Brides of today don’t need to be informed that the 21st century has brought in a brand new era of wedding etiquette. Chances are if you know a soon-to-be bride, she has already considered going eco-friendly with the invites using email and assuaging the modern hashtag generation with an Instagram-worthy slogan for her wedding.
What about the guests?
If you have a wedding (or two) to attend this year, there’s no doubt you want to put your best foot forward. This involves staying updated on the do’s and don’ts and the minor tweaks in the wedding guest rule book. Knowing the rules of attending a wedding can be frustrating – but we’ve got your back. Keep reading to find out our top do’s and don’ts for wedding guests that apply for any wedding.
- Don’t assume you can bring a date
The first thing you want to check is the invitation envelope. If it only has your name on it (and not plus guest), then it’s only you has been officially invited. Avoid asking the couple if you can bring a guest. Instead, find out if there is anybody else attending the wedding solo so that you can plan your transportation with them. If this fails and you are still uncomfortable to attend the wedding alone then you can politely decline – but with no delay.
- Do RSVP on time
In most cases, wedding invitations are sent out six to eight weeks in advance and RSVPs are requested four weeks before the date. Therefore, as soon as you get the invitation, resist the urge to stash away the reply card thinking you have plenty of time. Doing so will allow you to soon forget about it.
RSVP-ing on time is a huge deal. Wedding vendors ask the couple a final head count few weeks ahead of the wedding day to ensure there’s enough food and seating available. Sending an RSVP past the deadline can cause a lot of trouble to the couple as several people have to scramble to accommodate you last-minute.
- Do arrive on time
Plan on being in your seat 30 minutes before it is show-time as entering after the bride is unacceptable. We get it, unexpected mishaps such as heavy traffic, wardrobe malfunctions and late babysitters do happen but try your best not to disturb the ceremony service. Instead, wait till the I do’s are done and the guests are seated before joining the event.
- Do look the part
Attending a wedding with a formal or casual dress is not rocket science. Choose footwear for outside events sensibly as stilettos sinking into muddy grass can make the wedding event unpleasant to you.
Ladies, not wearing white is self-explanatory as you do not want to steal the bride’s thunder. Steer clear of light ivories as well. Outfits with white designs or detailing are fine.
- Don’t forget to turn off your phone
We all love a random ringtone outburst but any unwanted interruption during their vows is not okay. Therefore, turn your phone off or switch it to silent before the ceremony.
- Do wait to be seated
Most wedding ceremonies reserve the first rows for the immediate family, bridal party and grandparents. If you are not one of them, ask an usher for guidance.
- Do respect the bridal suite
The room in which the bride gets ready before the wedding is generally off-limits. In most cases, there is a sign or an usher requesting privacy but even if there isn’t, avoid popping in for a quick hello. It is extremely crucial that the bride has enough time for herself to prep before the ceremony and besides, you’ll have plenty of time to congratulate her after the ceremony is over.
- Don’t come to a wedding with a large gift
At the end of the reception, there’s a lot a couple has to worry about, such as taking down decorations, saying goodbye to guests and handing out vendor tips. Therefore, the last thing you want them to worry about is fitting huge gifts into their car. Your best bet would be to simply ship the gift to their home.
- Do give space during photography sessions
Wedding photographs are essential means of capturing a couple’s life changing moments. Therefore, try your best to stay out of the photographer’s way and avoid photo-bombing while the couple is getting photographed.
- Don’t talk forever
Make a point of congratulating the couple and its family them but try your best to keep conversations short so that the couple can successfully make rounds and if they’re lucky, even have time to get a bite or two of the food they meticulously picked.
Speaking of long conversations, avoid complaining about the traffic, how long it took you to get to the wedding and bad weather during the ceremony – they certainly don’t need this dose of negativity on their special day.