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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Top 8 Wedding Gift Etiquette Questions and Answers


There are many questions regarding wedding gift etiquette; many of which are cut and dry, others that are not. Here are a few questions clarified:

If I am invited to a wedding and cannot attend, should I still send a gift?
This is one of the most common wedding gift etiquette questions. The answer is, yes! If at all possible, you should absolutely send a gift.

What if I do not know where the couple is registered?
In this case, make a phone call. Call someone you think would have this info, as this sort of thing usually spreads by word of mouth. If not, you should call a family member, or ask the couple themselves.

If the bride and groom specify that they do not want gifts, should I still send a gift?
Yes, you should still send a gift. Some people do not want guests to feel obligated to spend money on them, but proper wedding gift etiquette would encourage you to ignore this. The good news is, if the couple does not have a registry, you can either 1) give them cash, or 2) be creative with your wedding gift! Sometimes it feels impersonal to get them something off of their registry (like the couple will never remember who gave them what dishes), but if you give them something unique that you personally picked out, they will likely always remember it. If it is the case that the couple is extremely wealthy, then write them a nice card and donate to a charity on their behalf. The point is: Do something that they will appreciate.

What is monetary wedding gift etiquette?
Some couples request cash, and some guests prefer to give money.  If you are bringing a card with the money inside to the wedding, it is probably fine to include cash. Depending on the amount, it might be best to address a check to the couple.

If I am invited to the shower, do I need to get a shower gift and a wedding gift?
Yes! Being invited to a wedding is an honor, and being invited to a shower is actually even more of an honor, because the guest list is shorter and more intimate.

How much do I need to spend on a wedding gift?
This is a point of much debate. Most wedding gift etiquette experts say that across the board, it should be a minimum of $25 for a shower and $50 for a wedding. One thing to keep in mind is that a wedding is an opportunity to practice generosity. You should give what you can afford.

What if I am invited to a deluge of weddings in the same month and cannot afford them?
If you absolutely cannot afford to spend money on all of these wedding gifts, consider doing it in increments. Technically, you can send a gift up to a year after the wedding (which is when most registries close out), but it is recommended that you send the gift within six months. For example, if you are invited to three weddings in one month, set up a personal payment plan over a six-month time period, purchasing a gift every two months. Remember that the bride and groom would not want you to go broke on their behalf, so you do not need to bring them an expensive or elaborate gift. In this case, do the very best you can.

When should I send the gift?
Ideally, you should send it before the wedding if possible, but this is not required.  All gifts should be received before the couple's first anniversary, however.

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6 Scottish Wedding Traditions


Celtic wedding customs—particularly Scottish wedding traditions—have long held us transfixed by their beautiful music, old-world charm, and thoughts of stunning, gorgeous green countryside. If you are of Scottish heritage, or if you simply gravitate toward Celtic customs, here are a few ways you can incorporate Scottish wedding traditions into your wedding day:

A grand engagement party.
Scottish people love merry making, and the thought of a wedding is the perfect reason to celebrate. The engagement party is usually held at one of the parents’ home, at a hotel or club, or sometimes at a village hall with everyone in town present.

Stag party.
On the night before the wedding, the friends of the groom throw a Stag party, an often rowdy event involving pranks. For example, there is an old custom where the groom sits in a tub of water, and his friends “wash” his feet by smearing grease, soot and ashes all over them. This good-natured custom is meant to ensure good fortune in his marriage.

Hen's night.
For the bride, the Hen’s night takes place, when she is dressed up with streamers, balloons, (and often soot and flour). She and her troop make their way through the streets for all to see. Her friends simultaneously rattle cans, whistle, ring bells, and clash pots and pans to make a ton of noise and create a spirit of rebel rousing. Sometimes, a friend will carry a chamber pot which townspeople can throw coins into. This is a great way to get some extra funds for the wedding celebration or the honeymoon.

The Loving Cup.
At a Scottish wedding, the couple takes their first celebratory drink as husband and wife from the Quaich, or Loving Cup, which is shaped as a bowl with two handles. It is passed down through the generations; the custom dates back to the 15the century. It symbolizes the two families coming together, and is supposed to bring happiness and good fortune to the couples who drink from it.

Scottish wedding music.
Bagpipes are the first thing that come to mind when thinking of Scottish music, but other musicians can also be involved, such as a fiddler, a string quartet, a piano player, or the clarsach, a small harp that is very popular in Scottish wedding ceremonies. It can be used during the ceremony or as backup music during the meal and the reception. Remember that playing the bagpipes involves a lot of energy, as the bagpipe player has to stand with the heavy instrument for sustained lengths of time. It is a good idea to have other types of music at a Scottish wedding to allow the bagpiper some breaks.

