Planning a wedding can be stressful and if you haven’t done it before, it can feel like a minefield of mystical do’s and don’ts. Here is my advice to some common questions that you might have.

Can I ask for cash instead of presents?

Personally, if I received a wedding invitation requesting cash presents, I’d be a little taken aback. You can’t ask your guests to pay for your wedding. You can:

– ask for gift vouchers for your favourite store;
– ask for contributions towards experiences for your honeymoon, for example, cocktails for two at a rooftop bar.

In cases where no steer on gifts has been given, I give money. If you really do just want cash, you could simply stay silent and hope that you don’t get ten toasters.

My parents want to invite guests that I don’t want to attend, what do I do?

If the bank of mum and dad are footing the bill then my answer would be “nothing”. You’ve agreed to let someone else to pay for your wedding and you need to accept that you have relinquished quite a lot of control. On the flip side, if it’s your card behind the bar, then you get to choose the guest list. Simple.

Who should pay for bridesmaid dresses?

My take on this is that honesty is the best policy, if money is tight say so but if you’re specifying what dress your wants your bridesmaids to wear, then you should be willing to pay. In cases where you’re giving a free rein┬áthen it’s fair for them to pay or you to make a contribution.

Can I say no children?

Absolutely! It’s your day, you get to set the rules. You might find that some guests will take offence to this and not attend, my view is that if they want to be a martyr, let them. Equally some guests may not be able to get childcare so be prepared for some drop-outs.

Do I need to provide a free bar?

No, it’s certainly not the norm and I have been to lots of weddings where there was a paid for bar. That said, it’s a nice gesture to provide some drinks to your guests irrespective of the format of your wedding. If it’s a sit down meal, table wine is generally expected and if it’s an informal reception, why not provides wine, beers and a cocktail.

What’s your view on some of these questions of wedding etiquette? Join the debate below.

Cover photo: Ibrahim Assad via Pexels.