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Ancient Wedding Ring Tradition & Which Goes First, The Engagement Ring or Wedding Ring

Have you ever wondered why we traditionally wear our wedding rings on the left ring finger? There are a couple theories for this.

It’s believed that many Ancient Egyptians and Romans wore their wedding rings on the left ring finger as a symbolism and a link to the couple’s destiny. You see, the left ring finger was believed to follow the “vena amoris” (a vein of love), which lead directly to he heart.

Another theory comes from the 17th century when wedding rings were apparently worn on the thumb until the wedding ceremony when they were then moved to the 4th finger. It’s believed that during a Christian ceremony the priest would touch three fingers on the left hand while saying “In the name of the Father – Son – and Holy Ghost”. The ring would then be placed on the forth finger (the ring finger).

Have you ever noticed that some people take off their engagement ring for the wedding ceremony and then others prefer to leave it on? Ever wonder what is the right way to do it?

There really is no “right way” to do it because it depends on your traditions and what symbolisms you prefer to follow. Some people choose to place the engagement ring on their finger first because that’s the event that happened first. Others choose to wear their wedding bands first because it’s closest to their heart (symbolically and literally).

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy our wedding etiquette blog.

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Make Your Own Postage Stamps For Your Wedding Invitations

USPS often comes out with beautiful “love” or “wedding” themed stamps that many people include on their wedding invitations. However, there are those who want the stamp to tell about their character.  For example, I know this couple who loved fishing, so they used the fish stamp series that had come out. That was quite the site. Here arrives this beautiful fancy wedding invitation with a trout stamp on it. It certainly caught my attention.  Although choosing the stamp is probably the last of every couple’s worries, it can be fun to take that extra step to show your character.

Well now days you can really get creative and make your own legitimate stamps to put on your wedding invitations, using your own photos. is a perfect example of a service that offers this. They make it unbelievably easy and walk you through the step by step process.

This a great option for those who had some great engagement photos but could only choose one.  This would give you the opportunity to throw in that second picture. You can even make this one a candid picture.

If you do this, you need to make sure the company is an approved licensed vendor and authorized by the US Postal Service, like is. Otherwise you could end up with bogus stamps.

There’s no wedding etiquette rule about it, so have some fun.

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Beluga Whales Wearing Santa Hats This Season

Even though this has nothing to do with wedding etiquette, unless you have your wedding at an aquarium, I had to share this with you. The other day on they featured pictures of Christmas scenes around the world. Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to what country it was in, but there was a picture of four to five beluga whales (I believe that’s the kind they were) wearing Santa hats. These were of course trained whales that lived in an aquarium. Standing beside the see-through tank was a person also wearing a Santa hat. If you’re a whale lover and have connections to an aquarium with trained beluga whales, this would be a fun idea for your Christmas wedding pictures, or perhaps even for your wedding invitations.
I’d imagine the aquarium couldn’t offer this all the time, as it would be exhausting for the whales to pose all the time. It would however also be a great idea as a fundraiser for the Aquarium.  I don’t know if that particular aquarium offers that, but there are some zoos and aquariums that actually offer experiences like these for a cost, to help raise money for various causes related to the animals. Some of these places even help raise money for programs like the Make a Wish Foundation.  Check with your local zoos or aquariums and see what they offer.

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Wedding on a Small Budget

After weeks or even months of wedding planning, it’s no wonder so many couples say “the heck with it” and go running for the court house. Sure people may think it’s a “shot gun” wedding, but some people would rather risk the rumor than pay the overwhelming cost of even a simple wedding. 

You don’t have to go into debt or break into the college funds to get married.  The money can be better spent on the expected or unexpected necessities of life you’ll need in the first few years of your marriage.

The trick is to have a quality wedding without the “quantity” price. With a little creativity and cooperation, you can fool even the most wedding savvy guest.

Step #1: Get a notebook (specifically for wedding planning), pen and fiancé
Step #2: Sit down
Step #3: Start writing down the following together so you’re on the same page.
Q: Decide the Budget. What’s a realistic dollar figure you’re willing to put into your wedding?

Q: What is absolutely necessary?
A: - The invitations are a must! Sure you can call people and tell them but how much time are you willing to spend chatting on the phone. How much are you paying long distance? People also need a visual reminder.
- Stamps to send the invites are a must.
- Wedding attire (whether it’s a dress and suit or muumuu ;0))
- A place to have the wedding (and/or reception is a must)
      - Whatever else is important to you.

Visit us in tomorrows wedding etiquette section and we’ll go into more detail.

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Flowers and Decorations: Choosing a Florist

Shop around. Price ranges and packages will vary greatly, and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that smaller vendors are more flexible in their prices.

When choosing a florist, read the fine print of the contracts and ask lots of questions. They are the experts and can often suggest cost savings or small touches that you may not have considered.

Look at many photo albums of the florists’ work in addition to viewing some of their live arrangements.

When you have narrowed your choice to a few florists, have them give you the dates and locations of their current scheduled events where you can take a peek at their live work.

Ask for reference letters or thank you notes the florist has received from previous clients. Call the customers and speak directly with the person who worked with the florist—usually the bride or the mother or the bride—about their thoughts on the experience.

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Bringing the Children

This can be a very touchy subject and should be handled with care. Whether it’s considered rude  to exclude children at a wedding or reception is a hot debatable topic.

