Wedding Etiquette

It seems to go without saying: weddings are special events that focus on a couples’ love, and with that, comes a certain level of etiquette that is meant to be adhered to. Unfortunately, some people weren’t forced into cotillion or Miss Manners style classes as kids, which then translates into them being less-than-pleasant wedding guests. Let’s take a look at some of the most common wedding-related faux pas.

Probably the most common thing that people do is usurp the invitation and bring whomever they please. No, no, no, no, no! Always defer to the invite, and never bring an unannounced guest to a wedding. Were you given a “plus one” on the invite? If so, it’s date night for you. If not, you’ll have to go alone and meet you pal afterward. Secondly, and this goes hand-in-hand with the invite, RSVP in a timely¬† manner. Most invitations will specify when they would like to hear from you by, but if you know you’re either going to make it or you can’t, send back the card before you forget. We’ve all thrown parties with Evites and driven ourselves crazy checking them for replies so we can plan accordingly. Now, imagine that on a grander scale and having to check the mailbox day-in and day-out?

Make sure you are an appropriate guest. Don’t regale yourself in head-to-toe white to upstage the bride, and be advised as to the formality of the event. If it’s on the casual side and you show up in an evening gown or tuxedo, you’re going to feel out of place and probably make some other attendees uncomfortable too. Engage with other guests (yes, even those you don’t know), and review the details of the wedding venue so that you make sure to arrive on time. Remember: early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is unacceptable. Especially to a wedding.

Ahhh, and gifts. What do you do about a wedding gift? Traditional etiquette says that you have one full year from the date of the couples’ nuptials to send a present. If you can, select something from their registry and send it straight away. This will make your life less hectic because you won’t be speculating as to what they would like. If you’re more of a pioneer and like your wedding gifts to be more personal, just make sure you stick with the one-year rule above and you’re golden. Also, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a wedding gift. There is no set dollar amount that is acceptable or otherwise. Use your best judgment and write a thoughtful card.

With these rules of engagement in mind, you’ll be a picture perfect wedding guest. And who knows, if you play your cards right, maybe…just maybe…you’ll end up with that “plus one” at the next big show.

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