The concept of marriage has changed immensely over the last few decades. However, some traditions still ring true regardless of how modern the couple is. If you want to ensure not to make a faux pas as a guest at a contemporary wedding, check out our wedding etiquette list that never goes out of style.
Wait for the invite
While there sometimes may be a separate guestlist for the ceremony and reception, invites would plainly state this fact. Don’t assume you’re invited, and don’t ask if your invitation was lost in the mail.
Don’t ask to bring a date
It is an honor to be invited to a wedding, regardless of how close you are to the couple. However, don’t assume or ask if you can bring a date. If you can add a plus one to your RSVP, then it is courtesy only to do so if it’s a significant partner and never a first date. Never arrive with an uninvited guest as neither the venue nor the couple will appreciate the surprise.
Whether your food is cold, the beers are warm, or you consider the bridesmaid dresses scandalous, never complain. Remember that as a wedding guest, it is an honor to be invited and you don’t want to add any additional work or stress to the organizers.
Turn your phone off completely
Guests are so often glued to their phones that wedding coordinators have been known to collect them at the door. Regardless of whether an official announcement is made, common courtesy is to mute your phone for the duration of the ceremony and reception.
Don’t get in the way
Unless the couple specifically asks you to take photos of the ceremony or other pivotal moments like the cake cutting and reception arrival, leave it to the official photographer. Otherwise, you are more likely to annoy the wedding coordinators by getting in the way.
Don’t make snide comments
If a guest is attending a wedding, then this should signify that they respect the happy couple’s wishes. Keep any comments you may have about a short engagement, the longevity of the marriage or other snide comments entirely to yourself. If you don’t believe in the union, politely RSVP that you won’t be attending.
Don’t wear white
There are plenty of options for cute floral dresses ideal for a summer wedding, but you should never wear white unless the invitation specifically states otherwise. Regardless of what you decide to wear, you can rest assured that no bride wants to be upstaged on her wedding day.
These days, many couples state that they aren’t expecting gifts, especially if hosting a destination wedding. However, if there is a gift registry, we recommend that you use it and don’t leave gift giving open to interpretation. If you are especially close to the happy couple and would prefer to give them something unique, then only do so if this is in addition to a smaller gift from the registry.
Don’t get overly emotional
If you are going through your own relationship turmoil, don’t bring this to the forefront at the wedding. Instead, don’t discuss the topic whatsoever, especially after a few drinks.
Kindness, compassion, and manners never go out of style. Knowing the proper etiquette will hold you in good favor for years to come.