Wedding etiquette can be tricky, especially when the rules seem to be changing at a rapid pace. To help, we’ve gathered the answers to some of your most common wedding etiquette questions.
1. We would like to have a small ceremony, but a BIG reception. Is that okay?
Many brides and grooms dream of having a small, intimate ceremony followed by a huge reception with extended family and friends. A good alternative would be to have a small ceremony followed by a bigger party at a later date. Typically, a reception immediately follows the ceremony, but a separate party can be whenever you’d like!
2. Can I have a pre-reception break?
Yes! At Red Gate Farms, many couples opt to go to The Love Tree for pictures and a few minutes to relax and enjoy being newlyweds before the reception. It’s completely fine — and expected — for the couple to escape together before making their grand entrance into the reception.
3. I don’t want a bridal party. Do I have to have one?
No! If a bridal party seems like way more hassle than fun, it’s perfectly okay to skip the matching bridesmaids dresses. You should still designate a few close friends or family in the front row to keep the rings, hold your bouquet when needed, and have your handwritten vows ready.
4. Is Red Gate Farms pet-friendly?
Absolutely! We get it – your pets are part of the family. Having your pet included in the wedding ceremony is adorable and memorable. It’s something your guests will surely remember! Just be sure to have a member of the bridal party or a family member keep an eye on the dog’s whereabouts before and after the ceremony.
5. Do I have to walk down the aisle to a classical music, such as Pachelbel, Canon in D?
No! If classical music isn’t your style, there’s no reason why you need to walk down the aisle to it. Instead, choose a song that has meaning to you and your fiance that will make you smile for years and years to come.
6. My parents are divorced. Who should walk me down the aisle?
Walking the bride down the aisle is a huge honor, and many relatives might have assumptions about who that lucky person should be. Ultimately, it is the bride’s decision. Whether you choose your father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, grandfather, grandmother, aunt, or uncle — or even more than one person — just be sure to ask them in advance. If you don’t want to deal with any jealousy or backlash, you can always opt to walk down the aisle on your own.
7. Which side of the aisle do guests sit on at a same-sex union?
Many modern weddings, including same-sex weddings, allow guests to sit on either side of the aisle. This is entirely up to the brides or grooms. You can have a designated seating for each side, or allow people to sit wherever they’d like. Whatever you choose, just make sure it is clearly communicated with proper signage or direction from the ushers.
8. I am not changing my last name. How should we be introduced at the end of the ceremony?
We can agree that this is an important question. This is a topic that needs to be discussed between you and your new spouse in advance. Remember, your ceremony is in front of your closest family and friends. Your introduction does not determine how you will be introduced to the public or what you will be called the rest of your life. Using just your first names only is one way to get around the last name issue. For example “I would like to introduce to you for the first time as a married couple, Alex and Sandy. Let’s give them a round of applause.”
As with many wedding traditions, it can be difficult to decide which ones work for you. Ultimately, many rigid etiquette rules of the past have been replaced by personal preferences and new traditions. Your wedding day should be all about the new couple. If you have more wedding etiquette questions that need to be answered, schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable staff who can introduce you to one of our professional wedding day coordinators.