Read the original article from The Times here.
The royal wedding may be long past, but wedding season in Northwest Indiana is kicking into high gear. No matter how many weddings you attend this year, chances are you want to be the best guest possible. We’ve rounded up one of Northwest Indiana’s top wedding experts to answer wedding etiquette questions to make sure the day is a pleasant one for both you and the happy couple.
How do I know if my significant other is invited?
Christina Zukoski Page, has been helping brides with their weddings for seven years at Merrillville-based Devoted Weddings and Events, and who gets invited to the wedding is one of the top issues that couples and guests have to deal with. Page said traditionally, if the bride and groom were more your friends than your significant other’s, the envelope would be addressed to only you. A second envelope inside would be addressed to you and guest or you and your partner’s name. Most couples are doing away with the two envelope system these days, and looking at who the invitation is addressed to should give you a good idea. Also, Page recommends taking a look at the response card for clues.
At what age is it inappropriate to invite guests without dates?
Page said there isn’t an official age, but usually couples choose to offer a “plus one” to guests older than 18 to 21. If you’re not invited with a date, don’t take it to heart, Page said, it’s likely a budget issue.
How do I know if my kids are invited to the reception?
If your children are listed on the inner envelope or if the reception card asks how many people are attending, chances are your children are invited. However, Page said it is becoming the norm to have the reception information contain an “adults only” disclaimer.
Should I attend a wedding if I don’t like the person my friend is marrying?
Page says yes, you should go even if you don’t like the person your friend is pledging to spend the rest of their life with. “You don’t want to burn a bridge and you should be supportive of your friend,” she said.
Is there anything, such as a specific color, that isn’t appropriate to wear to a wedding?
Not anymore, Page said. Black at a wedding used to be taboo, but now many bridges are including the color in their color scheme. White is acceptable if you have a dress with a white print, but you don’t want to take away from the bride.
If I can’t attend the wedding and am sending a gift, when is the appropriate time to send it?
Page recommends sending a gift two to four weeks before the wedding, because the bride and groom will be too busy the week of the wedding to take care of the gift. After the event is okay, too, but no later than two weeks after.
If I’m the guest of the bride and I’m writing a check as my gift, who should I address the check to? Should I use the bride’s maiden name or married name?
Go ahead and make the check out to the groom. That way you have a name on the check that will guarantee it gets cashed, Page said.
What is the appropriate amount to give if you’re writing a check?
Really, you want to pay for the cost of your dinner and give a gift as well, Page said. So take an educated guess on the cost of your plate and throw in some extra.
What is the appropriate time to arrive at the ceremony?
One of the biggest guest faux pas is showing up after the bride makes her way down the aisle. Being late to a baseball game is acceptable, being late to a wedding isn’t. Page recommends getting to a ceremony venue a half hour before the ceremony begins, 15 minutes early at the latest. You need to make sure you have enough time to park and get seated. “If the invitation says 3 p.m., that means the ceremony starts at 3 p.m. It doesn’t mean get there at 3 p.m.”