Wedding Gift Etiquette and Guest List Protocol

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Wedding Guest List Protocol

Traditionally the bride's family pays for the wedding.  Both the bride and groom's family will make a list with the names and addresses on all those to whom they would like send a wedding invitation, and they will go through the list with the bride and groom themselves to check over. 

Each of the two families will send their own invitations, which should always include the home address of the bride and groom, or of the parents as a return address for the replies.  If this is their first daughter to marry, often they have more commitments at the time of sending the invitations than the family of the groom.  In this situation, protocol dictates that the family of the groom, no matter what their degree of social standing, should not have a guest list which outnumbers the bride's family's guest list. Increasingly these days it is common for the cost of the wedding to be split equally between the two families however, and even the bride and groom will often chip in toward a considerable proportion of the costs.

Wedding Gift Giving Etiquette

When a single joint invitation has been sent to parents and children, the unmarried children are not expected to give a gift, provided their parents send their own gift on all of their behalf.  As a rule, when it comes to a wedding, it is usually correct etiquette for exaggerated or disproportionate gifts not to be returned. With gifts that may seem very excessive to us as a wedding present, the amount of generosity of the giver is usually understood.

The wedding gift should  never be brought by the guest to the church or the celebration banquet afterwards, as it would be inopportune for the  bride and groom and their closest relatives to receive it there and then, open it, give thanks and to carry it with them.

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