Weddings. They're events full of joy and celebration - but they're also events that involve a lot of tradition and ritual.
How do you know what rules still apply when weddings have changed so much over the years - and what's acceptable when it comes to mobile phones and technology that never existed in years gone by.
The 21st century has ushered in a new era of wedding etiquette - and I've simplified things to help you be a model guest at the next wedding you attend.
How much should you drink at a wedding?
This one really depends on how you handle alcohol, what kind of wedding it is and who’s wedding it is – but generally, make sure you don’t get drunk. Sure, it’s okay to get a little tipsy – but you don’t want to be that messy drunk ruining everyone’s night with your drunken behaviour – or ruining your professional image if it’s the wedding where your co-workers are also attending. Be sensible and respectful. The bridge and groom may have free-flowing alcohol – but it doesn’t mean you need to drink it all.
Can you wear white to a wedding?
You have the cutest white lace dress sitting in your wardrobe, waiting for a special occasion – but should you wear white as a guest to a wedding?
My answer is to steer away from it. Whilst the bride and groom might be okay with it – why not leave your white dress for another occasion and wear something that’s not going to cause controversy. This also means steering away from beige, ivory or other lighter colours – and make sure your dress doesn’t look like a wedding dress. You might think you’re going to look incredible, but the last thing you want to do is upset the bride on her special day.
Is it okay to ask for a +1?
Asking for a +1 is generally frowned upon – and for good reason. As the bride and groom are selecting their wedding guest list, they’re looking at how many guests they can afford within their budget, how many guests can fit within the space and making a plan that best works for their needs.
You might think there would be a little wiggle room to add your +1 – but imagine how quickly numbers could get out of control if everyone asked for a plus one.
As a general rule, the answer is no.
Do You Have to Attend the Entire Wedding?
Wondering if you can skip the lengthy church ceremony and head straight to the reception? The answer is no – well, unless you want to be rude.
If a couple has invited you to their wedding, they’ve invited you to be a part of their entire day…. Not just the party.
How Should You RSVP?
These days, many couples have wedding websites or email addresses listed on their invitation – so snail mail isn’t the only way. However, the most important thing to remember is to do what the couple have asked.
If they’ve asked you to RSVP via their wedding website or email or via mail, do that. Also, remember that simply mentioning to the bride and groom that you’re coming isn’t an RSVP.
Should You Go to Your Ex’s Wedding?
This is a tricky one – and it all depends on how things are between you and your ex. If you’re invited, that says that things are probably quite good between you and you can definitely go if you want to – but if you’re the +1 of someone else and haven’t been personally invited, tread with caution.
You don’t want to be that surprise guests that guests tongues wagging and people gossiping…. And it’s a little bit weird.
Should You ONLY Buy Gifts From the Gift Registry?
As a general rule, yes. The bride and groom have taken the time to pick the things they need or want – so it’s a wise idea to stick to the registry. This ensures they’re not left with 20 toasters or a pile of random unwanted gifts – and you’re guaranteed to give them something they want! If you don’t like anything on the registry, consider a financial gift instead.
Can I Take Photos at a Wedding and Share Them Online?
This really depends on the bride and groom. Most couples these days are either pro-sharing or against it – and usually they’ll make it known.
If the bride and groom have a wedding hashtag and encourage you to snap and share – go ahead! But if they’ve asked for people not to take photos – listen to what they’ve asked! If you’re not sure what they want, talk to a member of the wedding party or the bride and groom’s parents to find out what the couple’s wishes are.
Whatever you do, if you are taking photos – make sure you don’t get in the photographer’s way! Remember that the bride and groom have paid a significant amount of money to get beautiful photos of their day – the last thing they want is the back of your head in the way of “that shot”.