H&H Weddings

Étiquette

We Do's

Planning a wedding is stressful enough without having to worry about etiquette guidelines. Let us help you out!

Ask us a question regarding étiquette by contacting us at bonjour@handhweddings.com

etiquette / article Feb 15 2017

How To Make Your Wedding Day Your Own

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This post is brought to you by the wonderful, Jenn Bean. She is the owner of Marry Me Ceremonies, a wedding officiating service. Jenn is serving up some great ideas about how to personalize your ceremony so that it feels uniquely you! Often couples get so lost in the details of weddings that they see online or in magazines that they forget to make their fête a reflection of them and their own relationship!

Here is what Jenn has to say...

Your wedding celebration should reflect your style as a couple. Little details are easy and fun ways to express yourselves and personalize your big day. Here are some of my favorites, I hope you are inspired!

1. Serve a signature cocktail. This is a great way to simplify the bar and cut down on costs.  Some drinks can easily be made non-alcoholic for all to enjoy! The best part, guests will think of you whenever and wherever they order your special drink.  

2. Create your own logo to use throughout the wedding process: save the dates, invitations, table tops, thank you cards, etc. It won't cost that much more to have personalized stationery printed at the same time to use for years to come!  

3. Are you musical or know someone who is? Ask them to perform a song during the ceremony, reception, or better yet for your first dance!  

4. Have fun with favors! Think about what reflects you as a couple. Do you love the outdoors? Have seed packets for guests to plant in the spring. The flowers will remind them of you and the joy of love while they bloom. Are you a foodie? Serve your favorite treats at the wedding or wrap individual portions of local treats for your guests to enjoy. This is especially nice when guests are traveling! Make it a family affair and have loved ones bake their signature cookies along with printed recipes to take home in individual gift bags. 

5. Be bold! One of the most memorable things I have experienced in 75+ weddings was a couple who created individual quests€ for each of their guests to accomplish during the reception. You can simplify this idea by putting cards on the tables with suggestions such as taking a photo of people at another table or asking someone they don'€™t know to dance.

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etiquette / q & a Jul 20 2016

Q

My husband-to-be wants to have a large wedding, while I have always dreamt of a small, intimate ceremony. How can we come to a compromise?

A

First and foremost, wedding size is an issue that plagues many couples planning their events, so know that you are not alone. Many a bride and many a groom have argued over this and gone on to have happy marriages.  

Everyone knows that relationships are about compromise and planning a wedding is no exception. Two people are coming together to celebrate what is probably the most significant day in their lives thus far, which is great! But it’s also extremely stressful. Each partner should make a list of the things that are important to them on their wedding day. Maybe one of you wants to make it a black tie affair, while the other wants something a bit more casual. If you can each narrow down three or four “musts” for the big day, you can see where compromise can be made. Perhaps your fiancé has a caterer in mind that he just can’t shake and you absolutely loved the floral arrangements that you saw on H&H Weddings last fall. You get your way with one thing, he gets his way with another. This can instigate an environment of compromise and couples decision-making.  

As for the wedding size; you can cave, he can cave or you can meet in the middle. To us, meeting in the middle seems like the best solution. This way your future husband doesn’t feel like he gave up the grand wedding he always wanted and you don’t feel like you had to include people that wouldn’t have made it in the wedding party otherwise. If you aren’t concerned about symmetry, let your groom have as many people in his wedding party as possible and you keep the number in yours as small as you like. It might make pictures awkward, but if you’re both happy, it really does not matter. If symmetry is a concern, get creative! Who says your grandma can’t be in your wedding party? She means the world to you, afterall.  

Luckily, there are no real rules for this. As long as you love each other and make each other happy, you’ll be just fine.

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etiquette / article Jun 29 2016

Drag Shows

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Recently, I've been reading a lot about couples questioning whether or not they should have drag queens or kings perform at their weddings. People seem torn; drag queens and kings are a blast, but they can be outspoken, possibly offending the more straight-laced guests.

Generally speaking, I think it's your day! If you want the most fabulous drag show ever executed, go for it!

There are a couple of things that I think you should keep in mind while planning this spectacular event...

First, you and your spouse are the center of attention. While the drag show will likely be amazing, that does not take away from the fact that this is probably the most important day you've spent with your partner.

