Post # 1
I just returned from a friend’s wedding, where I had an amazing time. The bride is a good friend of mine. Their wedding broke several etiquette rules, and I don’t think any of them affected how their guests felt about the wedding (we all had a great time)… in fact, some of us spoke about how it actually enhanced our experience! It really gave me some encouragement about not sticking with all the wedding traditions out there.
Here are a few things that they did:
- No +1s. The only couples that were there were couples that the bride and groom personally knew, and their respective parents. Because the venue had a capacity limit of 100 persons, most extended family was not invited. Honestly… I know this is a big debate on the Boards here… but I talked to a lot of guests, and we all understood why they couldn’t give +1s. With a limit of 100 persons, their choice was to either invite 50 couples or about 70 very close friends and only 15 couples. They chose the latter. I couldn’t bring my FI, but to be frank… I didn’t care because I got to see about 30 friends I hadn’t seen in a few years and my FI needed a nice weekend to himself anyway! Offended, I was not!
- No formal invitations. Instead, they invited each guest in person, over coffee or drinks, with a small handwritten note on a plain, undesigned card. I would love to do this, but their wedding was only 100 people, and they had nearly no one decline an invite.
- BYOB. The wedding was near a wine-producing region. The couple had mentioned in previous conversations that the venue was a BYOB place and nearly every guest or couple brought a nice bottle of wine to the event. The wine all went on a large serving table, and we all had a fun time creating our own “flights” of wine. I’m sure this cut down a lot on their alcohol budget, and as a guest, I was more than happy to bring a bottle of wine. And boy was I happy that other guests brought so many bottles of tasty wine!
- No kids. That’s right. The bride and I have friends who have kids. She called them and was very honest about it — the capacity issue, and how she would really like them to be at the wedding, but no pressure at all. Every one of them showed up — they were thrilled to be reunited with their college friends and they all enjoyed the break away from their kids (their husbands stayed home and took care of the kids), and supposedly, their husbands were glad to just chill at home.
Now, I’m not saying that I am going to buck all etiquette rules out there, but my friend’s wedding was so fun and special that it just got me thinking about weddings that defy “tradition”. Please feel free to share your stories about any similar weddings which you have attended!
Post # 3
That sounds awesome! Friggin’ awesome! They did it their way and it sounds great. Before I got married I used to want to only invite people to the wedding that knew me AND my fiance. I just felt that the first time meeting someone that’s a guest at your wedding shouldn’t be invited. They couldn’t be that important :-/ Needless to say that didn’t fly at my actual wedding. But, I did win the +1 battle (only engaged and married +1s)
Post # 4
My fiance and I have had a few rules in the planning process-
#1-If we are married at the end of the day, it is a success. None of the wedding planning details are as important as our marriage.
#2-Our community has played an important role in our relationship, so making sure that our family and friends were able to come and have a blast is more important than any other priority-ie, if we have to choose between an extra friend and a centerpiece, people come first.
#3-We will not do anything just because it is traditional, expected, or “ettiquette”. We are following some traditions, but only those that have meaning for us.
We have contemplated having byob. But we might end up just buying a bunch of wine. I am not sure about that yet.
Post # 5
As I understand your post, the only etiquette issues were:
2. if they did not invite both parties of couples that were married, engaged, or living together
Inviting every guest by name and extending personal, handwritten notes (for a smaller, less formal wedding, anyway) are practices that are approved by even the old, traditional manuals.
Edited because I re-read the OP…
Post # 6
70 close friends?
Damn – between the FI and I we have about 12 close friends
Post # 7
Hmmm I can’t really think of any I’ve been to that broke etiquette rules.
Except some that had cash bars/partial cash bars. I didn’t care for those.
I can’t think of any other rules I’ve seen people break! I might have been to a no kids wedding but honestly I can’t remember. And I don’t have kids so it wouldn’t affect me. I don’t even think that’s an etiquette rule though (to include children). You can invite whomever you want. The +1s is definitely an etiquette rule though!
Post # 8
That sounds lovely. My friend (and work colleague) is having her civil partnership in November. There are three of us invited from work and our SOs are not invited until the evening reception. Are we offended? Well, I’m not…she does not really know my fiancé and there is limited space and budget for the ceremony and afternoon so why would she want to invite someone she doesn’t really know when she can invite somone she does?
Post # 9
I say break all of the etiquite rules, they put people in the poor house and create uncessary stress… I think your friend was smart, look at the money she saved. So many times we make all about the process when it is really about what you do after you say “I do”. I think because I am am older bride, I don’t need gifts, I already have a home and a retirement plan, I recognize this whole wedding process is a big scam…. we stress for years and the event is over in 6 hours. Having said that , I think you day should be totally reflective of you and your beloved and whatever you want to do, I say do it, because at the end of the day, if people are going to talk negatively about your ceremony and reception, they shouldnt be invited anway. So I say, if you want to have cookies and milk do it… LOL
Signed the Anti Bride, but love my man more than the entire world and can’t wait to Mrs., but sick of all of the foolishness related to planning.
Post # 10
I have, but unfortunately it was horrible and ended up a massive gong show. I’m sure there are many weddings that pull this off easily, however the one I attended was just a sh*t show of all the things that could go wrong due to lack of planning.
Post # 11
@skippydarling: well don’t worry you beat me and my fi, lol
Post # 12
@honie309: Ok…I NEED TO HEAR THE DETAILS.
Post # 13
Nope. I wouldn’t find that amazing, since 95% of etiquette is consideration for others and addressing issues before they turn into problems. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the wedding described.
Post # 14
Post # 15
Wow! They were lucky to have such understanding wedding guests! Most people would freak out about a lot of those things.
Post # 16
I’m one of those people who get worked up about the +1 situation, but I was invited to a wedding without DH (he was BF at the time…but we’d been together for years). I was a little surprised, but I knew I’d have tons of friends there so I wasn’t too worried about it. I went and had a good time regardless. I think it was a judicious use of a no +1 (other friends were in the same situation) because she knew that
1) The B&G didn’t know our partners well
2) They knew that we’d have TONS of other friends there that we could catch up with.