BRIDES magazine

5 Rules NOT to Break at Your Wedding

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Photo by Carrie Patterson

Having a little fun with tradition is what makes your wedding unique and totally you! We get it. Having your future sister-in-law as the "best man"? Awesome. Ditching the flower toss to present your bouquet to Grandma (who's been married for 60 years)? Touching. However, there are five rules you just shouldn't break...ever.

1. Make sure there's no more than an hour of downtime between the ceremony's end and the start of the reception. It's just not nice to force out-of-towners to kill the better part of an afternoon in a doughnut shop.

2. Keep guests in the loop. That means having the DJ or emcee explain anything unusual (e.g., that you and Dad are shooting hoops at the reception instead of having a first dance).

3. Be hosts. Greet all of your guests, even if you don't know some, either on a receiving line or by going table-to-table. And don't ask anyone to pay for anything. (No cash bar!)

4. Throw a wedding, not a business conference. Avoid long speeches, longer slideshows, and anything that smacks of sponsorship ("Flowers provided by Pay Back Gardens"). Your guests are there to have fun.

5. Make guests' comfort your priority. Inviting an elderly aunt? Don't make her scale a small alp to get to the ceremony. Tying the knot at a farm? Let guests know they should leave the heels and ties at home. And—duh—make sure there's plenty of food and drink.

—Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

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