The Wedding Yentas is so excited to bring back another edition of a wedding advice column, Yenta-quette, featuring questions and answers about wedding etiquette from a Los Angeles foodie, social butterfly, and former Real Weddings bride, Desiree Jacobs.
Desiree, more than anything, enjoys coming home from work and putting on pajamas. She loves to eat Mexican food and sushi (not together) and couldn’t live without chocolate. She’s got a penchant for reality tv and 90s music. She lives with her husband Richard and the cutest dog that ever lived, Breaker. She wears a size 7 shoe and would love the entire current Sam Edelman collection and black Louboutains. Feel free to send them her way! Oh and Kate Spade bags are also appreciated. If you love Yenta-quette and you’re like, “I NEED MORE OF THAT” visit her blog at www.bundtsofsteelblog.com.
How do I address envelopes? What about when the woman in a couple is a doctor? Or what about friends of mine who are single and bringing a date?
It is true that your invitation sets the tone for your wedding, but what do guests see before they see the invitation itself? They see the envelope! Depending on the formality of your wedding, you have several options of how to address envelopes. If you’re having a very formal black tie wedding, you should definitely use formal titles, not “Uncle Bob and Aunt Becky.” It would read: Dr. and Mrs. Robert Goldberg.
Now this is an excellent question when the wife is a Dr. In this case, you would address the envelope “Mr. Robert and Dr. Rebecca Goldberg.” Another tricky situation can be when a married couple does not have the same last name, in which you would address them “Dr. Robert Goldberg and Mrs. Rebecca Weissblatt.” These invitations look great when done in calligraphy by hand and you spell out “Boulevard” instead of “Blvd.” Please note that it is appreciated by guests to use the word “Unit” as opposed to “Apartment” as it encompasses apartments and condos. You may also have an envelope inside the outer envelope that says first names of the couple and contains the actual invitation, though this secondary envelope is not really necessary. If you are sending the invitation to a friend with a date and you know the date, please address the invitation to both of them “Mr. Jeffrey Steinberg and (or use “&”) Miss Lauren Horowitz.” If you do not know the date’s name, you may say “Mr. George Rosenberg and Guest.”
If you are having a very intimate, casual wedding, you can be a little more creative with your address format. It is still nice to address as “Mr. and (or use “&” or “+”) Mrs. Goldstein”, but you can be more playful here and use first names, “Josh and Rachel Goldstein.”
What’s the etiquette on letting my friends bring a date to the wedding? Should my wedding be a Sadie Hawkins dance or is there a set of rules for who can invite a plus-one? And how do I share my decision?
There are a few ways to tackle this one and in the end, someone will always get their feelings hurt. It’s one of the harder parts of determining a guest list as you don’t want friends to feel left out if they can’t bring a date. Unless you don’t have a budget or are getting married in an enormous venue that can accommodate an endless number of guests, you’re going to have to draw the line somewhere and one of those places is by limiting “plus ones” aka “dates.” It is common for couples to make a rule about who gets to bring a date and who doesn’t. Sometimes the rule is that the wedding party can invite dates, another thought is that family members can invite dates, and it is even okay to decide that no one can bring dates.
This was a difficult decision my husband and I made for our guest list and we decided that we would invite significant others of friends if we had socialized with the significant other on a regular basis, the couple had been together for a significant amount of time (for us this was about a year), was living together, or engaged. I felt strongly that I wanted to know every guest at my wedding. I didn’t want to look at wedding pictures and wonder “who’s the guy with Nicole? Was that the week she was dating Josh or Jeff,” or to learn that they broke up their hot two-week-old romance the week after my wedding.
Your friends should pick up on if they are invited solo or with a guest based on whose names are on or are not on the envelope. If it is just your name, then you are the only person invited to the wedding. If the envelope says “and guest” then mazel tov, you just scored a date to the wedding! It might sound harsh to have this cut and dry rule, but creating some kind of guideline about how to handle dates is the fairest way to handle this. Be sure to stick to it to avoid further hurting feelings. Stand by your rule if a friend asks you if they can bring someone and be honest; explain that you have a limited amount of seating in your venue and cannot accommodate dates for all your friends. It’s a tough conversation to have and one many a bride has had to deal with and will have to respond to in the future.
Do I still buy a gift for the couple if I’m in the wedding party?
So you’re a bridesmaid and you’ve already ponied up for a dress, new shoes, perhaps some travel, hair, makeup, a bachelorette party, and who knows what other expense may have come your way in your quest to support one of your best friends on her big day! IT ADDS UP and this is a hotly debated topic. When I have been a bridesmaid I have always given a gift to the couple. I knew when I said yes to being in her wedding that it would be an expensive year. When I was a bride, all my bridesmaids gave me gifts as well. I actually didn’t expect this from them and had they not given me a gift I wouldn’t have been surprised or disappointed because I know participating in a wedding is a big financial commitment. I’m sure if you’re in the wedding, you still want to do something for the couple, so try to get them something thoughtful and a price point you’re comfortable with. If you’re bringing a date to the wedding, you might want to dip a little deeper and give something just a little more because it was nice of the couple to invite your date.