Wedding Etiquette A-Z

wedding etiquette



It's a tradition that the bride never arrives bang on time at the ceremony - just a few minutes late.

Bridal Registry 

Nowadays many couples live together before they get married, so they may have much of what they need already. However, guests still love to give the bride and groom something for their home, so maybe it's time to upgrade your bedlinen, your cutlery or china? Some couples ask for money towards their honeymoon. 

Whatever you decide, it's a good idea to have a list of gifts you'd love to receive. 


Think about whether you want children at your wedding. If you're having an evening do then it's not really appropriate and in any case, the parents may be glad of an evening off!


If you and your new spouse are planning on opening the dancing, then think about having some professional dancing lessons beforehand. It's a good life skill to know how to waltz properly! 


A newspaper announcement reads as follows: The engagement is announced between (groom's name), son of (parents' names) of (parents' hometown) and (bride's name), daughter of (parents' names) of (parents' hometown).


A bag of five sugared almonds for each guest used to be the traditional favor, representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. Nowadays favors can be much more extravagant but you don't really need to have them and if you're on a budget, then it's probably best spending the money on your food or drink. 


One of their most important jobs is to show each guest to their seat at the ceremony. Make sure they've been well briefed beforehand so they don't stand chatting around at the entrance, leaving people wondering where they should be sitting. 


Traditionally the groom should organise and pay for the honeymoon and make it a surprise for his bride. 


Do you want to invite plus ones? If you're not keen, then a singles table or tables at your wedding could be the solution. 

All individuals over 18 should always receive their own wedding invitation. 


Don't wear any rings other than your engagement ring on your wedding day. Before the ceremony, put it on the third finger of your right hand and then place it by your wedding ring after you're married. 


Giving your bridesmaids a gift as a thank-you is a lovely idea. Jewelry to wear on your big day is perfect. Don't forget to give your young flowergirls and pageboys a framed photograph of themselves in the wedding group. 


Make sure your bridal underwear fits you perfectly, is comfortable and does its job as well as looking beautiful. Get yourself fitted out in a lingerie shop so you're measured correctly. 

Morning coats

It's a good idea to have a dress code on your wedding invitations. If morning dress should be worn by everyone then say so. Or if tuxedos or lounge suits are the order of the day then make that clear. 

No show

Hopefully this won't happen but make sure your caterers know to take away empty place settings, so that there are no gaps. 

Order of service

  • Entrance of the Bride
  • Welcome and Introduction 
  • Hymn
  • Readings
  • Sermon
  • Exchange of Marriage Vows
  • Prayers; Hymn
  • The Signing of the register
  • The Final Blessing
  • Exit


Try not to have guests hanging about waiting for group photographs in cold or wet weather. 


What accommodation is nearby? What do the couple want as a gift? Where can I park? The mother of the bride is a good person to field questions - just make sure she has the right answers and has been briefed properly. 

S is for Speeches

The bride's father gives the first speech, followed by the bridegroom and then the best man.

Thank-you notes

If you want your wedding day to be remembered for the right reasons, then make sure you write those thank-you notes. It's particularly important to thank guests for their gifts because a) they will know you received the present b) it's very rude not to.

Umbrellas (and parasols)

These should be at hand for guests if you're marrying on a rainy day or if you're somewhere very bright and sunny. If guests have to walk outside from the ceremony to the venue, make sure they are protected from the weather if necessary. 


Wear the right veil for your wedding style. If you're marrying on a beach, don't opt for a cathedral length veil and if you're marrying in a large church, a birdcage veil will look out of place. 

Traditionally pregnant brides and second-time brides don't wear veils. 


Think about the weather at the time of year and location you're marrying in. Make sure that guests are going to be warm enough in a marquee and if you're having a destination wedding, put the temperature it's likely to be on your wedding information. 

X factor

Do you really want to invite your ex to your wedding? Or are you happy if your other half does? Sometimes it's best to leave the past alone. In any case, it's something you need to talk about together, to see how you would feel about it.


Always have a chill-out area for small kids and elderly relatives so they can relax a bit and take time out if they need to. 

(Image via Dessy real weddings Facebook page)

Why you should combine blush and earth tones

blush pink and beige wedding

Look at these images and you'll see that blush and earth tones work together just beautifully.

