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Wedding etiquette is intertwined with tradition. Everything from who to invite and where they sit to how to dress is part of the litany of unwritten rules to follow. It can be hard to keep all of it straight, with dire consequence if you make a mistake. You want your guests to remember the highlights of your wedding, not your etiquette flaws.

Didi Lorillard, Newport’s very own manners expert, shares the most important things to remember so you won’t miss-step when you walk down the aisle. Ultimately, be clear in your communication in every element. Utilize tools like a wedding website and Save-The-Date mailing. Be specific and address issues preventatively to eliminate confusion.

Not a day Care
Problem: Bring a child to the wedding or find a babysitter.
A child can be an unwelcome distraction to guests, and to the bride and groom. While it is common for members of the couple’s family to bring children to the wedding, guests should not assume it is a child-friendly event. There is little for kids to do, especially with no other children around.
How to avoid:
❖ Decide early in the planning if children will be part of the wedding.
❖  Specify in your Save The Date and in your invitation.
❖  If children are attending, plan activities for them.
❖  Consider assigning a staff person to care for them.

Plus one
Problem: A guest decides to bring a plus-one who was not on the original guest list.
An uninvited guest can create an awkward situation. Your invited guest might realize they have overstepped, the plus-one will feel unwelcome, and the host will be compelled to solve the problem.
How to avoid:
❖ Don’t assume your guests know the rules for a plus-one.
❖ State clearly in your invitation that plus-ones are not included.
❖ Work with your caterer to pad your count and ensure there is extra food.
❖ Plan additional seats at tables that can flex to fit another person.

Cut from the list
Problem: You are trimming your guest list and someone invited to your engagement party or shower may not be invited to the wedding.
One of the biggest faux-pas a couple can make is to exclude someone from your wedding invites that attended the wedding shower or engagement party.  Usually this is a distant family member that is a last minute cut from the final invitation list. It is a common occurrence, but a very serious problem that should be avoided.
How to avoid:
❖ Be selective in your guest list when planning those early events.
❖ Focus on your closest friends and immediate family.
❖ Work with your bridesmaids and family, who are likely planning your shower, on setting the guest list.
❖ If you absolutely have to exclude someone that was already part of your celebration, a personal phone call or note is a must. Don’t leave the person wondering where their invite is. 


Some Dos & Don’ts

Emergence of social media has created a whole host of wedding etiquette concerns.

Everything from the engagement announcement to posting pictures on the wedding day are all a way to share the story of your wedding.  Keep these tips in mind to avoid any miscues.



Do celebrate the engagement on social media.

Don’t do it until after everyone has been informed.


Ceremony and reception pictures

Do take lots of pictures to share on social media.

Don’t post ahead of the bride and steal her thunder.


Uncompromising position

Do use pictures to tell the story of how fun the ceremony was.

Don’t post pictures that would embarrass the couple.


By Jake Cathers


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