Noun 1. etiquette – rules governing socially acceptable behavior
Since there are so many religions, cultures, and customs in the world today it is hard to keep track of what is deemed appropriate behavior at any social function. Weddings in particular have their own set of rules, mix that with the different customer, cultures and religions, and weddings all of a sudden become a complex event to attend.
Etiquette comes into play right away during the planning process from the invitations all the way to handling the gifts at the end of the day. For example the wording of the invitation can be tricky to figure out; usually the first names to appear on an invitation should be those of the people paying for the wedding. The only abbreviations allowed on an invitation are Mr., Mrs., and Dr., Nicknames are not appropriate. All names, the date, and the time should be written out in full on the invitation. Keeping track of the responses for your big day also requires some form of etiquette. For instance, you must keep track of your responses and their requirements for their meals properly, as it can appear disorganized the day of.
For the gifts, both monetary and non-monetary ensure that there are proper receiving instructions to those ‘manning’ that station. For monetary gifts, you want to ensure that you have a proper, decorative, container to hold the envelopes that your guests bring. Going to a wedding where your card is shoved and folded and creased into a small container never appears polite. You want to ensure that their gifts, big and small are both appreciated to ensure a pleasurable experience for all.
What is considered proper etiquette in one custom may not be the same in another. Traditionally in a Chinese wedding the bride wears a red wedding dress as red is the colour of love and joy. If a bride were to wear a red wedding dress in a traditional Italian wedding, this would be deemed inappropriate. In traditional Russian culture the bride and groom throw their champagne glasses onto the floor after toasting. If the glasses break, the couple can expect happiness. Now if this were to happen at a quite English ceremony it would seem inappropriate.
As you can see the traditions and customs of each culture and religion can vary the rules of etiquette. The best practice is to find out what it suitable in both your side and your brides/grooms side and find out how to reach a happy medium between the two if they are very different.