Unsure what you need to pay for and if Uncle Ron's latest squeeze has to come? We gotchu.
Do I have to invite the bitch who ruined everything? Source: 20th Century Fox
Getting engaged is fun - for a hot minute - until you realise all the stress that comes with a wedding. Everyone has opinions, and it can be confusing. Do you need to buy everyone a $500 dress? Send thank-you cards via carrier pigeon? Have ten different types of cuisine? Have everyone's kids? Let's solve all these dilemmas once and for all with our handy guide below!
**Note: this guide does not count for COVID restrictions in place in your area**
Do I have to invite everyone's +1?
It's a hard NO. Source: GiPHY
Fuck no. I'm sorry, but please. In all honesty, people even asking is rude. If I wanted you there, I would have invited you - take the hint. That said, everyone has their own rules on this. I mean, look - if you can afford it, go for it. The only thing I'll say is this: don't do the 'time limit' thing, like 'If they've been dating a minimum of six months they come.' That's you casting judgement on the validity of someone else's relationship, like you've decided there's a 'magic number' that means their rel is 'real'. Some people get engaged after six weeks and some people break up after 20 years. That's not up to you to decide. If it's a close family member or friend, just be a mate, if you don't know them and it's small, stand firm. Also COVID = best excuse for restrictions on invites ever.
Do I have to adhere to dietary requirements even if they're super annoying?
I want to be Jane Fonda when I grow up. Source: GiPHY
Yeah. What are you gonna do, tell the vegans to eat a burger or don't come? Don't be a dick. That said, there are limitations. Dietary requirements like they'll die if they have shellfish, or they don't eat dairy? Yep. Them sending you a curated menu of their preferred cuisine for the day? (This has actually happened). Hard Pass.
Do I have to play a song everyone wants?
Will never not be iconic. Source: GiPHY
I know there's a trend to get everyone to send you a song with your invite. It's cute, inclusive and fun, but not necessary. While I wouldn't recommend only blasting your sad emo music if you actually want a dance floor, you're paying for the band, do what you want.
Do I have to pay for everything for the bridal party?
Every bride after her wedding. Source: GiPHY
Everyone will have a different opinion here, and it probably depends on your social circle. If you can afford it, why not? My thought is it goes both ways: it's an 'honour' to be asked, yes, but then they shouldn't have to spend a fortune. Anything you are enforcing with no choice - shoes, dress, bouquet, getting hair and make-up done - you should foot the bill because that's a decision you are making. Don't make your cousin buy a $500 Zimmerman dress she'll never wear again, that's rude. But if you're being a bit open - for example, letting them pick their own dress in a certain colour, getting different shoes - I think you can feel okay about them getting this themselves. They get to choose, it may be cheaper, and they get the possibility of a re-wear. But a gift for their hard work after organising your hens, looking after you on the day etc. (if they do it!) is the polite thing to do!
Do I have to invite everyone to my bachelorette party?
Can't wait... Source: GiPHY
In short, no. Everyone does their hens differently. It's your day, so whether you want 3 people or 300, it's really up to you. If family insist on coming and you find the idea of watching a stripper with your great aunt awkward, you could break it up into a day and night sesh, or consider having a Bridal Shower that's G rated, and then your actual hens. A few tips though: 1) Unless you are eloping or having a very intimate wedding, it can come off as a bit rude to invite people that aren't invited to the wedding. It's like you're saying, "You pay for me, but I won't pay for you." Also, ask those planning to consider budget requirement - a tiered option (e.g. guests can elect to come to just day or night and pay accordingly) suits some people better than a flat fee no matter which part they can attend.
Do I have to invite kids? If I don't want them, how do I word this?
Well, fuck me. Source: GiPHY
No. It's your wedding. And especially no if it's like, a plus one's nine-year-old son. Simply stating *Adults only wedding* or *Have a night out, this is a grown-up affair*. It's totally fair enough. That said, you may want to think about some contingencies - people coming in from interstate or overseas, people with newborns, people who don't have support/means for a sitter. You don't have to have their kids - but you may then have to understand if they then can't come.
How long do I need to give myself to buy a dress?
Avoid this scenario. Source: GiPHY
In my opinion? The minute you get engaged. You don't know how long it will take you to look, find it, make alterations, or even make from scratch. Plus - it's kinda fun! You should give six months minimum if you're planning to do any of the above, but if you're happy with off the rack or a non-traditional gown, go for it.
Do I have to do a father-daughter dance/cut cake/first dance/speech etc?
BUNDTTTTTT. Source: GiPHY
While all the above can be fun, again, it's your wedding, you don't 'have' to do anything. Keep what you want and ditch what you don't, that's what makes it yours. Plus, it's a great way to save some costs which you can read more about here.
How long a timeframe for invites and save the dates?
This...is not a plan. Source: GiPHY
I'm strict about this.
Save The Dates, if you're doing them: six months, or even a year if international. (Note: Don't do them if your hope is people don't come!)
Invitations: Three months.
Can I go digital?
The best! Source: GiPHY
You can, and you should! Honestly, the time, money and environmental savings are incredible. There are so many websites out there that let you personalise e-vites with photos, animations and details, or even your whole story with a wedding website! Plus what's great is, an online invite means an online RSVP - no more painstakingly waiting for 200 people to snail mail you a reply with "Plus my boyfriend Gary!" scribbled on it in green pen by Aunt Jude. People genuinely reply right away with a digital invite, plus then they'll have all the deets on their phone and reminders for the big day. What's great is that some websites allow guests to RSVP and choose their dietary requirements in one go, which all feeds into a handy spreadsheet for you to then make your seating chart and hand to your caterer, stress-free - VOILA!
How do I politely word that WE WANT CA$H?
Is this okay, or? Source: GiPHY
Ugh, this is where other cultures are just so much better. Greek, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese know the drill. No, I don't want a bowl, ffs. Presents for the home were great back in the day when you married a guy you met at the church dance after two weeks in your parents' backyard, and you didn't have anything. But times are different now. Couples live together, a lot have bought homes - we have the toaster, and if not, we all know how to use Kmart Click & Collect. Unfortunately, just writing GIVE US MONEY isn't seen as overly tactful, so you'll probably have to go the lame poem option. There's a bunch online along the lines of, 'We can't wait to see you on our special day, a gift towards our honeymoon would make our day.' Lame? Yes. But rude? No. $$$$$
How can I save money?
Wait. This isn't my vision. Source: GiPHY
We gotchu girl. We've got a whole post on ways to cut costs on your wedding whilst still making it look and feel fly af. Get the tips here.
How do I say thank you for coming/gifts?
Can I just send everyone this? Source: GiPHY
If people have given you a gift, it is polite to send a thank you, and to be specific, not one generic email. These days, especially if your invites were digital, this is fine to do via email, as long as it is personalised and you mention the person/people and something about them/the gift. Yeah, it takes a lot of time with lots of people, but they went to the trouble of getting you something for a day all about you, all you have to do is say thank you. Don't be a dick.
Any other questions? Slide into our DMs!