Weddings are joyous occasions filled with love, celebration, and tradition. However, with so many customs and expectations surrounding weddings, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the do's and don'ts of wedding etiquette. To help you navigate the social norms and expectations of a wedding, we've put together a guide on the dos and don'ts of wedding etiquette.
1.) Do RSVP on Time
One of the most important things you can do as a wedding guest is to RSVP on time. The couple needs an accurate headcount for their wedding, so it's crucial that you let them know whether or not you'll be attending. Most couples include an RSVP card with their invitation or directions on how to RSVP, but if not, be sure to reach out to the couple and let them know your plans.
It's also important to respond by the date requested on the invitation. This helps the couple with their wedding planning and ensures that they have an accurate guest count for their caterer, venue, and other vendors.
2.) Don't Bring Uninvited Guests
Bringing uninvited guests to a wedding is a major faux pas. It's important to respect the couple's wishes and RSVP for only the people listed on the invitation. If you're unsure whether or not you can bring a plus-one, reach out to the couple and ask.
It's also important to note that if you receive an invitation addressed to only you, it's not appropriate to ask if you can bring a guest. The couple has likely made a decision based on their budget and venue capacity, so it's important to respect their wishes.
3.) Do Dress Appropriately
Dressing appropriately is key when it comes to wedding etiquette. It's important to consider if there is a dress code listed on the invitation and dress accordingly. If the invitation doesn't specify a dress code, you are probably safe to assume that the wedding is either semi-formal or formal.
As a general rule, avoid wearing anything too revealing or anything that might upstage the bride or groom. It's also important to avoid wearing white, as this color is traditionally reserved for the bride.
4.) Don't Be Late
Being late to a wedding is not only rude but can also cause a disruption in the ceremony. Plan to arrive at the ceremony at least 15 minutes early to ensure that you have time to find your seat and settle in before the ceremony begins.
If you do happen to arrive late, try to enter quietly and wait until an appropriate time to take your seat. If you arrive late, it is not appropriate to approach the front of the ceremony or disrupt the proceedings so take a seat quickly!
5.) Do Be Mindful of Technology
While it's tempting to snap photos and videos throughout the ceremony and reception, it's important to be mindful of technology and wedding etiquette. It's generally frowned upon to take photos during the ceremony, as this can be distracting for the couple and their guests. It can also disrupt the photographer/videographer that the couple have paid good money to capture their memories.
If you do want to take photos, wait until after the ceremony or reception to do so. It's also important to be respectful of the couple's wishes regarding technology and social media. If the couple requests that guests refrain from posting photos or videos on social media, it's important to respect their wishes.
6.) Don't Upstage the Couple
Weddings are all about the couple, so it's important to avoid upstaging them in any way. This could include wearing something too flashy or attention-grabbing, giving an over-the-top toast, or making a scene on the dance floor.
It's important to keep the focus on the couple and their special day. If you're unsure whether or not something is appropriate, err on the side of caution and avoid doing anything that might draw attention away from the couple.
7.) Do Bring a Gift
Bringing a gift to a wedding is a tradition that shows your love and support for the couple. While it's not mandatory, it's considered good etiquette to bring a gift or card to the wedding.
It's important to note that the gift doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant. A heartfelt note or a small gift can mean just as much to the couple as a lavish present.
8.) Don't Drink Too Much
While it's certainly acceptable to enjoy a few drinks at a wedding, avoid overindulging. Drinking too much can lead to embarrassing behavior and can even ruin the couple's special day.
If you do plan to drink at the wedding, be sure to pace yourself and drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages. It's also important to avoid becoming the center of attention or causing a scene.
9.) Do Be Respectful of Traditions
Weddings are steeped in tradition, and it's important to be respectful of these customs and practices. Whether it's the couple's religious traditions or cultural customs, it's important to honor and respect these practices.
If you're unsure about a particular tradition, reach out to the couple or do some research to learn more about its significance. By being respectful of these traditions, you'll show your love and support for the couple and their cultural or religious beliefs.
10.) Don't Be a Negative Nelly
Weddings are happy occasions, and it's important to maintain a positive attitude throughout the day. Avoid complaining or making negative comments about the food, venue, or other aspects of the wedding.
If you do have a concern or issue, it's best to bring it up privately with the couple or wedding planner. By maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on the love and celebration of the day, you'll help create a happy and memorable wedding experience for everyone involved.
In the end it is important to remember that The happy couple wants nothing more than to be surrounded by the people they love who love them in return. Weddings can be overwhelming when it comes to social norms and etiquette. However, by following these simple dos and don'ts of wedding etiquette, you'll be able to navigate the event with ease and show your love and support for the couple on their special day. Remember to be respectful, thoughtful, and positive, and you'll help make the wedding a joyous and memorable occasion for everyone involved.