Secondly, if you do have some more conservative guests, make sure there is an open dialogue between you and the performer. The energy should be positive and loving, so make sure all parties involved know to keep things light and be aware of who (if anyone) they're singling out in the crowd.

The best part of drag shows is interacting, so providing singles for guests to use is a great idea! 

Lastly, relax and enjoy your big day! 

Photo Credit: Jonica Moore Photography 

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etiquette / article Jun 15 2016

Children's Attire

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I was recently asked this question by a couple who is in the midst of wedding planning.  If there is a ring bearer and a flower tosser (we won't assume it's a girl) who pays for their attire? 

Just like the wedding party, agreeing to be part of your big day means agreeing to pay your way, which includes the get up. The parent's of the kids will most likely be aware that they need to provide the garb, however, this is something that you can discuss when you ask for their child's participation. 

If you are planning to pay for your wedding party's attire, you should also include the tyke's clothing! 

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etiquette / article Jun 8 2016

Technology At Your Wedding

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Technology improves so many facets of our lives these days. It takes ten minutes to order groceries from your smartphone, and you can make anyone look like a Kardashian in a matter of seconds. There are plenty of negatives to the growing tech world too - people are glued to their devices, constantly distracted.  

These days, it can be a big decision for a couple to make; should we allow the use of cell phones, or politely request that they be turned off? We’re here to help you make that decision!  

If you're thinking about allowing cell phones at your wedding and reception, there are a few things to think about. It's perfectly acceptable to ask that guests not take photos with the flash. It can interrupt your photographer'™s shots and be a general disturbance to the day. Specifically during your ceremony, it'™s best to have a sign mentioning that the couple would appreciate it if guests didn't take pictures (that is why you're paying your photographer, after all). It's also a good idea to reiterate that all sounds should be disabled.  

Back when disposable cameras were all the rage, people used to put them out on tables for the reception, in hopes of seeing some of the fun, silly moments that they may have missed. Now, we see couples asking that you hashtag images taken at their wedding so they can have a fun little online album from Twitter and Instagram. We think this is a great idea. People are so attached to their phones and so used to using them for social media purposes. Asking guests to hashtag photos adds an interactive aspect to your big day and allows you many, many #tbt opportunities!  

If you’re considering asking your guests not to use devices at your wedding, there are a few things to think about, too! First and foremost, you are asking people to set down the device that they are probably holding (or near to) for about three quarters of the day. Talk about separation anxiety! During the ceremony, it’s certainly acceptable for the couple to ask guests to pocket phones. It keeps things quiet, intimate and it keeps all eyes on the newlyweds! After the ceremony, things can get a bit sticky. Your guests have lives outside of your wedding which may include kids, pets, significant others. You can’t ask that they not call the babysitter to check in on the kids. You can, however, have a designated area, within the reception venue, where guests can be directed to make phone calls and send text messages. Keep in mind that guests may spend more time here than you’d like.  

As times change, so do the rules for etiquette! Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to issues like this, just go with your gut!

Photo Credit: Katie Osgood Photography

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etiquette / article May 4 2016

The Pronouncement

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Husband and husband? Sure! Each other’s one and only? Why not? Partners in life? Absolutely!

    

The pronouncement can be a tricky subject for LGBT couples planning their nuptials. While some couples chose not to include this in their ceremony, others want to be officially introduced to their guests as a married couple for the first time.

    

Go with your instincts in this situation. There is no right or wrong answer. You could even be pronounced, simply, as “married.”

    

If you’re having a casual ceremony, something fun such as “partners in crime” is a cute, fun way to tell your loved ones that you’re in it for the long haul.

    

Officiants who have wed LGBT couples before will likely have experience with this, so turn to them for advice.

    

However you chose to word your pronouncement, be sure it feels like it’s authentic to you as a couple!

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etiquette / article Apr 27 2016

Parent & Child Dance

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There are many marital traditions that are easy for LGBT couples to mold and incorporate into their own weddings. The general flow of most LGBT weddings mimics that of their more traditional counterpart, heterosexual weddings. However, there are a few key points in a wedding where LGBT couples may have to get creative in an effort to keep the ceremony about the love and commitment of the couple.  

One of the places that couples seem to get caught up in planning a wedding is the parent/child dance. Traditionally, the parent/child dance is between a father and his daughter. Though, that may not always be the case, who says a groom can'€™t dance with his father? We say, if you want to include this special tradition in your reception, boogie down with whichever parent you feel you'€™re meant to dance with!  

