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10 Ways to Be a Gracious Bride

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Wedding season is just around the corner. There are rules of decorum that go along with being a bride-to-be. Make sure you're a gracious bride and not a Bridezilla by following the guidelines below:

1. Out-of-Towners. For family and friends who travel a long distance, make sure to include them in all weekend festivities, from the bridal luncheon to the rehearsal dinner and the post-wedding brunch.

2. In-Laws. Start by showing your appreciation for your new family long before your wedding day. Make them feel a part of the planning from the get-go, even if they drive you crazy. It's your day, but it's also a family affair.

3. Bridal Party. When choosing gifts for the wedding party, think the Golden Rule: Choose something personal that they can use, something you yourself would want! Silver picture frames for the women and silver cufflinks for the men, engraved with the giftee's monogram, leave a lasting impression.

4. Wedding Reception. At the reception, instead of holding court at your table, make the rounds of all tables. Receiving lines are also nice for large groups.

5. Wedding Gifts. For heaven's sake, please avoid listing where you are registered in the wedding invitation, which is asking for gifts.

6. Say "Thank You." We can never underestimate this social nicety. Saying thank you to your guests for coming to your wedding will make them glad they came. And don't forget to say thank you to your wedding vendors.

7. Send Thank-You Notes. Nothing pre-printed please, as in holiday form letters. Each thank-you note should be written individually. And it's okay to send thank-you notes before the wedding, as the gifts come in; it will keep you from being overwhelmed later.

8. Be Kind. No one wants a Bridezilla! Even though it's your day to shine, be kind, unwind, and think about others in the process.

9. Bridezilla Part Deux. Don't get so involved in your wedding that you ignore the groom and make him feel that he's not part of the event.

10. The Groom Is Getting Married, Too. Offer to help your groom in every way possible, from helping him tie his tie to the wording of his wedding toast and planning the honeymoon.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.AMLGroup.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and
www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.