Ask Team Practical: Etiquette Lightning Round by Liz Moorhead My wedding is still two months away, but I’ve started to get gifts through my registry already. What is the proper etiquette on thank you notes? Should I send them out as I get gifts? Or leave it until after the wedding? I’m only sending out my invitations next week! Dear Anonymous, Yep, send those thank yous out as soon as you receive the gift. This way, friends know their gifts arrived safely, and you’re able to get them out of the way before the gifts really start to pour in. Remember, though you’re already thanking folks for their gifts, you aren’t technically supposed to start using your fancy new sheets and waffle maker until after the wedding. I know it’s a bit of a hitch since usually my thank you notes gush about how happy I was to use that particular thing they sent, and when I used it and how. For now, your notes can focus on being grateful for their generosity and how much you look forward to seeing them at the wedding. (If you use them on the sly, I won’t tell anyone. Our little secret. Shhh.) ***** I fear I’ve put myself in a bad place with our wedding guest list. I work at a very small nonprofit, with just seven other people. Since I enjoy them very much and want them at my wedding, I sent them all a save-the-date. Our wedding will be midday on a Friday, so my fiancé and I thought it would be totally fine to invite co-workers without their significant others since it’s practically like just going out to lunch together. Now I’m reading all this stuff about how it’s in terrible form to not include spouses and partners on a wedding invite and I’m feeling panicked. We’ve sent save-the-dates to so many people, I’m afraid that adding spouses for my co-workers will be risky since the venue is capped. What should I do? Do I apologize for not being able to invite their spouses? Should I just invite their spouses and hope they won’t come since it’s a weekday? Please advise. Hoping Co-workers Can Be Each Others’ Dates Dear HCCBEOD, Miss Manners (or at least my grandmother) would strangle you. Of course you’re supposed to invite spouses and long-term partners! But, what’s done is done. Despite what both Manners and Grandma would say, the best you can do at this point is let your friends know about your misstep (“Completely didn’t cross my mind!”), apologize up and down, and express that everyone from the office has been invited, so there’s sure to be someone to chat with when they’re there. ***** My fiancé and I are getting married in two months and many people have asked us about dress code. Though we’ve tried hard to make our wedding thoughtful, progressive, personalized (yadda yadda yadda), in many ways it will be fairly traditional and formal. For example, he’ll be wearing a tux, as will several other close family members. The moms and my sis are wearing long gowns (as am I) and our ceremony and reception are in a historic building, with a seated dinner, beginning in the very late afternoon. My family pressured us to make the wedding black tie optional, which we squarely nixed. Though we’re psyched about dressing up ourselves, we also feel strongly that we shouldn’t dictate anyone’s attire, particularly since we’ll have trans and other queer guests as well as guests who may not have the means to acquire formalwear. We love our guests and want them to be comfortable in anything they choose to wear! Originally we were going to stay silent and let people do what they will. But I’ve been worried that, because some folks will be quite dressed up, if we don’t give some direction, other honored guests may be taken by surprise and feel uncomfortable because we didn’t give them a heads up that a lot of people may really do it up. Should we say something on our wedding website? Only respond if asked? Am I being silly or patronizing for even worrying about it? How can we do right by everyone? Dear Anonymous, Of course you’re not being silly. When I’m invited someplace, one of the first things I think of is, “What should I wear?!” (right after, “Oooh, what’re we eating?”). But like you mentioned in the first sentence, if people are interested in a dress code, they’ll ask. There’s no need to even mention it otherwise. When they do ask, let them know they can wear whatever they want, that a few folks will be in black tie, but that it’s fine to dress less formally. That sort of thing travels by word of mouth pretty easily. Note: expect a lot of dressed up guests. I know you think you’re inconveniencing people (your wedding is not an imposition) but lots of people secretly LOVE to dress up. And just because it has to be said, there is no conflict between “traditional and formal,” and “thoughtful, progressive, personalized (yadda yadda yadda).” ***** I am a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish) and I’m getting married on a river near the ocean, where good, fresh seafood is plentiful. My parents are insisting that my wedding include meat, while my fiancée and I would like just fish and pasta options. Can you ask your guests to conform to your dietary choices? Thoughts? Dear Anonymous, Fish and pasta are awesome options, and are both things that even meat-eaters enjoy (unless they’re super picky). You’re not asking anyone to conform to your dietary choices by offering them something they normally eat. ***** Team Practical, what etiquette snags did you hit in planning your wedding? Photo by APW sponsor Lisa Wiseman If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! Liz Moorhead Staff Writer Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.