A Guide to Being a Polite and Gracious Attendee!
Attending a wedding is an exciting and joyous occasion. It’s a chance to celebrate the love and commitment between two individuals and witness the beginning of a beautiful journey. As a wedding guest, it’s important to remember that you play a significant role in making the day memorable for the couple. To ensure you don’t unintentionally steal the spotlight or cause any discomfort, here are some wedding guest faux pas to avoid, according to our wedding photographers!
Social media has made it a little trickier to navigate social norms around weddings compared to the past. As soon as someone posts they’re engaged on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook the well-wishes begin to roll in. Amongst the “congratulations” and “look at that ring!” comments will inevitably be a few “can’t wait for the wedding” and “looking forward to my invite!”. Don’t be the person to make that comment. Never assume you’re going to be invited to a wedding unless you’re an immediate family member that has a good relationship with the bride or groom. A lot of couples these days are opting for micro-weddings or eloping, so even if you are a close friend, don’t just assume you’re going to snag an invite.
Punctuality is essential when attending a wedding. Arriving late can disrupt the ceremony or delay other scheduled events, causing unnecessary stress for the couple and their families. Plan your journey ahead of time, accounting for traffic or other potential delays. Being prompt demonstrates your respect and consideration for the couple and allows you to enjoy the entire celebration fully. A good rule of thumb is to aim to arrive around half an hour before the ceremony starts. This means you’ll get a chance to mingle and catch up with people you know ahead of time and maybe even snag some pictures before the event starts.
3.Ignoring the Dress Code
One of the most common mistakes guests make is disregarding the specified dress code. It’s crucial to respect the couple’s wishes regarding attire, whether it’s a black-tie event or a casual affair. Dressing inappropriately can make you stand out for all the wrong reasons and potentially offend the hosts. Always make an effort to adhere to the dress code, and remember that it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
4.Bringing Uninvited Guests
While it may seem harmless to bring a plus one or a friend along, it’s essential to respect the couple’s guest list. Invitations are usually carefully planned and budgeted, and adding uninvited guests can put unnecessary strain on the hosts. If the invitation does not explicitly mention a plus one or guest, it’s best to assume the invitation is for you alone. Respect their wishes and celebrate their special day without surprising them with additional attendees. If you’re unsure if an invitation addressed to the whole family includes the kids, it’s okay to ask for clarification, but never ask to tack on an extra guest if it’s clear the invite is just for you.
When you receive a wedding invitation, it’s crucial to respond promptly and adhere to the requested RSVP date. Couples rely on accurate guest counts to make arrangements for seating, catering, and other logistical considerations. Failing to respond or delaying your response can cause undue stress and inconvenience for the couple. Respect their planning process by promptly confirming your attendance or regrets.
6.Wear Anything White
Unless you’ve been specifically instructed to wear white or lighter colors, avoid anything that resembles a white dress, this includes off-white, golden-white, tan, or even super pale blues, yellows, pinks, and greys, as these can come off as white in photos or certain lights. Wearing white is a quick way to steal the spotlight from the bride.
7.Overindulging in Alcohol
While weddings often involve a celebration with alcoholic beverages, it’s important to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking can lead to embarrassing or inappropriate behavior that can overshadow the couple’s special day. Pace yourself, stay hydrated, and remember to enjoy the event in a responsible and respectful manner. You don’t want to be the guest remembered for all the wrong reasons!
8.Disrupting the Ceremony
During the wedding ceremony, it’s crucial to maintain proper decorum and respect the couple’s chosen ambiance. Refrain from using your cell phone, talking loudly, or engaging in disruptive behavior. Keep distractions to a minimum and allow the couple to exchange their vows in a serene and meaningful atmosphere. Remember, the ceremony is the heart of the day, and your presence should enhance the couple’s experience.
9.Taking Excessive Photos or Posting Online
While capturing memories is important, it’s essential to strike a balance between documenting the event and being present in the moment. Avoid obstructing the view of other guests or wedding photographers. Additionally, refrain from posting photos or updates on social media before the couple has had a chance to share their own images. Respect their privacy and allow them to control the narrative of their special day.
10.Arriving Empty Handed
There’s no excuse to show up to a wedding empty-handed. Whether the couple has opted for a gift registry or is just accepting cash, you should absolutely show up with something. The couple getting married has spent a lot of money and time planning the event, and the least you can do is show your appreciation and celebrate them with a nice gift. Even if you bought something online or donated digitally to a honeymoon fund, it’s polite to still bring a card.