Is Etiquette Dead?

Cash bars – Email wedding invitations – Including registry information with the invitation

The list goes on. We’ve all seen or heard of these wedding etiquette faux pas. And it seems to be getting more prevalent.

So . . .

Is wedding etiquette really dead – or is it just in limbo?

Have all the rules just been thrown out the window and we just get to make it up as we go along?

Well . . . NO.

The problem or confusion doesn’t stem from the etiquette “rules” themselves but in the simple fact that society has changed through the years so we’re all trying to figure out how these rules still fit – if at all.

The definition of etiquette is: “a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.” (

This very definition expresses that etiquette should be ever-changing, as it is a code of behavior according to contemporary norms – contemporary, modern, up-to-date, present, what’s relevant right now.

There is definitely a place for etiquette and rules, but I prefer to think of them as guidelines that are to be tweaked and altered to fit each unique situation.

No, etiquette is not dead. But it needs to evolve and change to keep up with the changes in society and the specific needs of each individual couple.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Book Review – Wedding Sermons and Marriage Ceremonies by Derl Keefer and Cheryl Rohret

wedding sermons and marriage ceremonies - This post may include affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for products purchased, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own, and I only share products that I love. Please read my full disclaimer if you are interested to know more.

Book Review – Wedding Sermons and Marriage Ceremonies

These days there are so many books and planners that emphasize the “fun” aspects of planning a wedding (ex. reception, music, food, gown) that the actual wedding ceremony itself becomes nothing but an afterthought. It’s refreshing to find a book that is easy to use, and offers a number of variations for your wedding including different options for your vows and readings.

Although aimed at the wedding officiants, Wedding Sermons and Marriage Ceremonies can prove invaluable to any couple who wish to be actively involved in planning their wedding ceremony. The authors include ceremonies for specific situations such as “older couple, previously married,” and “second marriage with children.” This book offers different options for creating a personalized ceremony while retaining the dignity and respect deserving of such an event.

There’s no frou-frou or fluff, it gets straight to the point. The only “drawback” to this book is that it is aimed solely towards Christian ceremonies.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Avoid These Top 7 Wedding Music Mishaps for a Rockin’ Reception

bride dancing at her wedding reception You’ve put a lot of time and effort into choosing your wedding songs for your reception. Wedding music mishaps can make your reception come to a screeching halt. Your wedding music is the soundtrack of your wedding day. Studies show that music greatly influences the success of the day. Regardless of the style and vibe you want for your reception, to keep your reception fun and rockin’ from start to finish, follow these easy tips:

Mistake #1
Not meeting your DJ until the day of your wedding

It’s important to know that your DJ is skilled and qualified, and understands what you want on your wedding day. Waiting until your wedding day is too late. Is there a personality match between you and the DJ? Does the DJ have the proper equipment to do a professional job? Is the DJ aware of your special song list, or other song requirements?

A face-to-face meeting before your wedding day is the only way to know for sure, and to avoid any problems that could otherwise come up.

You’ll also want to make sure that the DJ you are talking with will be the actual DJ performing at your reception. If you’re working with a DJ company that has several different DJs on staff (or sub-contracts it’s DJs) it is too easy to think you’re getting one DJ and then end up getting someone else.

Mistake #2
Having your DJ play only one type of music

You’ll have a wide range of age groups and musical tastes among your guests, so you’ll want to have a variety to keep everyone partying.

Mistake #3
Picking too many songs

In reality, your DJ will play approximately 12 to 15 songs per hour. Since most receptions are 4-5 hours long, that’s about 60-75 songs. Also, give your DJ the freedom to take requests from your guests, and throw in other songs that will keep your guests on the dance floor and having a good time.

Mistake #4
Not making a Do-Not-Play list

At your reception you really won’t want to hear a song that reminds you of an ex, or is a genre or by an artist that you don’t like. So give your DJ a heads up about any songs, artists, or genres that you don’t want to played at your wedding.

Mistake #5
Playing the R-Rated versions

Do you really want to subject your guests (particularly small children or your grandma) to profane and provocative lyrics? (Yes, they will notice!)

Be conscious of your song choices. If there is a song you love, and really want played at your reception (but you know it contains some naughty words) ask your DJ if a more appropriate version is available. Many songs come in PG versions.

How To Choose Ceremony Music to Express Your Wedding Vision – Part 3

Mistake #6
Having the wrong size dance floor

I feel like Goldilocks, but . . .

You don’t want a dance floor that’s too big. If it seems ginormous, it will appear that your guests aren’t enjoying themselves (even if most of them are dancing away).

You also don’t want a dance floor that’s too small, as it will be congested, your guests will be uncomfortable, and it will discourage them from dancing.

For a dance floor that’s just right, follow this easy rule of thumb: There should be 3-4 square feet of dance floor per person. Keep in mind that typically only about 40% of your guests will be dancing at one time, so you really won’t need one so large as to accommodate everyone at once.

Mistake #7
Not checking on local sound ordinance laws

This usually isn’t as important if your reception will be in an indoor venue that regularly has receptions and parties, but absolutely necessary if your reception will be outdoors, in a tent, or at home in a backyard.

Check with your local city hall or police department to see what the rules are for sound levels and end-time restrictions. The last thing you want is for the police show up and your party coming to a crashing halt.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Bride & Groom Q & A – Goodie Bags for Guests





Q – I have a lot of out-of-town guests coming for my wedding. We’d like to make up little goodie bags for them, but don’t want to be expensive. Any suggestions?