Sometimes a color combination for your wedding may just spring out and surprise you. These shades work as the pink has very soft earth tones - it's a classic. Not overpowering - just a gentle, elegant hue. 

blush pink and beige wedding

Work out which of your maids will suit each color - our fabric swatches or Pantone color tools would help you here. And then mix and match your bridesmaid dress styles too - there's nothing to say you have to dress your maids all in the same style. Mix it up a bit for some extra sophistication.

(If you're looking for these colors, try Blush from Dessy and Topaz to get the look.)

If you like blush pink but don't particularly want an all-pink wedding, this is the way to use the shade but downplay it a little. And of course this color combo will work all the way through your wedding plans if you want it to.

Using Your Color Theme For Stationery, Flowers, Decorations ...

Use blush and beige for your wedding stationery - Maybe have topaz shaded envelopes containing a pink invitation? Or mix and match the colors on the typography.

When it comes to your bouquets you'll be spoilt for choice. Classic wedding roses come in this color pink and you should find some tinged with a topaz shade. Discuss with your florist to see what's in season when you're getting married and show him or her the colors you're thinking about so they can be matched.

And What About Decorating Your Wedding Reception?

To give your theme the wow factor, think about dressing your venue in these shades - with chair sashes, chair covers and tablecloths. If you find the room a little lacking in character (but the venue is in the perfect place) you might like to consider room draping, which basically transforms a lacklustre space into something special. 

Let's not forget favors either. The classic wedding favor is sugared almonds (which were traditionally thought to signify wealth, health, longevity, happiness and fertility) and you're sure to find some in pinks and beige.

But if you want to get a little creative with your wedding favors then you could give packets of seeds for pink and beige flowers ...

Get your colors right and you'll probably find that the rest of your wedding theme flows seamlessly.


Image credits: 

Main image, clockwise from top:  Wedding Chicks, bridesmaid dresses by Dessy in Blush and Topaz, place setting by Jan Garcia Photography, real wedding via Dessy Facebook page 





21 things to know about beach weddings

Feeling the sand between your toes as you walk down the aisle in your flowing white gown while the warm sun falls on you, your guests and that amazing blue water. The perfect destination beach wedding is a dream for many brides and grooms to be. And for good reason - what better way to bring out a great celebration than with a day at the beach?

Whether you're planning to bring all your loved ones to a private spot in the Caribbean or to your local lake with beachfront property, there are some special arrangements to keep in mind to ensure your day keeps up with that of your dreams.

Here are the 21 things you need to know about beach wedding days 

  1. When you're choosing your location, keep in mind your priority guests and how easily they will be able to there. Make it as affordable as possible to those you really want to be in attendance on your big day.
  2. Keep in mind the time of sunset and sunrise where you're getting married. This will help you plan your photographs. 
  3. As for marriage licences, different states and countries will have different laws. Make sure you know what they are and that you have the necessary documents before you make any decisions.
  4. Send out your save the dates well in advance - at least six months beforehand. That way your guests will be able to plan their flights, book time off and budget accordingly. 
  5. When you're thinking of decor, keep it simple - you've got a beautiful natural backdrop after all. Try rose petals on the sand for the aisle, bright local flowers on chairs and lighting for an evening ceremony. Tiki torches or strings of small white lights work well. 
  6. Consider the weather. Beaches can be windy! Have shawls for your guests for cooler breezes.
  7. Make sure you know what the tide is doing! 
  8. If you're having your ceremony at a hotel beach ask about their sound system and whether you can borrow it. (If not, you may have to rent one).
  9. Make sure there are rest rooms nearby for your guests.
  10. If you are taking your wedding reception off the beach, keep the theme going with your decor - candles in sand, sea shells, baskets of flip flops for guests with tired feet ...
  11. Remember that not every tropical beach has the same climate. If you're getting married in the Far East - maybe Thailand - it's going to be hot and humid. If you're off to the Caribbean then it could be warm and windy. 
  12. When you marry somewhere hot, you need to think of the structure of your wedding gown and those of your bridesmaids. Nothing too fitted (ditch the traditional, full-sleeved lace gown). Goddess style gowns and one- shoulder bridesmaid designs work well. Floaty chiffon, spaghetti straps and strapless are also worth investigating.
  13. Search out fabrics that travel happily and won't need endless pressing on arrival.
  14. Colour is also a consideration. Pastels look a bit washed out and insipid under bright sunshine so embrace whites and dazzling colours. This is the time to go for turquoises, yellows, oranges, emerald greens, hot pinks and rich purples. These shades look fantastic under a blue sky on a white sandy beach.
  15. As for the men, a sunshiny beach isn't the place for a formal suit.  Linen or seersucker suits are very cool (literally in this case) and will look much more in place at a sandy ceremony. Most men find a pale linen suit an extremely useful garment to have in their wardrobe and he's likely to want to wear it on your honeymoon too, whenever you want to dress smartly for dinner.
  16. It goes without saying that you need to have the pedicure to end all pedicures if you're going to go barefoot on the beach.
  17. Ditch the heels, you don't want to be wobbling down a sandy aisle. If you must, wear pretty flat sparkly sandals (crystals look fantastic at a tropical wedding) or flip flops. 
  18. At a beach wedding you're better off with a birdcage veil or a sparkly headpiece. Because if it's hot and steamy you're going to get hotter and redfaced under a veil and if it's windy, it's going to be whipped around your face, possibly spoiling your hair and make-up. 
  19. It's worth sending a note to your wedding guests about the beach temperatures they might experience so they can plan their outfits too - maybe put a dress code on your invitations.
  20. Wear sunblock and have a basket of it available for guests.
  21. Don't wear too much makeup in the heat. Keep it fresh and natural - best to consult a beauty specialist about the right look and products that will work for you. 

