It’s wedding season! Most brides have likely heeded the advice of Emily Post or similar, but did you know that wedding guests also have etiquette to follow? That’s right! Wedding protocol is a two-way street, but don’t think of it as putting a damper on the fun – rather, it’s a means for making everyone comfortable and at ease. By following the rules, you can relax knowing that you’re helping a couple you care for celebrate in the best way possible. Without further ado, here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re wedding-bound this summer:
RSVP promptly. Much time and planning have gone into planning the event, and the sooner a head count is established, the better. Drop that reply card in the mail ASAP to alleviate stress for the bride and groom.
Don’t assume you can bring a date. Unless the invitation is addressed to you “and guest”, assume that you are expected to come solo. Please don’t even ask if it’s okay that you bring a plus one, because you’ll only put your friend in an uncomfortable situation – it’s possible that there are financial or space constraints. The exception here is if you are married or engaged, in which case you can assume that an oversight has occurred and politely inquire.
Ditto for children. It is a couple’s prerogative to decide if they want children included in festivities, so unless your children or “and family” are specifically named on the invitation, assume they are not invited – and again, please don’t ask. Haven’t you been looking for an excuse to hire a babysitter, anyway?
Use the registry. Couples put much time into selecting registry items that they need and will use. In addition, with more marriages occurring later in life, many couples already have many of the essentials that are commonly given as wedding gifts. Unless you have something very personal in mind that you absolutely know they will love, such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant or the like, use the registry. It’s so easy!
Send the gift ahead of the wedding day. If everyone shows up for the big day with a gift in hand, it all adds up to a lot of hauling for the happy (and exhausted) couple. Do them a favor and mail the gift to them through the registry, or give it to them in person well before the main event.
Turn off your phone. At a bare minimum, turn off the sound and refrain from surfing, talking, and texting. Also related to smart phones – keep your photo taking to a minimum. With everyone getting in on capturing the moment, the professional photographer may be obstructed.
Abstain from social media. Be present in the moment, and refrain from mentioning the wedding on social media at least until the bride and groom have posted something – rather than share the excitement in the virtual world, it’s best to express your joy in person with the bride and groom!
Tags: etiquette, manners, wedding