The Etiquette Series- The Wedding Day

In the heat of summer weddings are on the mind, which is why we’re presenting part two of our etiquette series for couples, guests, family members alike can use as a resource. Last week we covered the basics in our pre wedding etiquette – invites, budget, kids or no kids? Today, we’re tackling that big, sparkly, dreamy (but maybe a wee bit stressful) day… a day that can run flawlessly with some preparation.

Whether you are a bride or groom, guest or member of the bridal party, we hope our guide to wedding day etiquette is useful.

xx, Calluna

Bride & Groom:

Tipping: Like most other service oriented employees, tipping is a cost to budget when paying your hard working vendors. Questions about proper tipping etiquette are frequently asked; see below for industry standards:

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Making the Rounds: It is important to greet and meet with your guests meaningfully, but don’t forget this day is about celebrating your newly established martial commitment – not all about you play host/ess. Make an effort to engage with guest (they did come out just for you!) and then ENJOY yourself! You’re there to dance, celebrate, eat the cake, and bask in you hard earned glory of the beautiful wedding you just planned. If you’re feeling like your personal connections still won’t suffice, a welcome toast is a great way to express your gratitude.

The Bridal Party

The Speeches: The Best Man & Maid of Honor are traditionally responsible for reception speeches. Varying in tone by each personality, we find this can be a highlight of the night for the entire wedding roster (how great is it to see a sentimental + hilarious side of the bride/groom in 3 minutes flat?!)

If you have a case of writer’s block, consider the following: speeches show showcase your friendship, a meaningful memory, a hope for the future. If you’re going the slap stick route, keep it light & playful. Major embarrassment does not look good on anyone. Let your personality shine!

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Be Helpful: Yes the bridal party should absolutely enjoy themselves at the wedding, as they are an integral part of the wedding fun. Why you’re kicking up your heels, make sure to check in with the newlyweds throughout the night. If the bride or groom expresses the need for something whether it be calming words before the ceremony, help getting their dress or suit on, or escorting Mr. I’ve Had One Too Many away from the bar area, don’t hesitate to make them as comfortable as possible.

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Wedding Guests:

Act Responsibly: Just because there may be an open bar doesn’t mean that you need to completely booze it up. While weddings are fun and do call for celebration, be aware of your alcohol consumption and keep in mind that any outrageous behavior could lead to an unhappy bride and groom. **This especially applies to Colorado weddings. Altitude can lower alcohol tolerance, so drink plenty of water throughout the night. 

Listen to the Invite: It is imperative not to assume that your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or children are invited just because you are. Some couples have to make tough attendance decisions so do you best to not be personally offended if the affair is “adult only.” Do not show up at the wedding with any unexpected guests or children for it could cause tremendous problems with the couple as well as seating and organization.

Be Social Media Savvy: Some couples highly encourage the use of social media at their weddings, and sometimes even have a special hashtag to be used for Instagram or Twitter. If this is the case, post fun and beautiful pictures and utilize social media to make the pictures easy to access. However, if the couple doesn’t make their preferences clear, either ask the wedding coordinator or bride and groom if you can post pictures. Some couples may be upset if they don’t get to see the pictures before everybody else.

Photography Credit: Ali Vagnini Photography || Color Me Rad Photography || Kate Holstein ||

Cynthia Kain Photography || Chris Humphreys Photography || Tess Pace Photography

The Etiquette Series – Pre Wedding Preparations

In a cultural moment where the rules of wedding etiquette tend to be in flux, it can be confusing to keep up and stay confident with what is expected. Following every single “rule” written by our friend Emily Post will definitely produce some tension, so let us take the reins on the research so you can get informed on all wedding etiquette & expectations. First up – pre wedding preparations. Stay tuned next week for part two, we’ll be discussing guest and hosting etiquette the day of the event.

Happy planning!

