10 Dos and Don’ts for Wedding guests!
“A wedding is all about celebrating the love between two people, and their new lives together. They should have all eyes on them, nothing but love, affection and appreciation from everyone in the room”
You’ve been invited! It’s an honour to receive an invitation from a loved one attend their wedding day, be able to share their special day and celebrate with them. You’ll get to see some amazing decorations, a few beautiful clothing choices, and best of all, you’ll get to see the amazing couple finally join together in matrimony. Even if you’re not religious, there is something delightful about witnessing an occasion such as this, but there is a sense of responsibility with being a guest, so here are a few tips to help you usher newlyweds into a new section of their life stress-free!
Remember to respond to your invitation as soon as you can. Usually, there will be a time limit on the invite (such as ‘respond by October’) so keep an eye on your calendar! We recommend responding within two weeks so that the couple can keep on top of their expenses and plan appropriately, for example, catering and seating arrangements. We understand life gets in the way sometimes, so why not set a reminder via your online calendar or keep a note of it in an important place where you frequent? The office, your study, even the kitchen cupboards!
Don’t be late
It’s important on the wedding day that everything goes to schedule. Even if you’re not part of the bridal or groom party, it’s not good form to arrive in the middle of the ceremony and interrupt the beautiful moment. Not to mention if there’s a seating plan for the ceremony, you don’t want to be causing a fuss during the vows! All eyes should be on the couple for their big day, and being on time will help ease their stress and worries. Ensure that if you are running late, you let someone know. That way the door can be kept open for you and spare seats can be arranged at the back of the ceremony, to avoid drawing attention or interrupting any important moments.
Do respect the seating plan
When the couple are planning their wedding, the seating plan is one of those big awkward things they need to get perfect. If they seat people with clashing personalities or opposite sides of the family that don’t get along, things are going to go haywire fast. If you find yourself at a table with people you don’t know, you just have to trust it’s for a good reason, and that the couple knew you’d get on well with the people on your table. If you’re really worried about it, why not ask the couple if you can be seated with a particular person or people? Just remember, the day is about them, so don’t press the issue too much!
Don’t play with your phone
There’s nothing worse than hearing the beeping noises of a phone during a beautiful wedding ceremony. Okay, maybe there are worse things, but think about it this way. You’ve been planning this wedding for a long time; organising and spending so much to make sure your dream day is perfect…then suddenly, as you’re about to read out your vows, you hear a popular ringtone coming from the corner of the room, echoing throughout the walls, and a whisper of a sorry as they either turn it off or head out of the room. It’s like the cinema — turn off your phone, put it on silent or flight mode, and focus all your attention on the couple who invited you.
Do dress accordingly
Is there a theme for the wedding? Now don’t knock it! Yes, there are loads of reports of ‘bridezillas’ controlling their wedding plans, but if someone has invested time and money for their special day to be just like their dream, what’s the harm in partaking in it? Whether the dress code be dark colours, light colours, black tie or casual, make the couple happy by coming along and being part of their plans. You can always discuss ideas for your attire with the bridal/groom party to double-check if you have an outfit that will already work alongside their plans.
Don’t outshine the bride
A wedding is often shown to be the bride’s special day, everything is promoted towards a bride — even a google search of wedding adverts has more brides in it than grooms, so you can imagine the pressure that gives a bride planning their wedding day. Remember to adhere to the dress code and not clash with the bridal party’s colours — if you know the theme for the bride and bridesmaid(s), wear a different colour. If you want to look similar to the bridal party, you could always ask for advice from the maid of honour on what would be good to wear. Best of all, it keeps the bride’s stress levels down to a minimum so they can have the best day of their life with their partner!
Do be respectful
Wedding ceremonies are varied these days. With a mixture of traditions and cultures in the world, no two weddings are the same. While not every ceremony is religious, some are and it’s respectful to accommodate the wishes of the venue and couple. If the venue requires you to cover your shoulders or your head, it’s polite to oblige, and everyone will appreciate your effort. Keep an eye out for any requirements on the invite!
Don’t assume there’s a plus one
When the couple and their family are organising the wedding, they’re planning for a certain number of people. Even at the reception, there will be a specific amount of food and seating available for a certain amount of people, and adding a last-minute extra to that list can cause unnecessary stress to the couple. If your invite does not say plus one but you feel uncomfortable being by yourself, ask the couple for permission. It may simply be a matter of cost per head, or it may be that under all the stress of planning, they forgot you required one. Be patient with the couple — planning a wedding takes a lot of effort and energy, and they would never mean to forget!
Do ask about gifts rather than guess
All too often a couple will receive a bottle of wine from a guest purely because they felt uncomfortable not bringing anything to the wedding (even if they were just invited to the reception). This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, however, look out for a gift list that may come alongside your invite. These usually state anything the couple would need or want for their upcoming lives together (household items like blenders) or if they would simply prefer your presence. Some couples do understand the need to bring a gift to their wedding, which is why they would suggest donating to charities or to their honeymoon fund. But if you’re REALLY determined to show how much you care, why not purchase a specific gift card that you know they would appreciate?
Don’t make it all about you.
A wedding is all about celebrating the love between two people, and their new lives together. They should have all eyes on them, nothing but love, affection and appreciation from everyone in the room. Avoid clashing with the couple’s plans and any colours the couples decide to wear — you don’t want to come to a wedding wearing white when you know that’s what the bride’s wearing! Be considerate and show your love to the couple — after all, you’ve been invited to celebrate with them!
Even a non-religious wedding is a special event. It honours the couple’s love for one another and opens the door to a new part of their lives together. So, if you’ve been invited to someone’s amazing wedding, keep in mind all the tips and tricks you’ve learned here to help give your hosts a stress-free day, one that is all about them.
See you next week.
Photo credit: Canva, @clemono2, @ts_imagery, @Glauber_torquato_fotografia