Scottish wedding toasts.
According to tradition, the father of the bride offers the first Scottish wedding blessing, which usually includes advice on how to be happy, with a personal story about the bride and groom. The groom usually gives a wedding toast, with a special thank you to his parents, to the bridal party, and to everyone who helped in preparation for the big day. The best man also makes a toast, as well as a member of the clergy. A typical sentiment that is echoed throughout the wedding blessings is this: “May the Lord keep you in His hand, and never close His fist too tight on you,' in order to wish the couple prosperity and long life.”

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Wedding Ring 101


There are countless factors that come into play when choosing your wedding ring. Whether you want to explore custom designed rings or not, what type of metal, and of course, what stone fits your unique personality and style are all questions you’ll need to answer on your journey toward your perfect ring.

First, decide what type of ring you want. Narrowing it down to either vintage, modern, or classic will make your search a whole lot easier once you find yourself online or in stores trying different styles on. Classic diamond wedding rings come in various styles, but tend to be conservative and timeless. Modern rings tend to have bold mountings, open shanks, and unique diamond settings. Vintage style wedding rings typically include micropave diamonds, milgrain details, and halo settings.

The next step—and the most fun—is choosing the diamond shape you want. The most common choices include the following shapes: round, princess, emerald, pear, radiant, oval, heart, or marquise.

What type of metal do you want? You have your pick of platinum, silver, or gold wedding rings. There are other metals to choose from, but the aforementioned three are the most common. 14-karat white or yellow gold is the most coveted metal for wedding rings, due to the fact that it is rich in color and durability. 18 karat gold scratches more easily and is a bit softer than 14-karat gold, however it has a color that’s too rich to resist. Anything below 14 lacks luster and appears dull.

Silver wedding rings are a great option for those of you on a budget. Although silver is soft, it easily tarnishes. Another option is platinum, which is a gorgeous white metal and a common choice for wedding rings.

Other metals to consider include titanium, copper, and steel. The main concern with these metals, is that they can cause discoloration and irritate skin, depending on body chemistry.

The next step in deciding on a ring is choosing the type of wedding band you want. The good news is that bands are designed in countless styles; the bad news is that you might have a hard time deciding! Bands typically come in round, comfort fit, and flat styles. The half-round is the most traditional of all wedding bands. The comfort fit wedding band is the heaviest of all bands, and also the most expensive. The edges are comfortable and round, hence the name. Last but not least, flat wedding bands are the most linear and understated of all bands.

Don’t forget about size! It’s imperative you choose the perfect fit because you don’t want your precious ring slipping off. Your local jeweler has finger sizers that will give an accurate reading on your ring size. Since your fingers vary is size during the week, due to the time of day, water retention, etc. it’s best to have your ring finger re-sized at least three times throughout the duration of one week before landing on a final size.

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Buddhist Wedding Engagements & Ceremonies


The main difference between a Buddhist wedding ceremony and other religious based ceremonies is that it is centered on spiritual faith. Buddhist wedding ceremonies may seem simple at first, but actually require a good amount of planning if the Buddhist couple wants to adhere to traditional Buddhist rituals.

Are you and your partner a match made in heaven? Before you can even get engaged, your partner must first consult a Buddhist priest, or monk, to ensure that your horoscopes are compatible and that you’re a good match. If you and your partner’s horoscopes do not match up, according to the Buddhist priest, then you are asked to separate, and discontinue your relationship. If you are indeed deemed to be a good match, then your partner along with his family and priest will decide on a spiritually sound date to propose marriage.

Traditionally monks were not allowed at Buddhist ceremonies, however, in modern day Buddhist weddings they play an important role from beginning to end.

Following the proposal is a traditional betrothal ceremony called Chessian. In the Chessian, the bride’s uncle is placed on a platform, while the Buddhist priest shares Madyan with guests, which is a religious drink.

After the Chessian, the bride and groom decide where to hold the ceremony. Buddhist ceremonies typically take place in small venues, and include only close friends and family members. It is not uncommon to hold a Buddhist ceremony at the bride’s home or a temple.

