Wedding Etiquette

Who should I tell first about the engagement?

If you have children, they should be the first to know. They will need time to adjust so it is recommended doing this alone to allow them to express their emotions honestly. Your closest family should be next to hear about the good news, followed by your best friends, extended family, and anyone especially close to you. Lastly, a social media or a public announcement can follow. Click here to place your announcement with The Daily Item!

When do I start calling my future mother-in-law/father-in-law 'mom' and 'dad'?

There is no right or wrong answer. This is all about your preference. It should feel natural and not forced. If you don't feel comfortable calling them 'mom' or 'dad' right away, referring to them as such in a card is a great to make the switch in a less awkward way.

Who pays for what?

When it comes to paying for the wedding, there are a lot of different opinions. Back in the day, the bride's parents were responsible hosting (and paying for) the entire celebration. Today, most people believe it should be a joint effort between the parents and the couple depending on willingness and ability.


  • Marriage License - Groom's Family
  • Ceremony - Bride's Family
  • Wedding Attire - Split
  • Flowers - Split
  • Honeymoon - Groom's Family
  • Photography/Videography - Bride's Family
  • Engagement Party - Bride's Family
  • Rehearsal Dinner - Groom's Family
  • Bridal Shower - Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids
  • Reception - Bride's Family
  • DJ - Groom's Family
  • Rings - Split
  • Invitations - Bride's Family
  • Transportation - Bride's Family

What details should be included in the wedding program?

Your wedding program is the perfect way to remember your day, thank people who made it possible, and to let out-of-town guests know who's who. Step 1: The cover, this usually has your names or monogram, the wedding date and the location. Step 2: The inside cover, this is typically reserved for all of the wedding day details. You can also include any special music, prayers or readings. Step 3: The wedding party, include the whole list of the wedding party from the officiant to the guestbook attendant. This is a great place to add a few sentences thanking family and guests who participated in the wedding and any sentimental references for loved ones who could not be a part of your special day.

Ceremony Seating: who sits where?

It is tradition for the bride's family to sit on the left of the aisle and the groom's on the right. However, the more modern trend is to have open seating where guests' 'choose a seat, not a side' to symbolize the two families becoming one.

Can I ban guest from phones and cameras during the wedding?

Yes. Banning phones and cameras may sound a little strong, but it's about getting your guests to understand that you want them to be there and enjoy the moment. You have hired a professional wedding photographer to capture the day and that guests can view these photos once ready.

Who delivers the first toast?

The host (traditionally the father of the bride) will welcome his guests. He can also toast the happy couple, but generally it's the best man who delivers the first toast to the newlyweds. Next, the maid of honor might offer her toast followed by other members of the family or close friends.

How long do I have to send thank you notes after the wedding?

Although it's been said that that couples had up to a year after saying "I do" to send out their thank you notes, it's not the case anymore. You should plan to send your notes out within three months of returning from your honeymoon.