A – Hospitality bag for out-of-town guests are a wonderful idea to welcome your guests when you just don’t have the time to physically meet and greet them. Use colorful lunch sized bags (found at craft stores), or if you want to get creative, decorate some plain brown or white ones.

Some inexpensive, but fun ideas to include are:

  • Small bottles of lotion
  • Little soaps or candles
  • Snacks — dried fruits, nuts, chocolate — maybe made locally, or home-made
  • Tea bags or hot chocolate packs (hotels often have coffee pots & coffee but forget about us non-coffee drinkers)
  • A little welcome note written on the back of a local postcard

Secure the bag closed with ribbon (fold top over, punch a couple holes and tie ribbon through holes) or use a pretty sticker.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Bride & Groom Q & A – When Guests RSVP More People Than Invited

Q. What do I do when guests RSVP and state on the reply card that the number of guests planning to attend is larger than the number we’ve invited?

A. If your name is on the envelope you’re invited; if your name isn’t on the envelope then you’re not. Simple as that.

Unfortunately too many people don’t get it. They don’t mean to be inconsiderate, but they just don’t stop and think what having unexpected people show up to your wedding can mean.

The more people you have means you will need more food and drink, more tables and linens, more favors, more everything. And that means spending more money! Also, there is the potential for space concerns. Your venue may not be able to comfortably hold more people.

So what’s a bride to do?

Call (or have your maid of honor, bridesmaid or other family member) the “offending” guest and politely explain that although you’d love to expand your guest list to include so and so at your wedding, your budget or the room, just won’t accommodate any more people than who you have already invited.

Some guests may be offended, often the parents of little ones. But they are the ones in the wrong, not you! You have every right to invite whom you want (and to not invite whomever you want). It’s your decision (as well as your fiance’s).

Be very careful if you decide to let the “offending” guest bring their extras, as other guests who have followed etiquette, and not added extra people may become offended themselves when they see someone else bring more people. They may think “why wasn’t my little Johnny invited when their little Suzie was?”

If many of your guests have children, but you aren’t planning on including their kids in the festivities, you may consider providing on-site childcare, and have them in a separate room than where the reception will be held.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Do you have a question or wedding dilemma that you need help with? Contact me at or at 937-235-2586.

Bride & Groom Q & A – When Someone Shows Up But they Responded “No”

Q. What do we do if someone RSVPs no, but they actually show up on the wedding day?

A. I have seen several answers to this question. Many experts have said to have someone at the door with a list of who will be attending (your “YES” RSVPs), and if someone’s name is not on the list they are to be politely turned away.

The way of thinking behind this is if they said they weren’t coming, then they should not be let in.

However . . .

Regardless of their response, the fact remains that YOU INVITED THEM. You asked them to be there, therefore, you want them to be there. This is the way I see it. You invited them. Their “No” RSVP didn’t uninvite them.

So, what to do with them once they’re there?


In reality, there is a low percentage of people who will attend who said they couldn’t, AND a low percentage of those who RSVPed ‘Yes’ who don’t show up. This number usually cancels each other out. Meaning, you’ve still got the same number of people that you originally planned on.

Caterers typically make more food than needed, often about 5% more, but check with your caterer to be sure. This will alleviate the problem of “we don’t have enough food for another person or two.”

Also, I highly recommend planning on more seating than needed. Here’s an example using 150 people as your final head count. Your head table will seat 10 (you, your groom, and the 8 people in your bridal party), leaving 140 people. Most tables comfortably seat 8 people, so 140 divided by 8 is 17.5. Round this up and at the minimum you’ll need 18 tables. Add in at least 1 extra table, two if you have open seating! That way, if you get a few unplanned people showing up, or someone wants to change their seat, there won’t be any hassle.

So, back to the original question, what to do if someone shows up who you didn’t plan for? Let them in, but plan ahead for this situation. You’ll be the gracious host, your guests won’t be made to feel uncomfortable, and everyone will have a fabulous time.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Do you have a wedding planning dilemma or question you need answered? Let me know at or at 937-235-2586. I’d be happy to help.

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Bride & Groom Q & A – What to Do When Guests Don’t RSVP






Q. I’ve sent out my invitations, and the date for my guests to RSVP by is almost here. But I haven’t got very many RSVP cards back yet! What do I do?

A. This is a common problem for just about every bride and groom. When you’re anxiously awaiting those reply cards, what could be worse than opening up a mailbox with nothing inside?

You need an accurate head count (for your caterer, and to make sure you’ve got enough tables and chairs, and centerpieces). The only way to handle this is starting the day AFTER your “RSVP by” date call the non-RSVPers and politely ask them if they’re going to be attending. A simple “Joe and I are looking forward to having you celebrate our wedding day with us. Will you be there?”

Make sure you get a yes or no, maybes aren’t allowed!

You can also have your groom, your maid of honor, your bridesmaids, a family member, or even your wedding planner help with making these calls. I have made several “Will you be there” calls on behalf of my brides and grooms.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Bride & Groom Q & A – What Does “M______________” Mean





Q. What is the “M” with a line for on the RSVP card?

A. The M on an RSVP card is where the guest will write his or her title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss) and then their name(s) on the line.

These days, many couples are often omitting the “M” and putting the word “Name” instead.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For help with your wedding invitations or other stationery, contact me at or at 937-235-2586.

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