Etiquette 101

Weddings tend to be a never-ending source of questions. What’s the right way to serve the meal? How do you handle small and large affairs? Where do you put the gift table? Should you have a receiving line? And on it goes! Ashelynn Manor tackles some of the basics here today to help you get a clearer picture of how to prepare for your upcoming nuptials.

 Does a smaller wedding still need a seating chart?

Generally, yes. The last thing you want is to spot guests awkwardly fiddling their way around the reception space looking for available chairs. Clichés are unavoidable when there’s no arranged seating, and folks will tend to clump together to the people they know. While there’s no need to go crazy with placement of your guests, it will help the flow of even a smaller wedding—say, around 50 guests—remain smooth and friendly. Your guests will then have no problem getting up to mingle after dinner.

 Must undesired gifts be kept?

Not always. If a guest strayed from your registry list, or you didn’t have one to begin with, and gifts you with an item that finds more to be desired, you don’t have to simply grin and bear it. Cordially thank them for your thoughtful gift in a thank-you note, and see if the store it was purchased from will take the item back as an exchange or let you select something else that’s on your registry. It’s important, however, to be discreet and not call any extra attention to the switch. If the gift came from family, there’s a bit of a hitch. Hang on to the item for a visit or two from the family member—and be sure it’s on display when they arrive—before swapping or selling it off for something new.

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