Undoubtedly, at this stage of your life, you’ve gone to a wedding or two (no, I have no idea how old you are – it’s a lucky guess). The more weddings you’ve attended, the more likely you are to think you are an expert on how to conduct yourself at one, and other social events for that matter.
Well, believe it or not, there’s actually a list of dos-and-don’ts that you’re expected to abide by as a wedding guest. Of course, considering your geographical setting and upbringing, there may be little you can do about some of them. They might even sound ridiculous. However, it’s still great to know. Who knows, you just might be the person to turn things around. So here goes.
#1: Don’t assume you can take a plus-one…or two, or three
Now, that’s an interesting one. Aren’t we all guilty of this, you ask? You might have occasionally sent someone along as an escort to your friend’s wedding. And a mother with five kids who all take up seats at the reception grounds isn’t exactly a strange sight. While you might silently insult them because you’re standing at the back and your high-heeled shoes aren’t sparing your feet, you conveniently overlook the fact that your guest is uninvited as well.
Considering the fact that the couple must’ve undergone a process of determining those exactly they want at their wedding, or at least an estimated number of people, inviting more people just might throw their budget off-balance. Imagine the number of seating places, food, drinks and other things that could run out!
To avoid this, don’t invite an extra guest to a wedding without the permission of the couple. It’s also not right to ask the couple to permit an additional guest. And yes, that includes children. Unless the invite explicitly invites the family, leave your kids at home with a babysitter.
#2: Don’t bring a large gift to the wedding
Etiquette demands that if you have a gift for the couple that is too large, you should ship it directly to their residence. With all the tasks of the day – taking down decorations, saying goodbye to guests, sorting out vendors and others – you can at least, save them the trouble of fitting all their gifts into their car. It is also advised that monetary gifts aren’t sent to the wedding. They could get lost in all the commotion or be stolen.
#3: Do be on time
As a guest, it’s also expected of you to arrive at the wedding early. Experts suggest a 30-minute window. Even though weddings tend to run late, you’re still supposed to be seated before the entrance of the bride. If for some unforeseen reasons – traffic congestion, wardrobe malfunction, issues at home – you happen to late, you’re not supposed to join the ceremony because it’s considered an interruption. You may only enter after the exchange of vows.
#4: Don’t play paparazzi
Your enthusiasm to capture the glorious moment is very well recognized and acknowledged. However, it isn’t considered too proper, especially when it becomes excessive. The reason is simple – the couple would love to see your beaming faces as they look out, not the back of your phones. Therefore, unless instructed, it is recommended that phones and other devices are kept out of sight until the reception.
#5: Be a team player
This is quite straightforward – go with the tide. When the best man is leading the house in a toast, raise your glass. When it’s time to dance, go on ahead to the dance floor and flow, even if it means just moving left and right. In accepting the invitation, you owe it to the couple to help to make the day as beautiful as possible for them. Sitting quietly on the table when everyone else is having fun could put a damper on their celebration.
These form part of the etiquette surrounding attending weddings as a guest. I see you smiling there – some of them sound farfetched, don’t they? Well, it’s still nice to have the knowledge. Have fun with what the new stuff you learnt today.
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