You’re engaged — congratulations! Now it’s time to plan one of the happiest days of your life. Though wedding planning is memory-making fun, it can be filled with etiquette uncertainties: Do you have to invite your third cousin twice removed? Does your single sister need a plus one for her flavor-of-the-month boyfriend? When you hear brides complain about the stress of planning a wedding it’s usually a result of worrying about how to avoid hurting feelings or getting along with parents who inevitably want to be involved with decision making. Learn from the new generation of etiquette advice.
Who pays for the wedding?
Traditionally the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner, but today, 70% of engaged couples either pay for the wedding themselves or its funded by a combination of the couple and both sets of parents. Do what is right for you and your families. The only thing you should do? Determine who is paying what and how much you have to spend before you start any planning.
How to handle your mother-in-law
Wedding planning is a good time to establish a great relationship with your new mother-in-law. Involve your mother-in-law in the planning so she doesn’t feel left out; invite her to your dress shopping appointment, include her in the cake tasting, or get her help making decor. If you’re annoyed that she is too opinionated, you have to consider who is financing the event. Does she have a stake? Then she should have a say. If you or your parents are paying for the wedding, the decisions are yours to make, but you need to be respectful of her feelings. Just be open, honest, and above all, kind.
Limiting the guest list
Do you have to invite everyone you’ve ever met to your wedding? Of course not! If you’d prefer a small wedding, but you’re getting pressure from the family to invite more people, just explain your perspective to them. If your parents or in-laws are paying, though, you should respect that they deserve some say in the guest list. A great way to limit the guest list is to limit plus ones; only include plus ones for single friends and family members with a long-term significant other.
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