Wedding Etiquette 101 for Guests

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Here’s a guide of dos and don’ts if you are invited to a wedding

Text credits: Namrata George       Featured image

We’ve all been invited to plenty of weddings, but there is still some confusion regarding the protocol around this event. There’s more to attending a wedding than getting all dressed up, shedding a few tears and partying all night long, as the guests have some important responsibilities too. Here are some codes to follow if you’re a guest at a wedding.

RSVP as soon as you receive the invite

You should try to send a RSVP as soon as you can. The family that hosts the wedding has too many plans and many of them centre around the number of guests who would attend. So help them ease out the pressure by getting one thing out of their way. Make sure you pay close attention to the deadline listed on the invitation, so you don’t miss it. If you receive the invitation but are unable to make it to the wedding, let the couple know. And if you’re bringing an extra guest or any other details regarding your plus one please attach with the RSVP letter.

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Dress for the occasion

The dress code for the wedding may be included in the invitation, so make sure to check it. If it’s not listed there, you should take your hints from the location and time of the wedding. If it’s at a reception hall of a five-star hotel, you will need to dress more formally than at a wedding set on the beach or somewhere on the premises of a home.

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Be on time

Being punctual is essential at a wedding. The time on the invitation is when the actual ceremony begins. Arrive about fifteen to ten minutes earlier than that; so you have time to find your seat and talk with the other guests and get yourself settled. This also helps the wedding to run on schedule.

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Put your phone on silent mode

There’s nothing worse than a phone unexpectedly ringing in the middle of an event. A wedding is no different. Observe this good wedding guest etiquette and turn off your phone or put in on silent, so there are no surprises or interruptions during the ceremony, especially during church weddings.

The gift

Always plan on sending a gift when you accept a wedding invitation. If you can’t make it to the wedding, it’s still nice to send a gift, but you won’t be committing a major mistake if you don’t. The least you can do is send a congratulatory card before the wedding. According to the convention, you have up to a year after the wedding date to send a gift, but it makes sense to shop for a gift soon after you decide to go.

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Be mindful while taking photographs

We all want to rush in to get a click with the bride and groom, but do consider the time and moment when to do so. Do not take any photographs during the ceremony. You could get in the way or be distracting to other guests or the wedding photographer. Let the professional handle the photographing and just focus on the ceremony. You could take your pictures before the ceremony or after the event is over.

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Do not colour co-ordinate with the bride!

There are typical bridal colours for the bride on her wedding day, such as White in Christian weddings, and Red in Hindu weddings. Refrain from wearing clothes in these colours to a wedding. It’s simple and universally understood. That’s the bride’s colour for her day: she should get to feel special. You have every other colour to choose from, so just try to steer clear of anything that could clash with the bride’s special dress.

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Mingle and be social

Talk to other guests and mingle. Do not act like a VIP even if you are one! You’re supposed to be having a good time, so don’t stay at your table the whole time and appear unapproachable. Socialise with the bride’s and groom’s family. Get yourself acquainted.

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Don’t leave before the cake is cut

The cutting of the cake is a traditional sign and one of the important aspects of the reception ceremony. It’s acceptable for elderly guests to leave if they desire. It would be in good spirit if you wait for the cake to be cut and the toast to be raised.

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Don’t hound the bride and groom

The bride and groom have a lot of people to talk to at a wedding reception. They have to make the rounds and be good hosts. Keep your conversation short and sweet so that the couple has time to talk to everyone.

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Don’t dance before the bride and groom

You may be a sensation on the dance floor, but please save it until after the couple has their turn. It is tradition to start the dancing after the bride and groom have their first dance as a couple.

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Don’t get drunk

No one likes being around a drunken person who might embarrass themselves and everyone. Know your limits and keep an eye on how much you are drinking, so you can steer clear of this major wedding mistake.

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Have a good time

The bride and groom will likely be very concerned if their guests are having a good time. They’ve spent a lot of time and money planning the reception, so show them that they did well and you have enjoyed that.

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