Top 10 Wedding Etiquette Questions of All Time

Here, we tackle your most pressing dilemmas.

Q: In what order should we do the traditional reception rituals?

A: Since you want to make sure that you don't forget any significant activity at your reception, it's a good idea to plan ahead. In fact, at least a week or two before your wedding, finalize a reception schedule of events with your maître d', bandleader and wedding consultant (if you have one) so that all are aware of your arrangements and can plan accordingly.

Let's start with the special dances: The first dance between the bride and groom kicks off the dancing at the beginning of the reception, just after the wedding party has been announced (although you may also wait until after the meal has been served). Guests gather around as the couple dance to "their" song. The master of ceremonies or band leader will then ask your parents, your fiancé's parents and the rest of the wedding party to join in. Finally, the guests may also be invited onto the dance floor.

Next comes the toasting — guests are asked to remain standing, glasses in hand, while the best man has his say. Some brides and grooms may reverse that order, having the toast given just after the wedding party has been announced, so that the best man can then introduce the first dance. Yet another option is to have the toast given after the main course and just before the cake cutting. Whatever arrangement suits you best is fine.

At some point during the course of the celebration (but always after the first dance as husband and wife), the bride should have a farewell dance with her father, followed by the groom and his mother. Again, the master of ceremonies will announce these dances and, in both cases, a nostalgic, sentimental song is often chosen. (Keep in mind that each of you should make it a point to dance with your new in-laws and your honor attendants sometime during the festivities as well.)

Toward the end of the reception, just before or after the cake cutting, the bouquet and garter tosses take place. (These customs, of course, are optional and many couples may choose not to include them. Some brides prefer to throw the bouquet and skip the garter toss.) The master of ceremonies will ask all single women to join the bride on the dance floor for the bouquet toss, followed by the groom and the single men for the garter toss. And do not forget to alert your photographer to all of these scheduled events so that he will be prepared to capture every fun-filled moment.

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So my husband and I got married at the court house in Brooklyn, NY on February 27th, 2014, with out telling my family. Now we are planning a black tie wedding in St. Louis, MO, on my parents 34th wedding anniversary (5/14/16). I think because my career back ground is bridal, the planning is going really well for me but I really want my guest to come in BLACK TIE. I am worried some family members won’t know how to dress for my wedding. I have really considered sending a small post card with images showing “what to wear" for the women and men. I do not want my guest to think is ok to wearing a long maxi dress to my 5:15pm wedding is ok. I have invest a lot of money into this event, I want my guest to look great. Please Help! How do I get my guest to dress know black tie is a must with out sounding like a bridezilla?!

We have a very small family. My aunt remarried and has a step daughter that is married and has 4 kids. We aren't close however do have some family gathering connections. Do we invite her and her brood to our wedding? PS seating is limited at our reception