In some cases, parents may not be supportive of the choice of their child to marry someone of the same gender. If this is the case, it does not mean that this tradition cannot happen. Talk to your partner'€™s parents, if you feel close to them, maybe they are willing to step in. Another alternative would be to dance with a sibling, relative, close friend, or another member of the wedding party.  

Lastly, we like the idea of a group dance! Mothers, fathers, stepparents, and siblings alike can all dance together with the couple to show their loved one how important this day is. Choreographed or improvised, this dance is sure to make attendants of the wedding feel the support.  

As always, this is your day. It's about what makes you and your spouse-to-be feel the loving embrace of those around you.

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etiquette / article Apr 20 2016

The Wedding Party

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We've been reading a lot recently about LGBT couples having trouble giving their wedding parties titles. For instance, if a bride includes men in her wedding party, they are neither groomsmen nor bridesmaids.

Our suggestion is simple; make it your own! Your wedding day should feel unique, special, and completely your own. Calling them "Courtney's Crew" or "Ben's Brood" makes it fun and personal. If you are going for a more formal feel, calling the party "Honorary Attendants" or even just "The Wedding Party," keeps things neutral, but structured.

Ultimately, these are the people who want you to be happy and surrounded by love. They probably don't really care what you call them, as long as you are content with your wedding.

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etiquette / q & a Apr 6 2016

Q

My partner and I are trying to decide how to walk down the aisle without labeling one of us "bride" and the other "groom". Any suggestions?

A

In terms of marital traditions, LGBT weddings can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Because there are no rules, the options are endless; which can be extremely overwhelming to a couple trying to figure out the best way to celebrate their love and commitment with friends and family.  

The solution to the issue of walking down the aisle can be simple. Many couples have said they always knew who would walk first and wait at the ceremony spot, and who would then follow. Other couples have stated that, in order to avoid “bride” and “groom” stereotypes, they walked down the aisle together, signifying that they are not being “given away,” rather entering matrimony as united partners.
 

Unfortunately, it’s not always this easy. For many couples, neither partner is more masculine or feminine, and neither wants to be labeled as such. At the end of the day, the framework for these ceremonies still lies in tradition. Luckily, there are plenty of options to make your big day memorable and meaningful!
 

If both sets of parents are participating and supportive, one option is to have each bride or groom be walked down the aisle, separately, by their parent(s). Proceeding this way gives each bride or groom their moment in the spotlight.
 

Another idea is two aisles. This less traditional option can take away from attention being paid to one person at a time, but some couples might prefer to walk towards each other to the ceremony spot, signifying that they will meet in the middle. Though, this may get tricky when it is time to leave the ceremony as a couple. If you choose this option, talk to your venue and/or planner about how best to set up the ceremony space.
 

Since weddings are all about the love and support of families and friends uniting, couples might choose to walk down the aisle together. Though if you have a wedding party, it could become quite difficult to walk with your escorts as well without over-crowding the aisle. If this is the case, consider having all escorts and members of the wedding party walk first, with you and your partner to follow as a couple. This is a great way for newlyweds to feel that they are supported by all their loved ones.
 

At the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your partner. You should feel like it belongs to you and the love of your life, so make it your own!

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etiquette / q & a May 12 2015

Q

Can I invite my ex to my wedding?

A

It’s the question that plagues so many couples planning their weddings; to invite an ex or not? Because the average age of a first marriage is on the rise, people tend to have deeper dating histories. All of this can be great in so many ways, but can be cause for problems when planning a wedding.  
Rule number one, and this goes for Every. Single. Decision (wedding related or not); check in. It seems simple, but it’s oft forgotten. You might be worried about the reaction of your spouse-to-be, but you must ask.  
Rule number two; be honest! Yes, it sounds obvious, but how many times have you conceded to something you weren’t actually okay with? “Yes, I would love to invite your parents on vacation….”  
Rule number three; better safe than sorry. If there is a chance that this ex might cause tension at the wedding, forget the invite. This is the first step for you, as a couple, in the next stage of life. The day is all about you, so make it perfect! There should not be distractions or ill will towards anyone there. It’s all about the love!  
This is definitely on a case-by-case basis, but if both partners are honest and forthcoming, the decision should be clear!

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