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Event planner Angelie Keller, catering sales manager at the Virginian Hotel, helps answer a couple frequently asked questions in the wedding planning process.
Q. How do I decide a dress code for my wedding and explain the dress code properly to guests?
A. Your dress code is completely up to your style and the mood you are trying to set for your event. You can decide to have your guests dress anywhere from casual (Sunday dress and dress pants or khakis) to white-tie (floor-length gown and tuxedos) attire. You can select your attire based on the location of your wedding, whether that be a barn or a ballroom venue, or you can simply make the decision by knowing your guests and what you think they would be most comfortable wearing.
The most familiar dress code order to select from is as follows:
Come As You Are
However, just as you may have had to pause and search for reference of what these specific attires entail, oftentimes, your guests will do the same. So, if you feel as though you need to elaborate on your dress code for them, you can simply add a few words such as “Cocktail Attire: suit or button-down and cocktail dress.” You may also indicate if the dress code is “optional” or “required.” You can get as creative as you want with your dress code, just be clear on your expectation for your guests if you would rather not leave room for interpretation.
Q. How do I figure out who pays for what at my wedding
A. Deciding who will be financially responsible for your wedding can differ from couple to couple. American tradition tells us that the bride’s parents are responsible to host and cover most wedding expenses such as invitations, the bride’s attire, the photographer/videographer, decorative pieces and florals, cake, and catering. The groom’s parents are typically responsible for the rehearsal dinner, boutonnieres, marriage license, and oftentimes can assist the bride’s family in expenses such as alcohol or the DJ/band. Regardless of what tradition states, make sure each party is comfortable with its contributions.
While the American tradition lies heavily on the bride’s family to cover most wedding expenses, it is important to consider your personal relationship and family dynamic. Some families make it clear on what they will financially provide, while others may not be as involved, leaving the couple with all expenses. If this is a discussion you are able to open with your family, it is important to be transparent about finances in advance and not go into the conversation expecting more than what may be reasonable for your personal situation and budget. A family’s culture can also play a key role in who is responsible for certain expenses based on their particular customs and traditions, which can offset the American norm. This is the most special time in a couple’s life where families are typically wanting to assist in the best way they can. Use your best judgment about what works for your relationship and your families to make your special day a success.