Ideas & Advice

"We have to postpone the wedding! What now?" - 5 wedding etiquette questions, answered

From uninvited children to postponing a wedding, here's how you can tackle these situations when you're getting wed.

Image: Ruslan Iefremov/123rf

#1 My finance’s parents have given us our honeymoon as a present. Should we give them something to say “Thank You”?
Brides and grooms can give gifts to any of their helpers to thank them. If you want to give your future parents-in-law something, try a gift that is meaningful, like a meal at their favourite restaurant or a CD of their favourite songs if they like dancing, etc. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but make it mean something.


#2 We plan to offer a choice of chicken, beef or fish entrees at our dinner. Is it tacky to ask guests to indicate their preferences on their RSVPs?
It’s not tacky- but asking 200 guests what they’d prefer for dinner can be impractical. Think of your wedding reception as a dinner party. You wouldn't ask each guest beforehand what they’d like and then prepare separate meals, nor would anyone expect it. It’s better to decide what meal you prefer to serve and leave it at that.

#3 We’re in a panic- my fiance just lost his job, which means we’ll have to postpone our December wedding until late next year. The  problem is that we’ve already mailed out part of the invitations. Do we have to send everyone a printed announcement now, and what should it say? 
First, look at how much canceling the wedding will set you back, considering too, how much money you’ve already spent. We’re assuming that you would have paid deposits for some things, like your dinner, gowns, flowers, perhaps even your bridesmaids’ dresses. That’s a lot of money to kiss goodbye to. It might be smarter to try to meet your vendors and see how and where
you can pare down your spending and have a simpler wedding. Or ask your parents if they can help with a loan. If you’d still prefer to postpone, either mail announcements or make
phone calls to each invited guest. We think the latter is better and more immediate. You don’t have to be specific, just say that you’re postponing the wedding because of unforeseen circumstances, and ask for their understanding.


#4 I have a bunch of single people in my guest list, should I have a Singles table so they can get to meet more people (and maybe a potential date?) 

Well... no. Weddings may be great place to meet people but forcing your single friends or family members together can feel like a blind date session. A great way to encourage mingling would be to seat single guests based on whether or not they will get along with the rest of the people at the table - think common interests, hobbies, job industry and so on.



#5 I have guests who ask to bring their children even though I've specified they're not invited

First up, it's not okay to bring uninvited children to a wedding so don't feel like you have to oblige. You'll have to put your foot here firmly (but politely). Call the guest in question, and politely but firmly let them know that the invitation was only extended for adults, and that you still hope they can come. If they decline, so be it. The flower girl and ring bearer are exceptions. (But in the event that you'll be welcoming kids at your wedding, here's how you can keep them occupied.)