Q: My fiancé has decided against changing her surname when we get married. I believe that we should uphold tradition and that women should change their name to match their new husband. I want people to recognise that we are married and not just partners. Is it becoming more normal for women not to change their surnames?
A: This is a question that is being asked more and more often and we have to say that there really isn’t a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answer to this one. In society today and in particular with women who have built a professional career and reputation using their maiden name, it is not unusual for them to want to continue to be known by that name. Although the bride changing her surname is a symbol of love and commitment, just because she does not want to change her name, doesn’t mean the opposite. However, if it is really important to you, perhaps you should add your surname onto the end of her maiden name. Or, if you want to have the same double- barrelled name, go down the slightly unconventional route of adding her surname to your current name.
Q: My fiancé and I have planned to marry in a church and have our hotel reception in a popular brand of hotels. Once the wedding is over, we are responsible for signing the final bill but I am not entirely sure about the etiquette in tipping. Is it customary to leave a tip, and should this be put on the end of the bill? Or be given in cash directly to the manager?
A: This is, unsurprisingly, a difficult subject to approach. You should first check with your venue that service is not included in your overall bill. If the tip is included, it’s up to your discretion as to whether you want to leave an additional tip or not. If tipping other services like photographers or your florist is of concern to you, then it is completely your decision. The rules for tipping are not set in stone and it would be up to your discretion and satisfaction.
Q: This is quite a simple question, but how should I thank her parents? My future mother and father-in-law are doing so much for the wedding and are taking on the entire bill. I wouldn’t want to seem ungrateful, but how can I show my appreciation and thank them enough for everything they have done?
A: It sounds like you are entering into a very supportive family and that they are really excited about getting involved with your wedding. The thanking is usually done in the speeches. Your speech will either come first or second and so it is best to thank them in front of all the guests so that their time and commitment really gets noticed and appreciated. To add a personal touch, perhaps also thank them on their own after the wedding and mention again just how grateful you are that you have married their daughter and thank them for welcoming you into their family. Giving them a small gift is also a good idea.