There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to weddings, and many guests are unsure of what is or isn’t okay at a wedding. Even as we move into our modern world and drop a lot of old wedding traditions, some etiquette never changes. And remember, wedding etiquette isn’t just about appeasing the happy couple. It’s also about appeasing the couples’ families who have been waiting for this day.
Watch the Clock
This shouldn’t be a surprise but it’s never (never, ever) okay to ruin the bride’s grand entrance. AKA, you should not arrive after her. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to when the ceremony is scheduled to begin and even more so if you’re attending an out-of-town wedding and not familiar with the area. If you do happen to be tardy, wait until the ceremony ends before joining other guests. There’s a chance there may be a wedding planner tasked with attending to late guests, but this is not always the case.
No, you cannot wear white. If you are ever in doubt of if your ensemble complies with standard wedding etiquette, then chances are, you should not wear it. Off-white counts too! Don’t you dare try and steal the bride’s thunder. You have 364 other days to don white. Don’t wear white to the bridal or engagement showers, either. Even if you are good friends with the bride and think it will be fine, err on the side of caution.
If you weren’t given a plus-one on your invitation (regardless of if you are in a relationship or not), don’t assume you can bring anyone along with you. Wedding planning is a science and an extra guest can not only throw off the seating chart, but also is disrespectful to the bride and groom.
This is especially important for the wedding party who is privy to the wedding details before the actual nuptials, but don’t share anything on social media until you are entirely certain that it is alright with the couple. The last thing you want is to post a pic of a bride in her gown on your
Instagram story and have the groom see it ahead of time. You’d never live that down. And speaking of phones and apps, don’t obstruct the professional wedding photographers by trying to take your own shot.
Don’t be that guest. Sure, you are free to imbibe and have a great time as that is more than likely what the couple are hoping you are going to do, but don’t take it too far. Be courteous of those around you and know your limits, especially when it comes to alcohol.
You must always give a gift if invited to a wedding; and the rule of thumb is that the gift isn’t less than fifty dollars. Also, don’t get too fancy-schmancy when deciding what to purchase—straying too far away from the registry could land you in hot water (or could land the couple with six styles of gravy boats and a lot of returning to do).
Image Credit: [v e t t e d] Grapefruit Photo