Regardless of whether you hate ‘em or you love ‘em, weddings are a part of life — and wedding etiquette is something that no guest should ignore. Some of these rules are pretty straightforward while others might only seem obvious if you’ve been involved in planning a wedding before. Whether you’re the best friend of the bride or a distant relative to someone in the wedding party, here are a few essential etiquette tips that all wedding guests should follow:
- RSVP on time.
Most people know that weddings are extremely expensive, but you might be surprised by how much a single guest can cost. For a bride and groom who need to stick to a budget, there’s nothing more infuriating than paying for seats for guests who decide not to show up.
- Don’t show up late to the ceremony.
There are only a handful of people who should be in the spotlight when a wedding ceremony starts: the people in the wedding party. There’s no easier way to take the spotlight off the bride and groom by showing up late to the wedding and interrupting the ceremony. If you know that you might not be able to make the ceremony on time, it’s better to plan on only attending the reception afterward.
- If your invitation doesn’t specify that you have a plus-one, don’t bring a plus-one.
And no, it’s not considered polite to ask the bride or groom if you can bring a guest anyway. Not only do the bride and groom have to pay for every single guest that shows up, but they have likely spent hours meticulously planning out the seating chart for the reception.
On a similar note, if you have young children, be sure to check the invitation carefully to see if your kids are invited. Some couples know that young children simply won’t have fun at an hours-long wedding filled with grown-ups.
- If there’s a seating chart, stick to it!
Some couples choose not to have seating charts, but many couples still do. If you’re given an assigned seat at the reception, it’s proper etiquette to sit where you are assigned. If you’d rather be talking with someone sitting across the room, there will be plenty of time to socialize after the party gets going.
- Know the dress code.
Wearing white to a wedding is a huge fashion faux pas, but that’s not the only thing you should stay mindful of when picking out your outfit. Some couples print the dress code on the invitation, but if you aren’t sure what it entails or if your invite doesn’t have a dress code listed, it never hurts to ask the couple what would be appropriate. Not only is it embarrassing to show up wearing jeans when everyone else is wearing suits and dresses — it’s also disrespectful to the bride and groom. Check out the event venue to get an idea if it is upscale or more casual. Some venues offer both settings such as the wedding reception hall Glendale CA locals love!
These tips, of course, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wedding etiquette. If you’ve planned or attended a wedding before, what other tips would you advise guests to follow?
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