You've been invited to a wedding. You go shopping and buy something nice to wear and your job is done. All that is left to do is attend the wedding and reception. But there is much more to it than just that. There are actually rules that you should read up on. It will determine whether you'll be remembered as a pleasant guest or THAT guest. Wedding Wire did a survey and asked 800 guests rules that they know they have broken at weddings. So I will add some of the percentages throughout the post. Read on to see the correct etiquette for attending a wedding and reception.
Simple enough, just RSVP. And RSVP on time. It may not seem important to you and you may think to yourself that one RSVP not returned won't make or break their wedding. Well, actually it is important. This helps the couple determine the amount of food they will need. It will also help the couple from having to track you down and ask if you are attending or not. It will also minimize their stress level of knowing how many guests to expect.
Don't Assume You Can Bring A Date
If you receive an invitation and it says your name but does not say "+1" or "and guest" then you'll have to attend solo. Also, don't contact the bride or groom asking if it's okay if you bring a guest. The couple isn't being rude by not allowing you to bring a guest, typically it's just not in their budget for anyone extra to attend. Wedding Wire found during their survey that 9% of people brought a guest even though it was not on the invitation.
The first thing to remember is not to one up the bride or groom or distract from them. But definitely don't look like you are making a casual trip to Wal-Mart. So unless the wedding invitation says jeans are okay, don't wear jeans. There are a few rules when deciding on something to wear to a wedding. First, don't wear white. Second, you can wear black to a wedding. I suggest dressing it up with some jewelry. Third, take into account where the wedding is taking place at. If it's in a Catholic church, dress appropriately.
Silence Your Phone
There are times when it's just plain obvious to silence your phone and when you're attending a wedding this should be one of those times. Crazy enough, guests don't. A few of the weddings I have been the photographer at, this has happened. And while it may give everyone a little laugh it still is a rude. Wedding Wire found out that 8% of guests have had their phone ring while attending a wedding.
Don't Bring Your Gift To The Wedding
It's actually common these days to not bring a gift to the wedding. And definitely don't bring a big gift. The main reason being that the last thing the couple wants to mess with after their reception is trying to figure out how to get a bunch of gifts home. The best idea is to send your wedding gift to the couple prior to their wedding. Most of the places if not all that the couple register at have the option to send the gift directly to the couple.
Leave The Photography To The Professional
Whether the couple lets you know their wedding is unplugged, meaning they do not want any phones, tablets, cameras, or any other digital devices being used during their wedding, you should assume they want the photographer that they hired and paid a good amount of money for to take their pictures. It can be distracting and you may get in the way of the photographer or if you have your flash on, it may interfere with the photographers photos. Over 50% of guests took photos during a ceremony, 27% posted the photos on social media while the ceremony was going on.
Don't Overdo It On The Alcohol
Drunk obnoxious people are annoying period but being a drunk obnoxious person at a wedding reception is just disrespectful. Even if it's your best friend getting married, which probably means you may be in the wedding, you are still a guest and should act as such. Wedding Wire's survey found that 17% of guests drank too much.
If There Is Assigned Seating Then Follow It
The couple took the time to make a seating chart so please follow it. Creating a seating arrangement is not an easy task. If there are a lot of people then designing a seating chart probably took quite a bit of time to plan out. You will be able to get up and mingle with everyone once the dinner is over.
Have you broken any of these rules? Did any of these happen at a wedding you attended or even happen at you wedding? Let me know in the comments!