Image credits clockwise from top. The KnotThe Knot, The Knot, Weddinggomania

Bottom image: The Knot 

Signs that you might get a New Year's wedding proposal. (And what to do if you do.)

Did you know that New Year's Eve is a prime time for wedding proposals? (Even though Harry proposed to Meghan Markle back in November.)

As soon as the clock strikes midnight, there's a lot of partners who get down on one knee and pop the question. 

  • Maybe they've been considering doing it for a while 
  • Or maybe the moment just seemed right 
  • Either way, it's a great way to start off a new year in style. 


What are the signs you'll get a wedding proposal on New Year's Eve?

  • Your other half seems to have been saving up for something
  • He's being very attentive and polite to your parents and family
  • He notices your girlfriends' engagement rings 
  • He seems to know a bit more about diamonds and precious stones than he used to
  • He asks you where your dream holiday would be 

 An idea we love

  • Being presented with an engagement ring in a box, all ready to slip on your finger is indeed romantic. 
  • But we've heard about a proposal where the fiance gave the girl in question a loose diamond. Wow. So that they could choose the setting together. Now, there is something really stylish about that! 

So if you do get a New Year proposal, what next? 

  • Brace yourself for the onslaught of people saying: "So when are you getting married?" Everyone is going to want to know WHEN. Even if you want to wait a little while, it's good to have a vague time in mind. So say something like: "well, we quite fancy having a summer wedding" or "we're just seeing when the family can get over from Australia". You don't have to commit to anything just yet. 
  • Seriously though, talk to your other half about dates because the time of year in which you get married is going to affect your venue, what you wear, the cost, the food you serve ...
  • Last-minute weddings are very romantic. You don't need to spend months or years planning yours. You could organise something very simple and impromptu and just invite the people that really matter to you. There's nothing to stop you having a bigger party later on if that's what you want. 
  • Quite a few family and friends with young children (and maybe the kids themselves) are going to ask if they can be your bridesmaid. You need to have thought about this one a bit. How young do you want your flowergirls to be? How young is too young? And would your best friend make the best chief bridesmaid? (It needs to be someone organised, unflappable who can commit a certain amount of time.)
  • What do you want as a wedding gift? Some people will want to give you engagement gifts. Lovely - so have a few ideas in mind. 
  • Enjoy this time - being engaged is a very special time in your lives. 
  • Think about having an engagement shoot photography session.
  • Think about your wedding budget and plan for it.
  • Finally - if manicures have never been a thing for you, then maybe now you'd better start. You have a lovely engagement ring to show off, after all! 

 (Image via Wedding Chicks/Good Morning America)






This is how brides can use Pantone's color of the year 2018 - Ultra violet

Back in Roman times purple shades were so prized that that only the Roman Emperor was permitted to wear a purple hue. 

