Etiquette experts and wedding pros weigh in on common gaffes

By Brandi Broxson
Updated December 17, 2015
Glenn Glasser
Glenn Glasser


“Don’t let social media dictate that moment for you. First, be mushy, hug, and let those tears run down your face (even if you’re wearing mascara). Then, give your family a call or go visit them in-person if you can. Consider uploading a photo after you’ve notified your loved ones, but don’t make it all about the rock. While ring photos are lovely, they kind of take away from the engagement being about you and your significant other. Instead, post a happy shot of you and your soon-to-be.”

—Carrie Crooks and Nicole Seligman,


“Accept congratulations, but don’t feel obligated to extend an invitation to everyone in your close circle. Have a conversation with your partner (and family) prior to drafting up an initial guest list.”

—Stephanie Weers and Michelle Hoover,


“I’ve heard crazy stories of stones falling onto subway tracks or rings getting stolen and not being insured. Get an appraisal from your jeweler and then call your renters or homeowners insurance to get it insured right away.”

–Anne Chertoff,


“Don’t go immediately into wedding planning mode. Take some time to enjoy the engagement and map out a timeline. Set a date in your calendar for when you’ll begin planning and hold yourself to it.”

Elaine Swann, wedding planner and etiquette expert


“Early on, open up the conversation and see if they want to contribute—but phrase it as an option, not an expectation. If they are planning to help out with, say, the wedding dress, talk about if that means that it will need to measure up to certain expectations (like style or color).”

Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition


“You might find a dress at a sale and feel pressured because it’s the only one and is a great deal, but your heart might not be in it because you haven’t tried on other options. Determine your venue so you know what style will work best and then look through magazines and online, to get an idea of what you like. Make an appointment at a couple of bridal stores to find your best fit.”

—Anne Chertoff,


“If you’re lucky enough to be given bottles of Champagne, housewares, or keepsakes after getting engaged, be sure to take note of every gift as soon as you get it, and send a thank you note within a couple of weeks.”

—Claire Byrne,