Xx, Calluna


The Invitations:

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The Engagement Party: 

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Guest etiquette for engagement parties

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The Bachelorette & Bachelor Party:

Bridal party etiquette for Bachelor & Bachelorette parties

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Photography: Laura Murray Photography || Tess Pace Photography || Kmulhern PhotoGraphy || Rachael Grace Photography

Vendor Love : Lana’s Shop || Cured



The Dos and Don’ts of Sending Wedding Invitations

You’ve crafted the perfect wedding invitation suite, now what? Next comes the sometimes-daunting task of assembling, addressing, and mailing out those beauties. The pressure of logistics and etiquette can be an unexpected stress at this time, but don’t worry; Whimsy Design Studio has got you covered. Here are her top five dos and don’ts for sending your wedding invitations with confidence:



 Do write out your guest’s addresses by hand.

Addressing by hand is a personal touch for your invitations that sets a warm, inviting tone for the event. Hate your handwriting? Hire a calligrapher or even a fun hand-lettering artist if you are going for a modern, playful vibe.

Don’t use adhesive labels.

Adhesive mailing labels have a time and place but your wedding invitations are not traditionally one of them. That said, I have seen them used with very contemporary or minimalistic invitation suites and they do coordinate beautifully. Use adhesive labels purposefully and not because you’re trying to save time.


Do use proper titles.

Titles are always important, but particularly necessary to include when the guest has a distinguished title such as doctors, judges, or military personnel. Your guests have earned these titles and it is disrespectful to forgo including them. When in doubt, ask before addressing!

Don’t write “and guest” for long term significant others.

Inviting a non-married friend with a long-term (typically over a year) or live-in significant other? Please learn their significant other’s name and include it on the envelope! Writing “and guest” instead of their name can be insulting to the sincerity of their relationship.




Do stack largest to smallest.

Traditionally your invitation is on the bottom, followed by the reply envelope and response card on top. Inserts such as reception cards and maps should be stacked accordingly depending on their size. Have more than a couple inserts? Pocket folders are a great way to organize all of those pieces.

Don’t wait until the last minute to assemble.

Assembly takes longer than most people realize. I recommend giving yourself at least two weeks for addressing and assembly; even longer if you have extras such as pocket folders, belly bands, wax seals, etc.


Do mail 6-8 weeks before your big day.

Wedding planning timelines can be chaotic. Remember to send your invites 6-8 weeks before the big day. I always recommend a little longer (roughly 8-10 weeks) for destination weddings or if you are expecting a lot of out of town guests.

Don’t ask for a reply within a week of when you mail.

Give your guests enough time to make a decision. Make your RSVP by date 2-4 weeks before your wedding date. This should not only give you enough time to track down those who don’t respond (there are always a few) but also allows enough time to give a final head count to the caterer, finalize your seating chart, and provide guest names to your stationer for escort cards.



Do include postage on your reply envelope.

Make it as easy as possible for your guests to RSVP by including a stamped envelope with your invitation set. Budget savvy tip: postcards require less postage than a reply card and envelope. The savings is roughly 13 cents per reply, but that can easily add up if you have a large guest list!

Don’t guess on the postage needed to mail your invite set.

Bring an assembled invitation set with an envelope and all inserts (reply, maps, etc.) to the post office and have them calculate what postage will be needed. Want something different? My favorite thing right now is mixing vintage postage in with modern designs for an eclectic and unique look.


Wedding invitation etiquette is difficult to navigate for most engaged couples and it’s hard to keep up when the “norm” is constantly evolving. When in doubt, think of the overall tone and mood you are trying to set for your wedding and keep that in mind when designing and sending your stationery pieces. Your invitations are a preview of what is to come on your wedding day; everything – even your envelope – should reflect that vision.

Want more tips for your wedding invitations? Follow Whimsy Design Studio on Instagram: @whimsydesignstudio and check out her weekly Manners Monday posts with advice, etiquette, and tricks for all things wedding stationery.

| Feature Photo Courtesy: Colby Elizabeth Photography |

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