Wedding etiquette: How do you gracefully deal with wedding “suggestions” from family or friends?


A Fist Full of Bolts

QUESTION: How do you gracefully deal with wedding “suggestions” from family/friends about how to plan or create your wedding day?

GINA’S ANSWER: Ah the old unsolicited advice debacle. It’s hard, but I think the most gracious way to respond is to listen, say ‘thank you’ and change the subject. Don’t get caught up in the details or you may each end up arguing your points and no one will walk away satisfied. Let your advice-giver know you appreciate their suggestions, make no promises, and go forth with your planning.

JESS’ ANSWER: Nod and smile! Always graciously accept advice, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it! But something to remember, is that friends and family have been through this before! Even if you don’t like hearing nagging suggestions like, “be sure you don’t forget to eat lunch!” and “you need to make sure you plan for rain!”, your experienced loved ones know what they’re talking about!

Make sure you don’t discredit everything they’re saying. Now, if it’s something like “you absolutely need to hire a calligrapher for your placecards” or “you HAVE to have succulents in your bouquet”– these are suggestions you can graciously accept, but don’t need to.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: Personally, I hear about this topic often. Always acknowledge others input, however you may politely decline if it is not in your highest regard. You can tip toe around this subject by explaining to people that you have very specific ideas in mind already, or maybe it is not in within your budget, or even explain that whichever the suggestion is will not work with the venue or scenario.

It is your event and you should never take or act on suggestions you do not wish to incorporate into your wedding. I would offer them another event surrounding the wedding in which they may suggest input, like the rehearsal dinner. This way they are being included and have something to do for you.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.


Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.


How Much Does Being a Bridesmaid Cost?


Krystin Hogan Photography

Having been a bridesmaid in three weddings before planning my own, I had very strong ideas about what I wanted for our bridal party. It was very important to me that our wedding party had a very clear understanding of what we were expecting from them, particularly my bridesmaids. Given my personal experience, there is typically one bridesmaid (or groomsman) who ends up being surprised at the financial obligations. (Full disclosure: during at least one wedding, that bridesmaid was me.) So let’s talk about how much it really costs to be a bridesmaid.

CNN released an article a few years back that announced that it costs about $1,695 to serve as a bridesmaid. This number is absolutely staggering! But for an engagement that lasts a year or more, it’s easy to spend a little here and a little there before it all adds up. For the purposes of this article, I calculated bridesmaid costs for the three wedding parties that I have participated in, as well as my own wedding party’s costs. Every wedding is going to have a unique breakdown of costs, but I found myself wondering how my wedding (and the other weddings I have participated in) compares to the national average. By my account, bridesmaids are expected to contribute both time and money for a variety of events and tasks throughout the planning process. This article will exclusively discuss the financial contribution.

Engagement Gifts: $30

It’s not necessary for every engagement, but it is typically expected if you’re invited to an engagement party. Across four weddings, this cost an average of $20. Being in a younger social circle, my recently engaged contemporaries only plan engagement parties about 50% of the time.

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All About Lace: Lace Wedding Dresses for Any Bride, Any Time


Awake Photography

If you’re reading this now, you’re probably getting married in 2014. Or maybe even 2015. You’re a modern, 21st century bride with modern, 21st century taste and style. In which case, you may be thinking lace is so last century. Lace is more your grandmother’s table cloth than your wedding dress. Right? Wrong. Think again! Lace isn’t old or outdated. Lace is timeless. And so are lace wedding dresses.

That’s right, lace wedding dresses! Lace wedding dresses never go out of style–whether it’s 1914 or 2014. And not only is lace timeless, it’s versatile. Lace comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures so you can pick the perfect one for you.

Check out this list below of gorgeous lace wedding dresses to inspire your own wedding dress shopping.


Wildflowers Photography


First Comes Love Photo


Bryce Covey Photography


Caroline Lima Photography


Josh Gruetzmacher Photography


Erin Hearts Court Photography

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A Romantic and Rustic Farm Wedding by Amber Gress Photography


Oh boy, do we have a treat for you readers today. This Monday just gets better and better, doesn’t it?! First, we launch our iPhone giveaway (learn about entering here), and then we get to share this breathtaking romantic and rustic farm wedding with you all! Kallie and Michael’s wedding day took place at the bucolic Sawkill Farm in upstate New York. Captured magically by Amber Gress, Kallie and Michael looked stunning and 100% in love. The beautiful scenery of Sawkill Farm, Kallie’s elegant boho wedding dress, and the rustic, intimate feel of the entire day makes this one of our favorite weddings we’ve ever featured on Wedding Party.

And can we just say, it looks like the two of them killed it on their first dance! You’ve gotta love a couple that makes their wedding day truly their own with the small, unexpected details. Read on to see more of this gorgeous day!






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