Wedding Etiquette Guidelines

The rules that govern wedding etiquette stipulate more than behavior at the wedding ceremony and wedding reception. They also spell out the expected actions for members of the bride's family and the groom's family.

The mother of the bride must of course help her daughter with the selection of the wedding gown and the wedding outfits for the attendants. The mother of the bride might work with or without the assistance of a wedding planner. In either case, she could be expected to offer consul on issues relating to wedding decorations, the wedding guest list, perhaps even the time and the location of the wedding.

A future bride might object to a lot of input from her mother. She should keep in mind the rules of wedding etiquette. Those rules dictate that the parents of the bride should help with the acquisition of needed materials for the ceremony and reception. The bride's parents must also reserve accommodations for friends and family who have been invited to the ceremony and reception.

The bride's mother is expected to share with the mother of the groom information regarding the colors selected for the wedding flowers, the wedding gowns and the wedding decorations. That expectation stems from the rules of wedding etiquette. Those rules are designed to guide all family members with the selection of their own wedding-day outfits.

When the mother of the bride contacts the mother of the groom, the mother or the groom should not be talking to the bride's mother for the first time. The rules of wedding etiquette stipulate that the groom's family should initiate a pre-wedding meeting between the two families.

The groom's family must provide the bride's family with a list of those people whom they hope to invite to the wedding. The groom's family is expected to reserve accommodations for wedding guests who are friends or relatives of the groom. The groom's family also hosts the rehearsal dinner.

The above rules for wedding etiquette are generally followed closely by those who intend to have a rather conventional wedding. When a wedding is taking place outside of a church, conventional wedding etiquette does not always dictate the actions of family and guests.

As larger numbers of immigrants enter the United States, at least one general wedding "rule" has undergone drastic changes. At one time black was never seen at a wedding. Iranian-American brides do wear the traditional white, but friends or family members might show-up dressed in black.