Tuesday, July 09, 2013

5 Dos and Don’ts for Attending a Wedding

I’m so excited to not only be attending, but also standing up for, my best friend in her wedding this weekend. Follow me on Instagram to get some behind-the-scenes pictures (but don’t worry, I won’t be committing Don’t #5 below). Since we’re right in the prime of wedding season, lots of us have probably been invited to a wedding or two this summer. But what happens if you haven’t been a guest at a wedding before or maybe it’s been a really long time (like back when you were a teenager)? For those of us who want to avoid offending the bride and groom, I thought I’d share some modern wedding etiquette tips.

Photo copyright of Dave and Charlotte Photography
5 Dos and Don’ts for Attending a Wedding
  1. RSVP on time. RSVP numbers are important as rentals, catering, seating, and more depend on them. If the bride has to call you a week or two before the wedding because you forgot to RSVP...well, in the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!” 
  2. Do send a gift even if you can’t attend (and especially if you do attend). The bride and groom invited you because they wanted you to be a part of their special day. Even if you can’t afford a lot, send a bit of love their way.
  3. Do dress nicely, even if you think it’s a casual wedding. Step it up a notch from your day-to-day wear, throw in a cute piece outside of your usual rotation, and never ever wear jeans to a wedding (or let your guy wear them either!) Unless it’s specifically stated on the invitation or the bride and groom have actually encouraged you to do so, jeans should stay far away.
  4. Do turn off your phone before the ceremony and keep it off during speeches and dinner.
  5. Do respect the arranged seating plan. Trust in the fact that the bride and groom have given a lot of consideration to who's sitting where and several factors go into their decision. If you think there might be a mistake, approach the coordinator or a member of the wedding party who should be able to help you out.

  1. Don’t wear white. To anything. Not to any of the pre-wedding events like the shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, and certainly not to the wedding itself. You can have any other colour in the world (and yes black is just fine for an evening wedding) but leave white, cream, and ivory to the bride.
  2. Don’t show up late. This is the bride and groom’s wedding day for chrissakes! A ton of planning has gone into their wedding so don’t be the one who holds everything up because you took too long in the shower/couldn't figure out what to wear/got lost.
  3. Don’t bring a +1 if you weren’t invited to do so. You’ll know if you’re allowed if you see your invitation addressed to (Your Name) and Guest. If you’re unsure, call and ask. You can get in touch with a bridesmaid or family member if you feel uncomfortable asking the couple directly.
  4. Don’t be that guest who takes attention away from the bride and groom by being too drunk, causing drama, or interrupting speeches.
  5. Don’t share pictures of the bride and groom on social media until they’ve done so. Not everyone likes their photos posted online or perhaps they were planning to release one of their professional photos first. Ask before you publish anything on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc. or wait until they ask you.
What do you think of these dos and don'ts for guests attending weddings? Any other ones you'd like to share? Comment below!

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  1. Replies
    1. I agree! I think a lot of people take it for granted, and if some couples are fine with it, go ahead! But it's important to ask first so you know for sure.

  2. Great tips! I wasn't aware of Don't #5 but now I do. Everything else makes sense even though I pulled a don't #2. I didn't make it until the reception but the the wedding was so over packed that no one noticed. I think? :-)


    1. I'm sure it was fine since you just slipped into the reception and didn't actually interrupt anything. I think if you're going to be late that's probably the best way to do it. Thanks, as always, for your comments Mo! :)

  3. Love the list, you were a perfect bridesmaid and guest! I actually wasn't aware of Don't #5 either but I've encountered a new Don't. If you are asked to prepare a speech, Don't read it from your mobile phone, iPad, kindle, etc. Not only does it cover your face, but scrolling and zooming is not sexy during a toast.

    1. haha thanks girl ;) and yes I totally agree about this - reading from your iphone, etc. totally takes away from the moment!!


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