just my bridal party and family alone using how much Fiance can spend in one night would be about 5000 – ouch!

Post # 103
22 posts
  • Wedding: September 2015

Location: Northern West Virginia

Asking parents approval- highly suggested

Engagement parties- I have never seen nor been invited to one, and I’ve been to 20+ weddings.

STDs- Unnecessary, but often appreciated

Cash Bars- Nope, you will get the side-eye here.  I’ve seen beer and wine only, which is acceptable.  It’s also acceptable for beer and wine to be covered, and cash for liquor.  Many weddings do not allow shots.

Inviting people to showers but not the wedding- Unacceptable

Dollar dance- acceptable but not common

Including registry cards- Nope!

The “gap”- generally acceptable, mostly seen with church weddings.

Asking for cash- Asking for any kind of gift is tacky.  Common gift around here is cash though.  Not registering at all is a subtle indication to give cash.  Ok on bridal shower invitations.

Bridal Showers – not seen very often.  Of the 9 weddings I have been in, I have only been to two.

Honeyfunds- I’ve only seen it a few times.  I’m still uncertain how I feel about it – it seems like asking for cash to me.

Including +1 for adults- Typical for serious relationships; appreciated for single guests above a certain age.

Tiered receptions- Never heard of it before the Bee

Bridesmaids- I have never seen a bride pay for ‘maids dresses.  Typically if the bride wants hair/makeup done, the bride will pay for it.  What I normally see is that the bride offers “I will make an appointment for hair and/or makeup if you want to, but you can do your own” and the ‘maids can choose if they want to spend the money.  For my wedding, I’m paying for everyone’s hair, but if they want makeup done, they have to pay for that portion (most chose to do their own, I’m doing my own).

Potluck – Never seen it.  The only “potluck” portion around here is the cookie table.  Typically that is just family contributing to the cookies, but sometimes friends as well.



Post # 104
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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FromA2B2013:  Where do I begin? Lol! I’m from Eastern Canada and I’m French Canadian. The rest of Canada (English Canada) has wedding traditions that are similar to the USA and from what I read, to England. So when I married my husband, who is English Canadian, we had some troubles agreeing on things, because where I am from, weddings are a small thing and we have very few traditions. And these days, most people don’t even get married (my friends and cousins first reaction to my getting married was “But WHY???” lol)

So here we go:

Bridal party: Nope! None. Just the bride and groom getting married, and usually one of the parents being the witness for each person getting married (when it is time to sign the documents). Can you imagine all the trouble saved with no bridesmaids or groomsmen? lol

Sitting dinner: No! We have sometimes desserts, sometimes finger foods, but it is absolutely not a requirement. Most weddings are after dinner or early morning. But then again, we don’t expect people to travel for our wedding.

Open bar: never. It would be really ostentatious where I come from. We have cash bars, and everyone is fine with that, because we don’t expect a young couple to provide thousands of dollars of alcool to hundreds of guests!

Gift registry: Omg, NO!! That would be the worst thing. I’ve heard about them for the first time when I started dating my husband and his friends got married. I understand why people have them, but where I am from, that would be soooo tacky to ask for exactly what you want lol

Centre pieces, guests favors, etc: No! We decorate the community room with flowers and tableclothes (usually paper or plastic) and put some candies or pastries or finger foods on the table, et voilà!

Music: Yes, we love to dance. Sometimes, friends offer to play music (fiddle, guitare, etc), other times, we have cds playing (with someone hired to play them, but it is cheap).

Proposal and engagement ring: Nope! We usually agree to get married, with ou without a simple inexpensive ring, and the woman has as much say as the man! It is just a discussion (my husband and I went through a lot of drama regarding the surprise proposal, a tradition that I just can’t stomach!!) 

Asking the father prior to engagement: haha! This one would never fly at home! Every dad would be like “what?? ask the girl! Why are you asking me??”

All that said, I have to admit that with the Internet and cable and american wedding shows being now available where I come from, some couples are buying into those expensive traditions and try to have some of them. As for me and my husband, we had to compromise. The thing was, if he had my kind of wedding, he looked cheap, and if I had his kind of wedding, I looked like a diva for my friends and family lol We ended up having a wonderfully simple wedding with tons of food buffet style (but not assigned table or bridal party, etc). Everyone was happy, and his side were happy to eat with us (we sat at different tables while eating). We didn’t have a photographer, just friends and family taking pictures. It was really relax and fun!

There is a way to do it without it being expensive, but I know that when everyone is doing something, it is hard to go and not do it. But my husband is very happy we dropped most of the expensive and complicated “traditions” lol


Post # 105
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Oh!! And name change: NO!!!! In the province of Quebec, in Canada, women are not even allowed to take their husband’s name anymore! If they want to do it, they have to go through a legal, full name change! (like if your name is Elizabeth and you want to be Julia).

We don’t live in Quebec anymore, but I didn’t change my name. My husband was really fine with that. My mom also kept her maiden name, even if my dad and her have been married for 41 years now. And my grandmas started to hyphen their maiden names in the 1980s 🙂


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