As the bride or groom, before deciding to exclude children, you may want to consider how many guests actually have kids and how it will affect them. If you decide on an Adult Only reception, be sure to include it on the invitation.
As the guest, if you receive an invitation and it indicates it for Adults Only, try not to get offended. For all you know, space may be an issue. Or the budget allows for only so many to attend.  Maybe their concerned about the safety of the kids (especially if their doing it by a cliff).  Or perhaps they’re aiming for a nice calm and quite, non disruptive atmosphere. Put yourself in their shoes and just be thankful they invited you.

Before bringing the kids, ask yourself, “Will they behave or be disruptive? Will their behavior make me or others want to leave early?”

One reception I went to had only just a handful of children and they truly were a handful too. They were running around, being careless, touching and breaking antiques. Where were the parents?  I have no idea but it was a nightmare.

If you bring children, it is a good idea to not only keep an eye on them at the event, but also discuss with them ahead of time expectations and wedding etiquette.

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Invitations & Your Guest List

When compiling your wedding invitation guest list, decide whether you will include only the spouses of your guests, or whether you would like to invite fiancé and significant others as well.

If you address an invitation with the words “and guest,” you should assume that the invitee will bring one. Factor this into the number of guests your budget, location, and caterer can accommodate, and decide as a couple what you would like to do.

You can always leave out the words “and guest” initially, then call your single guests closer to the actual wedding, once you have a firmer idea of how many people will be attending, and offer them the option to bring a date if they would like.

Send out your wedding invitations six to eight weeks in advance. That way you’ll have plenty of time for slower RSVPs as well as time to move to your “B” list if your numbers are coming in lower than expected.

Any international guests or those traveling great distances to attend should receive their wedding invitations or, at minimum, information regarding the wedding, ten to twelve weeks in advance as a courtesy to assist them in travel planning.

Include a “reply by” date on your reply card to encourage guests to RSVP in a timely manner. Prestamp your reply card as a courtesy to invitees.

Check with your caterer as to the absolute final date you can let him or her know your total number of guests. As this date approaches, if you have not heard from certain guests, you and the groom should call them to find out if they are planning to attend.

After the wedding, frame, matte, or etch your invitation on a silver serving tray, glass plate, or Lucite block to serve as a beautiful reminder of your special day.

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Most popular wedding day this year/century - 07-07-07

If you noticed a lot of activity at any given church and or country club yesterday, there was a good reason for it. Las Vegas was especially busy as those in love wanted extra luck on their wedding day. Yesterday was the most popular wedding day of the year - in fact, it was the most popular wedding day for the past century.

We here at saw this coming months ago as we started getting many wedding invitations with the wedding date of 7/7/07. It remains to be seen if this was the luckiest wedding day of the century, but it was certainly one of the busiest. There are no official numbers yet as to how many weddings took place yesterday, but indicated that over 38,000 couples on their registry got married yesterday.

The date was popular for a number of reasons. Seven is considered to be an auspicious number in a number of different cultures. One groom stated that he’ll never forget his anniversary date. In the orthodox Jewish tradition, the bride circles the groom seven times when she arrives at the chuppah, which is a canopy used in weddings. Seven candles are lit during Kwanzaa. There are seven wonders of the world. The Big Dipper is formed from seven stars. Buddha is said to have walked seven steps upon his birth. The Islamic tradition involves seven levels of heaven. The ancient city of Rome was said to be built on seven hills. There are seven deadly sins, as well as virtues, in some Christian traditions. And gamblers hit the jackpot with the slot machine combination 7-7-7.

Wedding professionals are no hoping that another triplicate, 8/8/08, will be a popular date. (That is a Friday) as well as consecutive numbers like 6/7/8 (Saturday). Somehow, 6/6/06 didn’t arrive with the same fanfare. (For one reason, that was a Tuesday). I think that any date will be hard to compete with the lucky 7s.

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Breaking Off the Engagement

Since we’re on the theme of engagement, what do you do if you must call one off? Far better to call off an engagement than a marriage - and both do happen. Of course, you would be wise to call off an engagement as soon as you’re sure you will not be getting married. It’s better than going ahead with big doubts and then filing divorce papers years later.

I must warn you that planning a wedding can put a lot of stress on a relationship. You can be prepared for that. But sometimes it can reveal deal breakers that must be addressed.

Just remember this: wedding etiquette dictates that you do not give a reason for a broken engagement - just that you let everyone know. There are different ways to do this. I’ll cover it in my next post.

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Wedding Etiquette: Consider the Pocketbook

Wedding etiquette is considering your guest’s pocketbook. Destination weddings are popular choices for modern brides who want a unique wedding. But it can be a burden for guests who want to be there but may not have the finances or the time off work. What was once a one or two day affair can stretch into several days and a trip overseas.

Tropical locations are popular and the event can cost less for you. According to a destination wedding can cost less than a traditional one. “Formerly the exclusive domain of celebrities and the ultra-rich, Destination Weddings have in recent years become accessible to more and more couples looking to add an “exotic twist” to their special ceremony. Your destination wedding “…can also turn your wedding day into an unforgettable “mini-vacation” for you and your guests.”

According to an article on CNN: “Now, it might involve three days in Mexico or a long weekend in Maine. There could be scuba diving, cruises, square dancing or a marshmallow roast at a national park.

With a growing number of couples opting to exchange vows far from where they and most of their guests live, saying “yes” to an invite has taken on a whole new meaning.

“Destination weddings” can be fun. And time-consuming. And terribly expensive. Those most likely to be invited to a lot of weddings - people in their 20s, say - also tend to have the least seniority at work and the least disposable income.”

When you plan that dream wedding, keep your guests and their finances in mind. Invite them but also let them know that you don’t expect them to come. Some may welcome the chance to travel, others want to but must decline. As long as your expectations are realistic, go ahead with that destination wedding you’ve been planning.

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