And this year a shade of purple - Ultra Violet 18-3838 - has been chosen as Pantone's color of the year. We've worked closely with Pantone on this to produce a whole range of items to help you plan your wedding and match up this stunning shade. 

As Pantone say: “Ultra Violet is a blue based purple that is enigmatic and complex, and suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond were we are now. ”


It's all fabulous news for brides and here's why

  • Purple is considered by some to have a significant mental effect when we wear it and when we see it.
  • It is thought to calm the mind and destress (very useful for brides then!)
  • It has an uplifting effect (so everybody is going to be really happy at a purple-themed wedding of course!)
  • It is considered spiritual 
  • Dessy has a whole range of beautiful bridesmaid dresses in ultra violet - in over a hundred different styles. Cocktail length, full length, strapless, one-shoulder ... start looking and dreaming here. You'll also find pretty dresses for your young flowergirls and dresses for junior bridesmaids. 

Anyway, we think it is a completely fabulous color to choose for a wedding theme, as these images prove.

Your florist is going to be REALLY pleased

Why? Because you can get flowers in all sorts of shades of purple. Here's a list to start you off: Lisianthus, roses, anenomes, verbena, lavender, clematis, irises, salvia, delphinums, bellflowers, agapanthus, orchids, heather, hyacinths, asters, carnations, calla lillies, cosmos, cyclamen, crocus, colombines, gladioli, lilacs, pansies get the idea!

Choose purple as a wedding theme color and your florist will be overjoyed, because it offers so many shades of bloom to work with.

Your caterer will be enthusiastic too

Because when it comes to sweet things - like macarons, cakes, desserts - purple is a tempting and appetising shade. It's a wonderful color for dessert tables and as wedding cake decor.

Getting the exact shade for your wedding you're looking for

  • To help brides along with their wedding planning, Dessy has created the Pantone wedding color reference tool, which allows you to pick a color - like Ultra Violet - and discover the matching Pantone reference number. 
  • You can then share it with everyone. 
  • Give a color swatch to your florist so she can match up the exact shade of Ultra Violet (or whatever color has attracted you) to your blooms. Give it to your cake decorator too. In fact, give it to everyone who will need it! 
  • If you want your caterers to decorate your tables with cloths or accessories of a particular hue - then hand them the Pantone reference and let make their job so much simpler. 

Working that Ultra Violet theme

You might want to have bridesmaid dresses in Ultra Violet. Or maybe you want to embrace the trend of dressing your maids in separates - so you have color pops of the purple shade. Perhaps embellish with some sequins. 

You could opt for Ultra Violet sashes for your flowergirls. 

Accessories like cravats, ties and vests for your bridegroom. Maybe even socks!  

Anyway, enough of the talking. We're going to let ultra violet talk for itself, with these fabulous images! 

You can start shopping for wedding kit in Ultra Violet shades right here ...

What these bridesmaids wore on their feet is too cute!

green bridesmaid dresses

We love the way this bride put her stamp on her wedding day! Not only did she choose a color combo that you might not immediately think of for a wedding - a vibrant green with orange flowers - but she put her bridesmaids in COWBOY boots. Which looked completely fabulous. (You can find similiar green bridesmaid frocks at Dessy here.)

Showing off your originality on your wedding day is SO important. And don't her maids look so happy!

We also like the orange blooms she chose, which worked with the green to perfection. Love the orange gerberas. They're fun, informal and just match up so well with the cowboy boot thing going on.

And yet, there's a nice formality here too in the bridegroom's suit. And like the fact that he chose a white tie to match the bride's dress, rather than orange or green, which we think would have been a little too much of a good thing. 

Great - and simple photo op here. Tie the knot, literally. Makes a wonderful image, doesn't it?

And also like the simply decorated cake, with a few orange gerberas placed on top.

Weddings don't have to be ornate or overdone to be perfect. 

The fun of this wedding just shines through on these wedding photographs. Looks like everyone had just the best time. 

The bride had a few other clever ideas too.

Guests could pick up mini bottles of champagne - so stylish and a great way to personalise your big day. 

Sometimes brides overthink wedding favors and spend far too much money and time on them. Really, wedding favors aren't completely necessary. Originally they were just sugared almonds and then things got a bit more complicated. 

