When you think about modern wedding etiquette it may be difficult to know what to do because so many things are changing. However, as a starting point, think about etiquette as the many different expressions of how we respect ourselves and others or say "Thank You." In reality when we are treated with respect, it makes us feel good. And even in our modern society with all of our technology, etiquette matters.
Showing appreciation for your wedding guests should be a top priority for the bridal party. The most important role in making sure that the guests are cared for properly belongs to the best man: the groomsmen and bridesmaids all play supporting roles.
When a couple begins planning a wedding, it's a good idea to first remember weddings that they have attended and think about how they were treated by the bride and groom. Were accurate directions given? Did they know where they could park their vehicle? Did they have to wait for hours to speak to the bride and groom? All of these memories can be used to work out the details so that none of your guests have a similar experience. It's not enough to simply send the invitation and arrange for their reception seating.
The newlywed couple is the center of attention, however they are also the host of this ultimate party. The guests have given presents, taken time to travel, and want to help lift the celebration to the full joy level possible. So it's important that they be given the attention and care they deserve.
Caring for your guests so that they know they are appreciated begins with organization and clear communication. Taking time to consider what will make your guests happy is the direct route to having a fabulous wedding reception. This includes their willingness to participate in the wedding activities, interact with the other wedding guests and leave with a pleasant memory of the experience.
Make sure that you have enough members of your bridal party to attend to your guests; in general if you are having 200 wedding guests you will need at least 4 groomsmen and 4 bridesmaids to attend to their needs. It's a good idea to draw up a list of all of the possible questions that might be asked about the ceremony and reception locations, i.e., where are the restrooms? Make sure that every member of your bridal party has the same information.
Just as important as your attention to your guests at the reception is remembering to send everyone who attended your wedding a personal thank you note. And thanks should also be showered on the members of your bridal party along with personal tokens of appreciation to help them remember their contribution to the success of the day you received your wedding ring.
Arranging to take the entire bridal party out to lunch and dinner when you return home from your honeymoon is a wonderful way to show them how much you care.