Believe it or not it is actually a privilege to attend someone’s wedding. Your friend or family member is paying thousands of dollars to invite you to share their day with them and because of this, it is your responsibility to show good manners and etiquette at their ceremony and reception. However, good wedding etiquette should be executed from the time you have received a formal invitation to the nuptials.
- RSVP to the invitation in a timely manner.
- Arrive on time.
- Send a gift, even if you cannot attend the wedding.
- Shop from the assigned bridal registry.
- Sit at the seat which you were assigned.
- Be on your best behaviour.
- Dress as the couple requests. If no official dress code is given, take cues from the location, time of day and how the invitation looks to decide what is appropriate.
- Have the courtesy to sign the guestbook.
- Socialize with other guests.
- Have fun!
- Show up only to the reception when you were invited to the ceremony.
- Bring a plus one if you were not invited to do so (especially if this plus one or plus “three” includes children).
- Ask for a plus one if the invitation did not invite you to bring one.
- Share photos from the wedding on social media before the bride/groom has publicly posted their own.
- Leave before the cake has been cut.
- Bring the wedding gift to the wedding itself. Have it delivered to the couple’s home, especially if it is a large gift.
- Use your phone, especially during the wedding ceremony.
- Be that woman who wears white to clash with the bride’s dress.
- Get drunk.
- Engage the newlyweds in a long conversation at the reception; give them time to greet other guests.
- Give a toast or speech if you were not invited to do so.
- Give a long winded toast/speech if you have been invited to speak.
- Take photos during the ceremony. You can distract other guests this way or get in the way of the main photographer.
- “Remove” anything from the reception table that is not yours to take, for example, ornaments, centrepieces etc.
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