On the day of the wedding the following rituals take place:

  • The bride and groom are required to wear traditional Buddhist wedding garments. The bride must wear a dress called Bhaku, as well as the groom.
  • A shrine honoring Buddha should be prepared at the ceremony location.
  • The groom must add the bride’s dowry to the shrine honoring Buddha. The dowry typically includes fruit, tea, cake, jewelry, meat, and incense.
  • A tray holding two candles should also be placed on the shrine. The couple will light the candles during the ceremony.
  • A red paste is applied to both the bride and grooms foreheads.
  • The ceremony begins when the couple lights the candles as well as the incense.
  • Guests are asked to pour water on the bride and groom's hands. This ritual represents the blessings placed on the couple.
  • The following hymns are recited: Vandana, Tisarana, and Pancasila.
  • After the hymns, traditional Buddhist wedding vows are recited by the couple, which is inscribed in the Sigilovdda Sutta. The vows are as follows: "Towards my wife I undertake to love and respect her, be kind and considerate, be faithful, delegate domestic management and present gifts to please her." The bride then responds with, "Towards my husband I undertake to perform my household duties efficiently, be hospitable to my in-laws and friends of my husband, be faithful, protect and invest our earnings and discharge my responsibilities lovingly and fastidiously."
  • The ceremony is concluded with Buddhist wedding readings, and blessings for the newly married couple.

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Traditional Jewish Wedding Music


If you’re planning a traditional Jewish wedding, then you might want to explore your music options. When choosing the ceremony and reception music, make sure that you pick songs that highlight this joyous occasion, and that the music honors and respects the Jewish religion.

Before the bride makes her way toward the Chuppah wedding canopy, it is customary that two processional music selections are played for family members and the wedding party. The first song should be played for the family members, and the second as when the groom waits for his bride.

Music has always been a strong and lasting part of the Jewish religion, that it is imperative to integrate traditional wedding music into Jewish wedding ceremonies. Jewish brides typically choose ceremonial music like “Erev Shel Shoshanim,” or “Dodi Li." Another option is a modern Hebrew song called “Lechi Lach,” or even “The Wedding Song."

Jewish wedding reception music includes the music played while guests dance the Hora, which is a basic grapevine step. This is the most joyous and exciting part of the Jewish wedding because all wedding guests are invited to dance in a circle and celebrate the occasion.

Make sure you buy comfortable shoes for your traditional Jewish wedding, because you’ll be doing a lot of dancing!

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Shinto Style Weddings: Japanese Marriage Traditions


Japanese weddings, which typically take place during the fall and spring seasons in Japan, are lovely affairs from beginning to end.

As long as the venue is equipped with a chapel and shrine, it’s an appropriate location for a Japanese wedding. Chapels and shrines are ubiquitous in Japan, and can be found at most hotels and wedding halls.

The religious style depends on the couple, but not necessarily their religion. For example, if a couple has a traditional Japanese Christian wedding, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that the couple is Christian. It’s most common for Japanese couples to have Shinto, Buddhist, Christian, or non-religious weddings. The aforementioned practice goes against early Japanese wedding traditions.

If a couple wants to adhere to ancient Japanese wedding customs, they would have a Shinto-style wedding, and it would be held in a shrine. The bride would wear a white kimono, and the groom would wear a black kimono, a kimono jacket, and kimono pants.

It is customary that only close family members are invited to attend Shinto-style weddings. Exceptions could be made for extended family members and relatives.

During a Shinto-style ceremony, many rituals take place—the consumption of sake, a ring exchange, and the couple and wedding guests are invited to a kekkon hiroen, which is a party.

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Modern Buddhist Wedding Etiquette


Modern day Buddhist wedding traditions vary greatly from the original Buddhist traditions of yesteryear. Although some traditions remain, modern day Buddhist weddings are much more relaxed. As with all weddings, however, there is proper etiquette to follow.

Attire: The bride and groom typically wear semi-formal garb, like a dress and a suit. Guests are allowed to wear whatever they please, as long as it is tasteful and modest, unless stated otherwise by the bride and groom. As with most weddings, shoulders should be covered during the ceremony.

Shoes: If the Buddhist wedding takes place at a temple, you are required to remove your shoes before entering. It is also considered disrespectful for any soles of the feet to be pointed at Buddha or any official who is performing at the ceremony.

Cell Phones: This code of conduct is true for all ceremonies—all cell phones and electronic devices should be turned off during the ceremony, especially during the Buddhist wedding vows.

Rice: It is considered inappropriate to throw rice or confetti after the ceremony.

Order of Events: Contrary to original Buddhist wedding traditions, there isn't a customary order of events at a modern Buddhist wedding reception. Typically, it consists of dinner and dancing, but neither are required according to Buddhist traditions.

