Guest attire

Be specific! Black tie is different from formal, casual is different from California casual, barbeque is different than country rustic. The more specific you can be, the more helpful for your guests (and the more you'll love the look of your wedding).

Relax. Even if you painstakingly come up with a theme and let all your guests know in detail what to wear, be prepared for some to miss the mark (or even forget). That's ok - go with the flow on the big day!

Match your invitations. Your invitations will help set the tone for your event and give your guests the best idea of what to expect and what to wear so make sure they are a mini representation of your wedding in the tone and formality of the event.

Let your guests know. Your wedding website is a great way to elaborate on attire with photos and examples if need be or you can also inform your guests with a post script at the bottom of your invitations.

Themes are wonderful, but... make sure they make sense with your venue, the weather, and the kind of wedding you'll be having. The last thing you would want is your guests to be uncomfortable or unprepared for what awaits them - such as extreme heat! In addition, don't theme so much so that you're asking each wedding guest to go shopping; respect their wishes too.

Guest etiquette

Send thank you notes! The most important way to show your guests you respect them is through a hand-written, personal thank you note. Whether they gave a gift or not, a thank you note should be sent to every guest. And you are allowed to wait until after the happy honeymoon!

About RSVPs. Make sure that you give your guests a fair amount of time to RSVP to your wedding. The time frame should be at least 4 to 6 weeks after they receive the invitation and/or about 2 to 3 weeks before giving the final head count to your caterer.

Give directions. If you're hosting your wedding ceremony and reception at two different sites, you'll want to provide your guests with adequate directions, maps, and time to get from one place to the other. They should be no more than 30 minutes apart and if the budget permits, you may want to provide your guests with transportation to and from, especially if you have a lot of out-of-towners.

Keep your guests informed. Giving your guests programs or an itinerary of the night's events is the proper way to keep them informed at the event and it allows them to follow what special moments of the day they can be a part of.

Don't forget favors. Sending your guests off at the end of the night with a favor is customary and appreciated. You can get creative and have fun with these and make them personal to you as a couple, your event location or theme!