What to Do If Your Fiance Doesn’t “Get” Wedding Etiquette

What to Do If Your Fiance Doesn't 'Get' Wedding Etiquette | Beautiful Day Photography | blog.theknot.com Beautiful Day Photography

We know that it can be hard to explain to your other half — who may not be dealing with RSVPs or caterers — that wedding etiquette exists for a reason. Here’s how one fellow Knottie, sparklingjewelee, explains her situation in a community post: “Lately as our wedding gets closer, my fiance and I are clashing on what seems like every idea. Whenever I bring up the ‘correct’ way of doing something, he says, ‘Says who?’ I get where he’s coming from. It’s our wedding and we can do what we want, so to speak. However, I don’t want to offend anyone with bad etiquette! Every time I so much as mention the word ‘etiquette,’ he gets annoyed.” She’s definitely not alone — so here are some quick tips for getting over the etiquette blues.

Stop using the word etiquette

Go with another word or phrase like, “It’s considerate to…” or “It’s good manners to…” What your fiance might be grating against is the idea that the two of you are doing something out of a strange sense of tradition. In reality, etiquette is a set of guidelines to follow to ensure that nobody’s feelings get hurt, and everything gets done in the most organized, efficient way possible. And who could have a problem with that?


Tell your fiance to think of your guests

Your fiance could be caught up in how your wedding is a reflection of the two of you as a couple, so it may be a good idea to remind him that other people will be attending your wedding. These rules may not matter to your fiance, but they certainly could matter to his/her parents, other members of both of your families or even to some of your friends.


Pick your battles

It’s an age-old phrase, but it’s a classic for a reason. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If your fiance has a slight problem with an etiquette issue, it could be better to just let him win. Then, the next time you clash on a bigger issue, you can reference that you’ve compromised before and that this stuff happens to matter to you.


Talk about consequences

If all else fails, it might be good to go through some of the things that could happen should you ignore proper etiquette. Ask your fiance if he/she has ever felt uncomfortable at someone else’s wedding and why that might have been. Then if there are still some questions to be answered, ask him/her to imagine being a guest in the same situation.


So, what do you think? How would you show your fiance that etiquette is important? Do you think these rules were made to be broken or do you wish more people would follow them to the letter? Discuss it on the forum and in the comments below!

Want more? Right here!

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> The New Rules of Wedding Etiquette


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  • Izzy
    02/18/15 at 03:11

    Firstly, I’m not sure why the term tradition or traditional has become a bad thing. The entire concept of a wedding and reception is all about tradition. If not for this tradition, there would just be hand fasting and living together, which is okay too. Etiquette has nothing to do with tradition and everything to do with manners.

    Secondly, while inviting people to your ceremony and reception is a chance for your community to show their love and support for your union, shower/ceremony/reception etiquette is there (similar to laws in society) to ensure good communication, timing, proper and respectful attire, how much time will be committed, if/when/how guests should gift, if/when there will be food or beverages, and any site rules or guidelines, etc.

    There are no limitations to what those contents/details can contain, but the information should be thoughtfully provided so people can make an informed decision as to whether to RSVP yes or no. If the wedding will be tiresome, hard to get to, long-winded, too expensive, or drama-filled, guests should have the right to say, “I love you, thank you for the invite, and have a great time…but I cannot make it.”

    One Knottie stated her FI said if the guests loved them they would support them but if they didn’t like his lack of etiquette, they could say no and save him the $100 per head. Well, her FI is supposed to care about the guests too. And I have NEVER gotten out of being a guest at shower/wedding/reception for as little as $100. Between multiple gifts, gas or airfare to attend event, dozens of hours of my time in attendance AND in fixing hair and makeup to attend, etc, my contribution to show support has always been more than I’ve received in the way of dinner and a few glasses of wine. And when I’ve been a member of the bridal party, those contributions are even more extreme.

    I don’t mind it and wouldn’t do it unless I loved the bride and groom, but guests want to know who/what/when/where/how so we can make informed decisions. That list can change depending upon if guest has a role or not, but this is how the bride and groom show their love to us. What those details are is totally up to them but there is no question the proper info should be shared in a thoughtful and timely manner!

    That is etiquette.

  • 03/02/15 at 02:47

    Great job .. Thanks for the information.

  • meikolucas
    03/11/15 at 11:37

    This is something I never thought about because never had to face such an issue at my wedding since me and my husband are nice and considerate people because this could be a major issue and could lead to major flareup if one of the partners does not follow etiquette.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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