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4 Wedding Rehearsal Etiquette Tips


Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is the groom and groom’s parents project; therefore, they decide where it will be located, who will be invited, and they are expected to give toasts. Modern wedding rehearsal etiquette is much less defined, and usually determined by whoever is footing the bill. Here are a few things to remember about rehearsal dinner etiquette:

It does not have to be fancy. It is perfectly acceptable to host the rehearsal dinner at a bowling alley, in someone’s backyard for a barbeque, or even have a potluck.

If the cost of the wedding is shared between the bride and groom’s parents, then it is perfectly fair to suggest that the cost of the rehearsal dinner be shared as well.

If the bride and the groom are hosting, or if the groom’s parents are hosting, then the groom should definitely give a toast. He should remember that it does not necessarily need to be long and eloquent; it should be sincere, show his excitement for his wedding day, and should thank his parents and the wedding party for all they have done.

Wedding rehearsal etiquette also dictates that the father of the groom give a toast. Again, this may change depending on who is footing the bill. The father or mother of the bride can also give toasts if they’d like. The first toast usually begins after the drinks are served and before the first course of the meal.

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Ideas for Catholic Wedding Readings


There are four Catholic wedding readings that typically comprise a Catholic wedding ceremony. The first reading (from the Old Testament), a Responsorial Psalm, the second reading (from the New Testament), and a fourth reading from the Gospel. Here is the typical order of the Catholic wedding readings within the ceremony, starting after the seating of the families, the wedding processional, and the entrance of the bride:

First, an Opening Prayer is usually given by the priest.

The First Reading typically comes from the Catholic book The Rite of Marriage. Here are a few options:

  1. Genesis 1:26-28, 31: “God created man and woman.”
  2. Genesis 2:18-24: “The two of them became one body.”
  3. Proverbs 31: 10-13: “A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
  4. Tobit 8:5-7: “Allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
  5. Genesis 24: “In his love for Rebekah, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother."
  6. Tobit 7: “May the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.”
  7. Sirach 26: “Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.”
  8. Jeremiah 31: “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”


In Catholic Wedding Traditions, the Responsorial Psalm is typically recited by a cantor, or song leader. The cantor sings the verses, then leads the assembly in the response (which is typically the title of the psalm). Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-21, 22: “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
  2. Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9: “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
  3. Psalm 103: “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
  4. Psalm 128: “Happy are those who fear the Lord.”
  5. Psalm 145: “The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.”
  6. Psalm 148: “Let us praise the name of the Lord.”


The Second Reading is then given from the New Testament. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Romans 8: “What will separate us from the love of Christ?"
  2. 1 Corinthians: “Your body is the temple of the “Holy Spirit;” If I do not have love, I am nothing.”
  3. Philippians 4:4-9: “The God of peace will be with you.”
  4. Colossians 3:12-17: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”
  5. 1 John 4:7-12: “Love in deed and in truth.”
  6. Revelation 19:5-9: “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”


The Gospel Reading is usually given by the priest. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Matthew 5:1-12: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
  2. Matthew 19:3-6: “What God has united, man must not separate.”
  3. Mark 10: 6-9: “They are no long two, but one flesh.”
  4. John 15: 12-16: “This is my commandment: love one another.”


Next comes the Homily, which is typically a short sermon or word given from the prist. The homily is followed by the exchange of Catholic Wedding Vows, followed by the Blessing and Exchange of Rings. After the rings are exchanged, there is a Lighting of the Unity Candle, usually accompanied by a song.

Finally, there is the Concluding Rite. Usually the Lord's Prayer, the Assembly joins together to recite this prayer, led by the priest. A final blessing is given, and the ressional begins.

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Flower Girl Gifts: Make Her Feel Special!


One of the most fun parts of planning a wedding is choosing your wedding party gifts and your flower girl gifts. This takes some thought and planning, but it is also very rewarding, as you have the opportunity to thank your best friends. Here are a few ideas for flower girl gifts:

Consider having a t-shirt, hoodie, or backpack or tote bag custom made for the flower girl that says (of course) “flower girl” on it. That way, she can wear it to the rehearsal dinner. Not only will everyone find it adorable, but it will also make your flower girl feel really special and honored.

You should purchase flower gift dresses (meaning, the dress you want your flower girl to wear should be a gift to her). You do not have to buy the flower girl’s dress at a bridal salon; you may, in fact, find one somewhere else unexpectedly, such as at a department store or vintage dress shop.

Many little girls love the thought of being a princess and wearing a tiara. A small tiara will make her feel beautiful, and she will especially love being part of your wedding and will remember it for years to come. If you are having an outdoor wedding, you may also want your florist to make her a halo, accentuating her role as the flower girl.

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