Etiquette Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

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1. You’re not including the wedding location on your save-the-date card.

Even if you and your fiancé are from the same hometown and still live there now, there’s no guarantee that the wedding will take place in that same location. Avoid having 100 people asking you, “Where’s the wedding?” by including the city and state on your save-the-date (no need to put the actual venue at this stage). Many of your guests will still have to travel and possibly book overnight accommodations so give them a heads up as a courtesy.

2. You’re choosing a less convenient date or time.

As weddings have grown more expensive, it’s not surprising that more couples are opting to get married on a Friday or Sunday rather than the high-priced Saturday night. But there’s a reason Saturday is the most popular day for weddings to take place — with Friday weddings, your guests either need to take the day off work, leave work early, or skip your ceremony altogether and just attend the reception. With Sunday weddings, unless it’s a holiday weekend, guests won’t be able to let loose as much as they’d like, and many will leave early to get a good night’s sleep before the work week begins again.

If you choose Friday, start your ceremony later — perhaps 7 or 8 p.m. And if you opt for Sunday, consider an afternoon ceremony with the reception ending by 9 or 10 p.m. (you can have an informal after-party back at the hotel for guests who do want to party all night).

3. You’re not making clear-cut lines on who’s invited and who’s not.

There are certain groups you generally can’t break; even if you see some of your aunts and uncles a few times a month and others a few times a decade, you really should include all (or none) out of fairness.

Regarding “plus ones,” the general rule is that couples who are married, engaged, or living together must be invited together, even if you haven’t met your friend’s significant other. After that, it gets a little less clear-cut. Some couples give a plus one to singles over 18. Others decide to include dates for anyone in a relationship, while others draw the line at just couples who have been together for a year or more. Whatever you decide, consistency is key. The exception is your bridal party members — if you can swing it, allow your single bridesmaids and groomsmen to invite dates if they choose to do so.

4. You’re putting a false start time on the invitation.

If you’re planning to walk down the aisle at 7 p.m., the time on your invitation should be 7 p.m. Don’t leave your guests waiting just because you want to make sure no one misses your grand entrance. Most guests know better than to show up right at the invite time anyway, so if you put 6:30 for a 7 o’clock ceremony, some of your guests could be waiting around for as long as an hour before you begin.