This one is an essential read friends. ESSENTIAL. Wedding season is upon us and in this blog post I give you the definitive guide to good wedding guest etiquette. I’m going to start with what I’ve observed to be the most common irritations caused by Wedding Guests and what you shouldn’t do
Don’t steal the couple’s thunder. You’ve been invited because the couple care about you and want you to share in THEIR special day. Avoid unplanned and unsanctioned speeches or ‘performances’. Unless you’ve been asked to contribute, don’t think you can rock the mic because you’ve had a few glasses of fizz and are feeling extra confident. I personally feel proposals at someone’s wedding are a HUGE no no. It speaks to a lack of creativity that you would choose someone else’s special day to propose to your partner. Unless ok’d by the bride & groom , but even then….It’s a no from me.
Don’t wear white. I know of late we’ve certainly seen a trend for brides or grooms to have their bridal parties in all white also which can be really impactful. The age old question about whether it’s ok to wear white however, still remains. My guidance is to err on the side of tradition and just don’t do it . Don’t do it especially if the dress you want to wear could be considered remotely ‘bridal’ . To add to this, if a couple specifies a dress code, do your best to stick to it . (My two absolute pet peeves are jeans at a wedding (day guest) and flip flops at a non beach wedding. Get out of here!)
Don’t challenge invite decisions. If you’ve been invited to the reception only for example, it’s really not ok to send a text asking why you didn’t make the cut for the full day. Similarly if a couple request no children at their wedding, respect this. Don’t try to negotiate or guilt trip. Suck it up, make your childcare arrangements then go and have a great time. Often, these decisions aren’t personal and based purely on finances , venue availability, venue restrictions and the prioritisation of close family etc. Making someone else’s wedding about you and your desires, is a huge irritation.
Don’t be a badly behaved guest on the day – I’ve personally witnessed some outrageous behaviour at weddings that has caused the breakdown of relationships as a result. Remember you are a guest, behave how you would at your friend or family’s home. There’s nothing wrong with having a few tequilas and a spin on the dance floor with Uncle Rupert but keep your clothes on and your mouth shut when you are boozed.
Don’t bring extra people to the wedding. Some of you will be perplexed by this. Stick with me. This is a common occurrence in some cultures where parents and family members play a big role in the wedding preparations and planning. The guest lists get larger and the invitations become more informal to the point where a table plan is used as a guide rather than an exact representation of what will happen on the day. I’m from Zimbabwe and my close friend actually had a ‘just in case’ table put at the back of her hotel ballroom to account for this. Low and behold, some distant relatives turned up who had been informally invited by her parents. True story.
Don’t challenge meal options. Allergies and medical conditions ofcourse must be taken into consideration seriously and most people will do their very best to accommodate those affected. It isn’t always possible and affordable to have multiple meal options just because you don’t like something. Most venues and caterers include meat, vegetarian and vegan but beyond this , try not to impose your individual meal requirements on the couple.
Finally , a really big one for me …
Don’t accept an invitation and just fail to turn up. That’s the worst. The actual worst.