With tons of brides and grooms opting for non-traditional weddings, etiquette has all but been thrown out the window. However, no matter the wedding, there are a few MUSTS that should never go out of style.
Don’t expect her father, or family, to pay for the wedding. There are strict rules that adher to her father paying for the wedding: no sex before marriage, all courtships and dates supervised by her family, no being alone before the wedding, asking for her hand in marriage before proposing, and only kissing if her parents approve. The vast majority of couples don’t do this anymore, so if you haven’t followed each and every one of these steps, her father is not expected to pay for the wedding and neither is her family, no matter how rich they are. This is a nice way to start working together as a couple, since you will surely tackle hefty financial tasks in the future (like buying a new car or a house). This is a great place to start! Besides, you two aren’t children anymore. It’s time you paid for your own things.
Pay attention to what kind of ring she wants. Keep seeing her marvel at princess-cut diamond rings at every jeweler you pass? Don’t get her an oval-shaped pearl. Listen to her hints and when in doubt, ask her best friends and closest family. This goes the same for the groom; if he mentions he prefers a skinny band compared to a thick one, please keep that in mind when shopping for his wedding ring.
Serve your guests something, even if it’s just cake and/or punch. People come to weddings expecting food, and it’s nice to have your first meal together as husband and wife (or wife/wife and husband/husband) with your family and close friends. If you can’t afford to provide this, have a potluck wedding!
Invite close family members and friends to the ceremony and reception. When I was first looking into weddings I was shocked that people would find it insulting to be invited to the ceremony but not the reception. Isn’t the ceremony the whole point? Anyways, in keeping with the etiquette already in place, it’s important to invite the same people from the ceremony to the reception. You can invite more people to the reception only as well. Just make sure that if you are inviting your grandmother to the ceremony, that you invite her to the reception too. If you can’t afford this, then invite less people to your ceremony.
Invite everyone at least six months before the wedding. People need to plan accordingly, pick out a dress and/or tux, let their place of work know ahead of time, schedule babysitters, and more. It’s common sense to invite guests at least six monthe before the wedding.