It’s hard to know what is and is not considered acceptable etiquette and conduct when you are a wedding guest- it seems the rules are always changing. While this may true for the finer details of a wedding, the general do and don’t list stays basically the same. What we here at Cashmere Dreams are presenting here is a list of eight common guest faux pas that you are going to want to avoid at all costs. Because who doesn’t want to be a well-behaved wedding guest? Let’s get right to it with a look at the number one rule for attending any wedding:
Save Picture Taking for the Reception Party
Unless the couple specifies otherwise by specifically saying guests can take photos during the ceremony, you should turn your phone off and tuck it in your pocket or purse. This also goes for other devices like iPads and tablets too. Not only does the couple want you to be fully present during their vows, it is also important that the photographer and videographer they are paying good money for can get unobstructed photos of this special moment. Guests who insist on snapping photos themselves often get in the way of the pros’ work- which results in missed shots and unintended photobombs by guests leaning out suddenly or standing to snap a photo at the wrong moment. You will enjoy the ceremony more and avoid any hard feelings between you and the couple for accidentally messing up the photos and will be the kind of wedding guest they want to have!
Don’t Bring a Date You Know They Won’t Like
Most couples address invitations to who they are expecting to attend- dear Mr and Mrs so and so, or the Smith family. If you’re given a plus-one, you’re technically at liberty to bring whomever you want, but tread carefully. Think about the bride and groom and be respectful of who you end up bringing to the ceremony. Do your part to avoid any awkward social situations that might upstage their day or make things awkward or cause unnecessary drama for the couple and the other guests. Essentially do not bring someone with you who the couple would not want to spend a day in a car with. This includes the bride’s ex-boyfriend you are now dating or your new girlfriend who just had a bad falling out with the bride and was asked to not be a part of the wedding party. Be thoughtful and use common sense!
Don’t Wear White to the Ceremony
This is one of the oldest rules that apply to wedding guests and it has stood the test time and is still a fast rule- Avoid white and similar hues that might appear white in photos! Whiles and off while colors like blush, cream or pale beige should not be worn because it is seen as a way to steal attention from the bride on her day. It’s bad form and completely avoidable. Let the bride stun the crowd in white—you can hold off for one day. White is the wedding color and is what the bride will more than likely be wearing so let her have her time on her special day and leave the white sundress or prom dress at home and wear it for some other event! This is a very easy faux pas to avoid and here at Cashmere Dreams we always suggest brides request no white dresses be worn by guests attending the wedding.
Hands Off the Décor
Somewhere along the years of wedding ceremonies getting bigger and fancier, there has come the trend of taking décor pieces home with you after you leave the reception. Love the coasters used at the reception or the cute vases on the table, or the candle holders on the cake table? Ask the couple where they found them, don’t just take them home with you! Some couples will allow guests to take what they want home from the decorations but unless they specifically say they welcome you to take the flowers home or to help yourself to the centerpieces or table décor, keep your hands off! There are few things tackier than taking décor when you are not told it is ok and there are few ways to annoy the new couple than taking things they paid good money for and wanted to use again later on!
You Absolutely Must RSVP
It seems to be a growing trend we see growing, though we are unsure as to why- wedding guests failing to RSVP to the ceremony or the reception and then showing up anyway or simply not bothering to let the couple know one way or the other. This is an unfortunate trend as it is very rude and disrespectful and puts the couple in a very difficult situation. Your RSVP is what they use to get a headcount which in turn has to be used to set up the catering, ceremony and reception rentals, seating chart, the cake, favors and more. Reply “yes” or “no” as soon as possible. If you are not able to attend, you still should; RSVP and let the couple know so they are not delaying finalizing plans because they are waiting for your response.
Don’t Move From Your Assigned Seat
Seating charts and tables are not just created willy-nilly. They are made for a reason and took the couple hours of planning and strategizing and debate to figure out. Sit in the seat or at the table you’ve been assigned to. While it may seem harmless to you, trading seats can be seen as an insult to the couple and it really not necessary. The seating arrangement is important to help prevent family feuds and uncomfortable situations from arising as much as possible- situations you may have no clue about but that the couple wants to avoid. It is also the way meals are served and special requests and dietary needs for the reception meals may get skewed if people are moving spaces. If you are not seated with someone you want to see, use the party time, dance floor time, and after ceremony social time to go talk with them! Dont be one of ‘those’ wedding guest types and respect the wishes of the bride and groom.
No Spontaneous Toasts
Just like the ceremony itself takes careful planning, big involved receptions are often on a time table and things need to happen at a certain time to keep things flowing. Impromptu speeches and toasts can throw off the timing and cause problems later on when things are rushed or not happening when they are supposed to. It also opens the door for uncomfortable situations to occur when things are said that the couple was not expecting or that they simply do not want to be brought up! Even those asked to give a toast should run their speech by the couple to avoid unwanted surprises. Once the bride and groom approve your toast stick to it, that spur-of-the-moment addition is not going to be a good idea, no matter how good it sounds to you in your head. Stick with what has been approved.
Don’t Get Wasted
The final tip we here at Cashmere Dreams have to offer your wedding guests is to be mindful of how much they are drinking. The allure that is presented by an open bar at a wedding ceremony is undeniable, but it is important to keep it together. Getting a little buzzed is ok but to get fall-down drunk is never a good look for anyone. And it is not the vibe the new couple wants for their wedding reception as they celebrate their first moments together as a couple. So, it is very important to know your limit and be respectful of the couple’s day. For long events where you may be tempted to drink for hours, a helpful tip is to alternate your alcoholic drinks with water or juice or non-alcoholic drinks so you no hit your limit too quickly. Respect the couple and respect yourself and watch your alcohol intake! No one wants to deal with a drunk and unruly wedding guest so know your limits and be responsible with your drinking!
Contact Cashmere Dreams
If you need help planning your wedding ceremony and the reception that follows, we here at Cashmere Dreams is here to help! We can also help you prepare each and every one of your guest attendees so that you can avoid some of the biggest problems and regrets couples have when it comes to their wedding guests. Our team of wedding experts can help you know what issues to be on the lookout for, how to help avoid them in the first place, and what you can do the day of your wedding if there are issues with your guests that need to be dealt with. Here at Cashmere Dreams, you and your wedding day are our primary concerns and we are here to help make it the best day ever for you and your significant other. So, call us today to get started with your wedding day plans and see the difference local wedding planning experts can make!
Content written by Sarah Jo Lorenz-Coryell