Weddings tend to be very emotional occasions and these emotions can sometimes cause tension, stress and hurt feelings if certain situations are not handled appropriately. Questions about “Am I allowed to do this?” or “Should I do that?” are endless – as are the answers.

While it would be impossible to break down and answer all of the questions you may have regarding wedding etiquette, we’ve decided to take a brief glance at 9 very common questions and provide you with our expert advice. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration from this information and it will help you to handle the details surrounding your wedding with grace and class.

Who should be the first people I tell about my engagement?

In the age of social media, you can share big news, like your engagement, right as it’s happening. However, this wouldn’t be the smartest decision. It’s wise to be sure that your closest friends and family members hear about the news directly from you (give them a phone call or send them a personal text) before they read about it on social media like everyone else.

What are the rules for who can/cannot be in my wedding party?

You’re going to like this answer because – there are no rules! You can choose to have a wedding party of 10+ bridesmaids or no wedding party at all. Absolutely anyone you know (even a furry friend) can join you at the altar. Gender doesn’t matter either. Guy friends make great bridesmen and vice versa. Mix things up to reflect your relationships!

Do I have to have cake?

Not at all! Wedding cake is delicious, don’t get us wrong, but any dessert will do. Don’t like dessert? Skip it altogether (though your guests might desire a sweet treat). Foregoing a wedding cake is a smart way to save money and to personalize your wedding to your likes and interests.

Can I invite guests to my shower who aren’t invited to the wedding?

You might not like the answer to this one as much, because it’s…No. Anyone you invite to your bridal shower, should also be on the A list for your wedding. Why? It simply comes down to class. Inviting someone to your shower and expecting them to bring you a gift while you don’t value them enough to have them at the actual celebration is tacky. Your bridal shower should be for your family and friends who will be celebrating with you now and on your big day.

As a guest, can I share photos to social media during the ceremony?

Again, this is an example of how social media can make for an awkward wedding situation. As a guest, you should respect the bride and groom’s wishes. Unless they explicitly invite you to post photos in real-time, refrain from sharing them on social media just yet. They may wish to be the first to share photos or they may want to be sensitive to people who weren’t invited. Ask for permission or resist altogether.

If I was in someone’s wedding, do they have to be in mine?

While the person may have the expectation that they will be in your wedding, you have no obligation to fulfill this expectation. Again, it comes down to the fact that it’s your wedding day and that you may have other, closer people in your circles that you want in your wedding party. Especially if this is a family member, it can be a sticky situation. Have an honest, private conversation with them about this and try to explain your situation. Let them know that you do value their presence at your wedding and if possible, find a way they can still be a special guest (like singing, reading a verse, ushering guests or handing out programs).

If someone else is paying for my shower or wedding, is it appropriate to have special requests?

If you are fortunate enough to have someone footing the bill for your shower or wedding, be sure and show your gratitude. While you may have a laundry list of details and requests you’d like for your day, try and narrow them down to the most important ones. Then kindly suggest that these are ideas you like. If they stand to really add to the budget, consider chipping in for the excess amount. This will give you more say in your day and go a long way with showing you are grateful.

How much should I tip my wedding vendors?

Tipping your wedding vendors is not mandatory, but it is a thoughtful way to show that you appreciate their service, especially if they have gone above and beyond to accommodate you. The amount is completely up to you as is who you tip. If you worked with a single event planner within a company, considering sending him or her a personal thank you note with a gift card. If you appreciate the work of the whole company, add a tip to the final bill with a note of thanks.

How soon should I send thank you notes?

Ideally, your thank you notes will go out within 3 months of your wedding. If you’re looking a stack of 100+ cards to write, this can seem like a daunting task. Break it down into parts and set smaller goals throughout these weeks to ensure you stay on track. Most importantly, take a few extra seconds to make each card personal and to specifically call out the gift you received from this person. Don’t resort to a generic message posted on social media or to your wedding website. Show your guests you appreciate the time and expense they dedicated to coming to your wedding!

What other questions do you have for our wedding experts? Comment below and we’ll lend our advice!

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