Proper Etiquette for Wedding Guests

So you’ve been invited to (another) wedding! If you’re like me and love weddings, you’ll be really excited! It’s a wonderful day out and a fabulous way to celebrate your friend or relation’s love. Then there are those don’t get quite as excited by the prospect of getting dressed up, sitting through a ceremony and a five-course meal that’s costing your friends a fortune. Either way, there are certain ways that guests should behave, both in the run-up to and during a wedding. Today I’m discussing wedding guest etiquette so that you are prepared for any big days you’re attending in the future.

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Wearing White is a BIG, FAT NO!

This also applies to varying shades of white, ivory and even cream to an extent. Unless the inviting couple has specified that you have to wear white for a themed wedding, avoid this colour at all costs when choosing your own outfit. A bride has spent hundreds, even thousands of euros on their dress and accessories for their wedding day, and the vast majority will wear white or ivory. This is not the day for you to show up in a white cocktail dress.

Please Respond in Time

When you receive your invitation, you will receive instructions for the RSVP. Most invitations even include a handy reply card, some with postage-paid envelopes! This hasn’t been included for fun; the inviting couple would actually really like to know if you’re coming or not. Budgeting for a wedding is a struggle at best, and the venue or caterers needs to know in advance how many guests are attending. The couple will include a date by which you need to reply. Don’t leave it til a couple of days before the wedding to tell them that you’re coming – it can be a nightmare trying to rearrange seating plans. If you have been invited, it is because they’d really like you to be there on their special day, so do them a favour and give them plenty of notice.

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Don’t Just Show Up For Dinner

If you have been invited to the ceremony, then make the effort to be there, unless you have a very good reason as to why you can’t make it earlier in the day (work, childcare etc).

Arrive on Time

Be seated on time, and don’t disappear to the pub for a few hours in between the ceremony and dinner. A timeline of events is planned out for the day, and it can be a pain trying to hunt guests into the banquet hall while the kitchen staff get more and more antsy!

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Put the Phone or Camera Away

When the bridal party are walking up and down the aisle, don’t stick your camera or phone out in front of them to take a few snaps. They have hired a professional photographer to capture these very special moments, and having a multitude of smart phones appearing in the finished photos can be disheartening, as well as distracting in the moment. If a couple have asked for an unplugged and social media-free ceremony, please respect that.

Keep your Opinions to Yourself

If this is the tenth wedding you’ll be attending this year, don’t bitch and moan to the bridal couple about how you’re so sick of weddings. They’re only doing this once, and it means a lot to them. If you genuinely can’t make it or can’t afford to go, be honest, and send them a gift anyway.

Apologies if some of these are a little harsh, but it’s so disheartening to hear people being so dismissive of weddings when it is SO important to the couple getting married! Any tips you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments!

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