From Wikipedia: “Etiquette (/ˈɛtɨkɛt/ or /ˈɛtɨkɪt/, French: [e.ti.kɛt]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.”
I’ve been to a lot of weddings throughout my life and have worked quite a few weddings to see enough guests without proper wedding etiquette to drive me crazy! It’s really simple and easy to be an amazing guest! Below I’ve posted a few wedding etiquette rules to remember this wedding season and many, many wedding seasons to come.
- Cellphones: Just put them on silent. It’s not that difficult. I cringe everytime I hear one go off during the ceremony. I’m just like really?! It’s extremely rude to have your cellphone go off during the ceremony and literally takes 2 seconds to put it on silent.
- Children: If children are invited to the wedding, keep them on their best behavior. If they start crying or causing a scene during the ceremony, TAKE THEM OUTSIDE!!! It’s extremely rude (again) and very distracting to hear a baby screaming or crying during the ceremony. I’m surprised the bride doesn’t glare at the audience to take that child out!
- Invitation: If your invitation says “+ 1” or “plus 1” or “and guest” that means you get to bring 1 person with you, should you choose. 1 person, not 3 not 5. ONE. Having gotten married myself last summer, it’s expensive to feed your guests and if someone says their bringing 4 extra people or just happen show up with 4 extra people, that’s extra money that the couple or the parent’s of the bride are paying for. I had someone show up to my wedding with 4 extra people that were not invited. I was like, uhm…who are you? Cuz I definitely don’t remember inviting you… I also saw other people that were not invited, nor did the person they come with mention that they were bringing these people. It’s very disappointing. Don’t be that person who brings the whole entourage along. There are wedding invitations for a reason, check to see who it’s addressed to and stick to that.
- Attire: I went to a wedding this past weekend and it took just about everything I had to not say something to a girl who wore an IVORY dress! That is a HUUUUGE no-no! I was like, how did your mom let you leave the house with a long lacey, ivory dress on?! The bride was wearing a gorrrgeous lacey, ivory dress and looked absolutely beautiful. But that girl who wore that ivory dress on was a little distracting. Also, this girl was like late teens, early twenties, she should have known better. Attention ladies: DO NOT wear white, ivory or cream to a wedding. The bride should be the ONLY one in that color. And besides, there are so many cute summer dresses in amazing colors, wear one of those! I think a girl / woman wearing white, ivory or cream to a wedding is probably the biggest no-no there is. If you don’t know where to go for a cute dress, check out Charlotte Russe, ModCloth, Forever21, Apricot Lane (one of my favorite stores), or Francesca’s (another favorite store of mine).
- Photo Taking: The couple has hired a photographer to capture their special day (and I can guarantee you, it wasn’t cheap). Let the photographer capture the special moments. Don’t be in the aisle trying to snap some shots and most certainly, DON’T USE FLASH! It ruins the photographer’s pictures. I heard a photographer horror story where the guests were taking flash photos and the photos that the photographer took, didn’t turn out because of all the flashes that kept going off. So unfortunately, the couple didn’t really get any good wedding photos or any ceremony photos at that. That would have broken my heart if I was that bride. It’s not something that you can re-do. If you want to sneak a photo in, just turn the flash off and be discreet about it, don’t cause a scene and certainly don’t get in the photographer’s way.
- Alcohol: Lots of couple’s choose to have an open bar at their wedding. Or at least a cash bar. If they have an open bar, this doesn’t mean drink until you can’t stand up. Open bars are extremely, extremely expensive and yea, it may seem like it’s a free for all, but when guests take advantage of that and get belligerent, it can easily ruin an otherwise perfect evening. If you can’t handle your alcohol, either make sure someone is cutting you off or just don’t even drink. It’s not fun for anyone to have a ridiculously drunk guest in attendance.
- Children again: For the love of whatever, PLEASE watch your children! This isn’t some free babysitting night you get. At my wedding in particular, I made it very well known to my wedding coordinator, my mom and husband that were to be absolutely NO children on the dance floor during the activities going on. During the free dance, it was fine. And what do you know? Children started dancing on the floor during the activities, thank God my mom knew and grabbed a kid off the floor. And luckily my new husband knew and pulled a kid off the floor during the father daughter dance. We had some special moves going on that I didn’t want to whack a kid out. And the attention should be on us, not some distracting kid flailing about around the dance floor. And then what really got me, was during the shoe game that my husband and I played, we had 2 kids right at our feet and dancing around like little maniacs. I was looking around for someone to come take the kids off the floor and unfortunately no one did. So now I have that lovely little distraction during my wedding video. I don’t care if it is family kids or not, keep your children off the dance floor during those little activities going on. Speaking for all future brides out there, please listen to this request, WATCH YOUR CHILDREN! Don’t let them run around on the dance floor like it’s a free for all. Oh and side note, keep their clothes on! My wedding was a classy event and one of the children (as mentioned above) was running around without clothes on. Thanks…
- Bridal Party Pictures: If you are in the bridal party, please smile in all the pictures. Unless the photographer asks for goofy faces. I had one groomsman who shant be named that was basically glaring or had his eyes shut or was making funny faces in all the photos. And made awful hand gestures in a few pics. Now, first of all, my photographer should have called him out on it. And second of all, he should have smiled. This day wasn’t about him. Just go with it and smile. What also makes my blood boil, is that my husband was a groomsman in his wedding. My husband was awesome in all the pictures, he smiled and acted normal. I even set up and helped out a LOT at this wedding, where I certainly didn’t have to. And then to have that groomsman basically ruin all of the pictures that he was in, is extremely rude. So let me end this bullet point with this, if you’re in the bridal party and you’re in a bad mood, get your panties out of a bunch and put on a good face and deal with it. Again, this day isn’t about you, it’s about the couple making this beautiful commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. Don’t be the idiot who ruins the pictures, because those can’t be taken again.
Well, now that I’ve gotten a few things off my chest that really make my blood boil at weddings (if you couldn’t tell)…that’s not where I intended this post to head, but I still think it’s important for people to know.
Basically, just be considerate. Put yourself in the couple’s shoes. This is the biggest day of their life and of course they want it to be perfect! Don’t be a difficult guest. And certainly, don’t be a difficult bridal party attendant. I know that people are becoming less and less considerate and polite everyday. Just don’t be one of those people. Be one of the best guests they had! Take it as a personal challenge. And of course, have fun. The couple wouldn’t have invited you, if they didn’t want you there. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, this is the most special day of their life. (don’t ruin it).
And thank you for reading.