Which is why we like this simple idea of offering guests flower seeds to remember the wedding. They're inexpensive but memorable and have a great deal of charm. 

Get the look with Dessy here

Giving your wedding a GOLDEN glow

white and gold wedding theme

The BIG wedding news of the moment has of course to be Prince Harry's wedding to Ms Meghan Markle. 

It's a golden moment for weddings indeed. And actually, your wedding day should be one of the most golden moments of your life.

So this inspired us today to think of using the color gold on your wedding day. 

Why is gold a glorious color for weddings? 

  • Because traditionally it's the color of wedding bands
  • It's a precious metal
  • Gold signifies security 
  • It also denotes real value - "she has a heart of gold"

Any month of the year

Gold looks wonderful at any time of year. It's warm and embracing in the winter (and of course is a given at a Christmas wedding) but also adds sparkle and shine to a summer wedding. Spring is a golden time too, with naturally golden flowers like daffodils and tulips in abundance and as for fall - well you have all the golden colors from the trees to be considering. 

In different venues

If you're having a city wedding, then a gold theme would be ritzy glitzy enough for the smartest venue

Of if you're getting married on the beach, the whole wedding party could be dressed in white with gold accents (like jewellery, sandals ...) The bride and bridesmaids could wear goddess-style dresses like this one from Dessy. 

Ways to use golden accents on your big day

Well, you could go all out and have a golden wedding dress. There are some beautiful ones around. But if that feels a bit too much for you then consider a frock with golden thread woven through it, on the bodice maybe.

Tie the look in by dressing your maids in Dessy's spectacular gold sequinned dresses - or put them in gold sequin separates (which they will LOVE wearing).

You could also have your wedding veil edged with gold.

gold wedding theme

We always love it when brides choose metallic shoes - particularly as you're much more likely to wear them after your wedding day than traditional white or ivory. (So it's time to treat yourself to those strappy metallics you've always had your eye on). 

gold wedding theme

Image credit: De La Creme Creative Studio

Gold leaf on your wedding cake would look AMAZING. 

And you could investigate using gold on your place settings. 

As for your stationery, gold has just so many options. You can be ultra traditional and have gold edged wedding invitations on white card. Or gold calligraphy. 

Have your seating plan written in gold calligraphy and place it inside a golden frame.

We could go on ... there is just so much potential with this theme. But just check out the images we've found here and then take a look at Dessy's gold weddings board on Pinterest  which is just packed full of inspiration. 

Four ideas for fun and informal wedding invitations and save-the-dates

If you're planning on holding a more informal kind of wedding ceremony, then you want to set the tone right from the beginning. 

You probably feel that a formally calligraphed invitation, on stiff board with a gold rim isn't quite you.

Is your venue low key? Maybe you don't want any fuss?

Maybe you're getting married on a beach? Or having a festival-style ceremony?

Perhaps it's second-time around for the pair of you and you want things to be a bit different. 

You want to do it your way and your want your wedding invitations to reflect your sense of fun. Have something spontaneous about them. 

See what we've found

We've picked out a few ideas for invitations and save the dates that are sure to bring a smile to your guests' faces when they receive them. Some could be used as wedding favors also. 

And best of all? Most of them act as keepsakes for the future, rather than an expensive invitation that will eventually end up in the recycling bin. 

Printed tea towel by Wedding Tea Towels

This idea is sure to make your friends laugh when they receive it - and it's a beautiful accessory for the kitchen too. Choose from a variety of different designs and over 16 different shades, from fuchsia through to blush - so you can even keep your wedding color theme matching if you have one. 

Save the date pencils from Etsy

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and these pencils are certainly that. They're a really inexpensive option too, coming in at 99p each. Of course, they'd also work as wedding favors too if you have any left over! 

Photobooth Save The Dates - image via Pinterest

You can create these on the spur of the moment, dress up as you wish, add accessories. Again, they're a cheap way to send Save The Dates and you can be as imaginative as you wish. If you're having a beach wedding, maybe you want to dress up in beach gear? Well, we'll leave the creativity up to you. 

Save The Date mugs via Etsy

These tick the box of being useful as well as kind of beautiful. We like the simple white design and lettering that will look good in even the most minimal home. 

Another idea - you could adjust the lettering to make them wedding favours too - maybe fill with candies and sweets and put at each place setting? 


