Top 10 Mistakes Wedding Guests Make
Follow these simple tips to ensure you don't inadvertently commit a wedding guest faux pas.
When your friends or family get married, there are all kinds of wedding etiquette and rules that govern their behavior, but did you know there are etiquette rules for wedding guests too? To ensure that you don't inadvertently commit a faux pas or do anything wrong at a loved one's wedding, follow these simple rules.
1. Don't be late! If a wedding invitation says that the ceremony will begin at 5, be sure to arrive there by 4:45 so as to give yourself time to find a seat and get settled. You wouldn't want to interrupt the processional.
2. Avoid taking photographs during the ceremony. Leave that to the professionals and respect the sanctity of the ritual in front of you.
3. You don't need to bring a gift with you to the wedding. In fact, you have up until a year after the wedding to give a gift. Bringing a gift with you means that someone in the wedding party will have to worry about how to get it home. If you are unable to attend the wedding, it is customary to still send a wedding gift.
4. Don't bring a date unless your invitation specifically says their name or "+ Guest" Remember that the cost for each person attending a wedding is generally high, so bringing unexpected guests is very impolite. This includes your children or other relatives!
5. Many ceremonies have parts where the congregation alternately stands and sits. The program or officiate may tell you when to do so; if not, follow the lead of others around you. If you are physically unable to stand, remain quietly seated.
6. RSVP promptly. The couple will be making many decisions based on the number of people who will be there. Additionally, if you must cancel after you have accepted, do so as soon as possible.
7. Drink alcohol in moderation. While a wedding is a time to enjoy yourself, no one appreciates a drunk guest embarrassing themselves.
8. Be careful of using social media, for example:
- Posting pictures or information about the engagement, parties, and wedding in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or foursquare. This could make the bride and groom unhappy because their personal information and pictures are being shared. Also, you could be sharing this information with people who are not invited to the wedding which only causes problems for the bride and groom. Let the bridge and groom have the pleasure of posting what they want because it is there wedding not yours.
- Tweeting during the wedding or reception. Participate in life don’t just talk about it.
- Do not RSVP by twitter or FB. Bride cannot keep up with it that way. She is expecting to receive the cards in the mail.
9. Don’t complain online about anything about the wedding. The B&G will find out.
10. Wear something APPROPRIATE! The time and location of the wedding will tell you if the wedding is semi-formal, formal or "black tie". If the wedding is after 5:00 then it's formal and may even say, "black tie optional" which means that men could (should) wear a tux. Women would wear long dresses. For formal, men wear a suit and women long or short dresses. Semi-formal men can wear a sports coat and women short dresses (knee length and not really short). If there is a theme to an informal wedding like beach, barn, etc. then wear something the B&G have requested. Women should never, ever, wear a white dress to the wedding and upstage the bride. It isn't a great idea for women to wear black dresses to the wedding either, but let's face it, most women do. I personally do not recommend a black dress, but do what you'd like! :-)
For more etiquette advice, please go to my Finesse Worldwide, Inc. website.