gmhTODAY 26 gmhTODAY June July 2019 - Page 91

Karen La Corte manners MATTER Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certified by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. Karen is happy to answer your questions — email her at Wedding Etiquette Y ou are engaged! Congratulations! Weddings are happy occasions that involve not just the Bride and Groom, but the wedding party, family and invited guests. Your wedding can be as big, small, formal or simple as you choose. The better your event planning and organizing are, the less stressful and more enjoyable and memorable your wedding will be for everyone. First, you need a budget. Figure out where your funds are coming from and how much you have to work with, and stick to your budget! Securing a venue is next. Churches, event halls and wineries tend to book up a year in advance. Their availability will impact the date you choose for your wedding. Be prepared to make a deposit to reserve your space. Make a guest list. Know how many guests you can afford to invite based on estimated cost of cuisine and beverages. Some venues are all-inclusive with food, beverages, cake, and flowers as well as facility rental. Other venues let you bring in your own caterer and other services. Choose a florist. Floral centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and floral arrangements for the church or ceremony can be pricey. Shop around for the look you want and remember your budget. Looking for wedding cake options? A small cake for bride and groom to cut at the reception, while a photographer takes pictures, may be the answer. Affordable sheet cakes can be custom-ordered, pre-cut and boxed up by your neighborhood grocery store with a bakery. Pies, mini tarts, cookies, and other desserts provide a delicious and affordable alternative. If your venue prohibits use of outside services, let their chef or caterer know your preferences and review their recommendations. For music, consider a DJ or a live band. Check for booking fees and availability. When choosing a photographer and/or videographer, hire a professional rather than asking Uncle Bill to capture one of the most important days of your life. Some couples send out “Save the Date” cards well in advance, but your wedding invitation is what’s most important. Its style, font, and wording should reflect who you are and your wedding theme. Depending on budget, you can use online ven- dors or traditional stationery stores offering design services. Mail invitations about eight weeks before the wedding. Enclose a response card with a deadline to RSVP. Make a wishlist of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Give them a call or invite them to lunch or dinner and ask them to be part of your wedding party. Texting or emailing is not the way to ask. Flower girls and ring bearers are optional. Now the hunt is on for the wedding gown. Budget, budget, budget here!!! Tuxedos or more casual wear such as linen for a beach wedding is decided on. Color schemes for bridal parties are cho- sen. Remember the mothers, grandmoth- ers, fathers and grandfathers want to feel special on this day as well. Clothing alterations, hairstyling and makeup should all be included in the budget. Hire a professional wedding planner, or recruit someone you know and trust who can serve as coordinator for your big day so you can de-stress and enjoy a snafu-free event. Now’s the time to enjoy bridal showers, and bachelorette or bachelor parties. A couple of months before the wedding you need to check in again GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN june/july 2019 with vendors. Consider ordering a party favor for your guests if desired. Guests at the wedding should dress tastefully. Weddings are not the place to push the fashion envelope, drink too much, or act inappropriately. Respect the bride, groom and their parents by being a model guest. This is their day, not yours! With today’s online bridal registries, you can order a gift and have it shipped to the bride; or choose something on your own. Some couples include honeymoon activities on the registry too. Rule of thumb—purchase a gift of equal value to the price per plate at the reception. Money is always welcome. Keep in mind what you can afford. The Bride and Groom need to choose a honeymoon they can afford. Many couples are postponing the honeymoon of their dreams until they have the time and money to fully enjoy it. For the rehearsal dinner, barbeques, luncheons and cocktail parties are as popular as the traditional dinner. The groom’s family usually pays for this but if the wedding budget is split, the rehearsal dinner is too. Traditionally, a small gift of thanks is given to the wedding party. Thank everyone who assists in your planning process. Brides and grooms, make sure you send personalized thank you notes for your wedding gifts in a timely manner. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wedding etiquette. I welcome your questions on this subject. If you have one take-away from this reading, remember to be respectful and gracious throughout your planning and your event. It is an exciting time for every- one. There is no room for bridezilla, or the unappreciative guest. Manners, kindness and thankfulness are always in style! 91