Dress your bridesmaids in white. Really? Oh yes ...

Some rules are made to be broken. 

And in our view, the one that only the bride should wear white at the wedding is one of them. 

To be honest, it didn't seem to bother Kate Middleton much when she married Prince William. Her sister Pippa wore an off-white bridesmaid frock and looked completely fabulous, without detracting from the bride in any way. So if Royalty can do it, why can't you? 

Dressing your maids in white or cream has a number of things going for it


  • Whites or creams look fabulous at any time of year. Spring, summer, fall or winter
  • Brightly colored wedding flowers are beautifully offset by white frocks
  • You can add pops of color with colorful shoes and accessories
  • White and cream suit all sorts of skin tones
  • White is just made for a destination beach wedding too
  • White is a classic - it never goes out of style as a color

Styling up white bridesmaid dresses


If you want to mix it up with your maids in terms of necklines and sleeves, then all white dresses will hang your whole look together. Ask your girls which necklines and waistlines they feel flatter them best and then go bridesmaid dress shopping. 

In winter or in chillier weather, give your girls shrugs or wraps to cover bare shoulders. Any colour goes with white so you can follow your color theme.

Think about adding sparkling touches. Maybe metallic shoes for your girls? Chandelier earrings? White is a neutral which means it works as a blank palette, so you can layer on colors, textures and different shades. 

It's likely that the bride will have quite a bit of detail on her dress - maybe an embroidered bodice or sleeves. In which case it's best to keep the bridesmaid frocks fairly simple if they're going to be in white. Think in terms of shapes and fabrics instead. Maybe opt for a slinky satin or ballerina length skirts.

One tip is to use the same shade of white for all your frocks (which is easy with Dessy's fabric swatches). Although you might think white is just one shade, it's actually not and if your bridesmaids are wearing different hues of white then you won't get the effect you're after. 

You can shop for white bridesmaid frocks here at Dessy. 

All images featured via Dessy Facebook page


Is this the perfect bridesmaid dress for a destination wedding?

Twist Dress

So you're getting married somewhere far away.

Maybe on the beach. Under palm trees. 

You've got your own dress sorted and it's beautiful. But your bridesmaids?

The thing is your girls are all different. One's curvy and voluptuous. Another is tall and willowy. And another is pregnant. 

Plus which, you want more than one look for your girls. Something for the beach ceremony and then something for the evening dancing. 

You want your ladies all to wear something they feel fabulous in, that shows off their best features. But what? 

Sounds like you should investigate the Dessy Twist Dress.

  • It can be halter-style, strapless, sleeved or one-shouldered
  • It's made from soft jersey that travels beautifully and just shakes out on arrival
  • It's a dress your girls will want to wear again and again
  • It has a forgiving fit - so it's perfect for ladies who are pregnant
  • You can change the look from day to night
  • It comes in a dazzling rainbow of different colors, so there's one to suit your theme and your girls. Go for an ombre effect, jewel shades or two or three contrasting shades


Twist Dress

The bridesmaid frock that works through day and night

It'll take your girls from an afternoon ceremony on a sandy, palm-fringed shore and then off to a sophisticated evening party. Effortlessly.

Check out this real Dessy wedding featuring Twist Dresses here. 

Go strapless, in flats and it's a completely perfect bridesmaid dress for a destination beach wedding.

Change it to halter-style maybe, add heels, an updo, some statement earrings and they're all set in a glamorous cocktail frock.

Twist Dress

Why your bridesmaids will LOVE this dress

You'll be their friend forever. For a number of reasons.

Your bridesmaids can create a style that shows their best features (sleeveless, strapless etc. etc.). You just pick a dress from one of the colours available and leave the rest to them.

They'll love it that you chose a Dessy Twist Dress for that reason, because there's nothing worse than having to wear something that doesn't suit you. Especially when you're going to be photographed A LOT.

Twist Dress

Also you've given your girls a fashion treasure that'll last because this is a dress they really will wear after your wedding day. Again and again. And it looks classy.

What else? Oh yes, this multi-tasking gown comes in either long or cocktail length.

You might even like to buy one yourself to take on your honeymoon - for a different look every night.

See all the Dessy Twist Dresses here. 

All featured images of Dessy Twist Dresses worn by real girls via Dessy Facebook page