Ceremony Courtsey: Can I Wear White to a Wedding?

Q: I was raised believing that it is disrespectful to the bride to wear white to her wedding. From the point of proper etiquette, does this still hold true?

A: White and ivory generally are reserved for the bride. If guests wear white, it usually is as an accent color, or white worn with color.

Sentimental Shipment: What Do I Do when a Gift Arrives Broken?

Q: My husband and I received a lovely wedding gift from friends of my parents who live in another country. Unfortunately, it was ceramic and broke during shipping. We would be happy to replace it ourselves, but we don’t know where it was purchased. We would really like to enjoy this gift, as it is one of very few things I have from the country where I was born, but it is beyond repair. Is it polite to ask the givers where they obtained the gift? Do I ask them this in the thank-you note, or should I write a separate note? Do I say it’s lovely and I want another one like it for someone else and never mention that it broke? What is the polite way to handle this situation? We want to avoid shaking down the givers for a replacement.

A: Hopefully, they insured the package.  If not, it still would be better to be honest.  Tell them that it was broken during shipping and that you don’t expect them to send a replacement but you would like to replace it since it is, as you said, one of the very few things from the country where you were born.  This way it allows your parents’ friends to send a replacement or just tell you where they bought it.

Thank Who: What to Do when a Gift has No Card

Q: I recently got married and at my wedding reception, I received a gift that the card had fallen off of. Is it appropriate to send out an e-mail (after eliminating obvious names) and try to figure it out that way, or is it just better to just forget about it?

A: When you aren’t sure who a gift is from, or when you aren’t sure if a gift was misplaced, it is a great idea to write a thank-you note anyway. You thank the person for helping you celebrate your wedding day and tell him or her how much it meant to you that he or she was there with you.  This way, the person who did give a gift feels much more comfortable calling or writing to make sure you received the gift. At that time, you can explain the situation, offer sincere thanks, and then write another note of thanks for the gift. If you don’t write, they just think you have no manners and are hurt that you never wrote to say thank you for the gift, and they then aren’t inclined to call. Writing helps clear up any mysteries, while not writing gives a wrong impression.

Roll Call: The Proper Recessional Line Up

Q: What is the proper recessional line up for a catholic ceremony?

A: The traditional order for a recessional for a Christian wedding is the bride and groom, the flower girl and ring bearer, the maid of honor and best man, followed by the other attendants.  The bridesmaids may recess either singly or side by side, depending on their number.  They may walk together as they entered, groomsmen with one another and bridesmaids together, or a bridesmaid may walk with an usher.