Being the Perfect Guest
Everyone loves a wedding. Celebrating the union of a beloved friend or family member is such a joyous occasion, and when you throw in a night full of dancing and an open bar, what’s not to love? But before you hop into your car and make your way to a night full of drinks and dancing, make sure that you know the proper etiquette you should follow to ensure that you aren’t getting in the way of anyone else having a fabulous time as well. Weddings are fun, but they are also important formal events, and you should do everything you can to keep the festivities as formal and fun as possible.
What to Wear
It’s a sad truth that people simply don’t dress up like they used to. In some cases, you can get away with being too casual or paying little attention to dress codes. However, for a wedding it is absolutely unacceptable to wander in wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Dressing up for a wedding is about more than looking nice, it shows the bride and groom that you think their marriage is important and worth respect.
In addition to looking nice for a wedding, there are also a couple of specific rules that ladies wearing dresses will want to follow. The most important rule is to never wear a white dress to a wedding. It goes without saying, but the only woman wearing white should be the bride. She needs to stick out from the crowd, and wearing white yourself is a sign of disrespect. Similarly, you should avoid wearing black if possible. While this rule is becoming less of a concern in recent years with the popularity of black and white weddings, it is something you should still think about. Black is traditionally a sign of sorrow and mourning. Wearing black to a wedding is sometimes seen as a sign that you disapprove of the marriage. If the bride and groom a traditional folks, you might want to grab a colorful dress instead.
Buying gifts for a wedding is one of the easiest gift giving processes in the world. The reason for this is that there is usually clear and simple registry already set up waiting for you to look at. There is no excuse for you to purchase a gift that is not on the registry. The bride and groom know what they need and want, they simply need some help getting all of the items together. Your job is to help them with their wish list, not be creative. Ignoring wedding registries can also result in duplicate items being purchased. Make life easier on yourself and the happy couple by sticking to the registry.
With a camera on every phone, it seems that we are all photographers these days. However, at a wedding, there actually is a photographer, and he or she is really the only person who should be taking pictures. Try to avoid taking pictures as it distracts the bride and groom as well as the other guests around you, and definitely do not take any pictures with a flash. Once you get to the reception, you can bust out your camera and snap as many photos as you like. Similarly, make sure that your phone is turned on silent and that you refrain from talking during the ceremony.
When you get an invite in the mail, it will specifically state whether or not you are permitted to bring a guest. If the invitation is addressed to you alone, do not bring anyone, even a significant other. The bride and groom may be working with a very tight budget and they simply cannot afford to sit and feed any more people than are invited. The same rule applies to children. If you and your spouse are invited to a wedding, do not assume that the kids are as well. If you need to clarify, reach out to the bride or groom and ask, but it might be a good idea to start looking for a babysitter.
These are just a few of the steps that you should take to be polite and respectful at your next wedding celebration. When in doubt, just remember to be courteous. You’re supposed to have fun at a wedding, but remember that the night is not about you. It is about the bride and groom. If you can keep that in mind, you’ll be the perfect guest.
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Sharron Goodyear