With my wedding series almost over, I thought it a good idea to write an etiquette post – for both wedding guests AND the happy couple (yep, there’s etiquette on both sides)! I’m sure in this day and age we’re all aware of the Do’s and Don’t’s…but it’s good to have a reminder…
If You’re the One
If a guest is married, it’s required by etiquette (yeh, required, that’s the word that articles use!) to invite the spouse. I had to google this one as I was sure it was a ‘thing’ and it definitely is, so make sure you do it.
Send thankyou cards
Obviously, you’d thank anyone who gave you a wedding gift, but don’t just send a text – finish off your wedding with a flourish and do it on paper or card – maybe even using the same design template as you did for the rest of your stationery!
Don’t invite someone to the hen/stag if they’re not coming to the wedding
Goes without saying really I think, but how much of a slap in the face would that be?!
Chat to your guests
Receiving lines aren’t really a part of new traditions, but make sure you get round to all your guests for a quick chat. As well as it just being polite, surely you WANT to see them all?!
If your wedding isn’t close to home (be that 30 minutes, or 300 miles), you need to provide your guests with information about accommodation (and transport, for that matter)! If your venue has rooms, great, if not, hit google and find some nearby hotels that you can note down on your information cards.
Don’t put registry info on the invitation
Your invitation is something special, you’re telling people that they’re loved so much that you want them there on your special day! It may be tempting to get all your information out there at the same time (and save on stamps too, it doesn’t half get expensive when you’re posting all your invites!), but now is not the time to start asking for gifts. Save that for later.
If You’re a Guest:
DON’T. WEAR. WHITE.
I can’t stress this enough. Even with a pattern on. There’s so many colours to choose from, please, just pick one of those. A bride would be totally within her rights to kick you out and never talk to you again if you turned up in white. I would’ve done had any of our guests turned up like that.
And by the same token, if you’re planning an outfit to stand out and make a statement, shame on you. Wear something nice, look gorgeous of course, but the couple has one day to themselves, one day as the centre of attention with family and friends around them – respect that and don’t attempt to stand out – it’s selfish.
RSVP on time
The couple will have put an ‘RSVP by’ date on your invite. This is because they NEED TO KNOW BY THEN for a multitude of reasons, they haven’t just plucked it out of thin air. Don’t be the guest they have to chase: when it’s been made so clear, they won’t be your biggest fans for ignoring it.
Being a no show is a big no no! Weddings are expensive, and other people have missed out on the opportunity to be there because you RSVP’d yes. Unless you’re blown away to Oz in a tornado, you should be there.
Unless you’re the bride or groom, you’re a guest.
I’ve said it many times before, but weddings are mammoth tasks and very stressful. Unless you’re the ones getting married, you are a guest. Just smile sweetly, agree with everything that’s going on, don’t start questioning, grilling or making the couple feel guilty or obligated to do something (whether that’s during the planning or on the day itself) – it’s not your day, it’s theirs, and they’re doing what THEY want to do.
Turn your phone OFF
Particularly during the ceremony. The couple want you to be present with them in this special moment, not staring at them through a screen – if you’re interested in pictures, that’s what the photographer’s there for! Nothing will ruin a photo of the happy couple more than a sea of cameras and phones in the background.
Spell their names correctly
Whether it’s on a card or a personalised gift (especially the latter I suppose, when it’s likely to be more than a couple of quid), make sure the names are spelled right! It’s not a hard thing to double check, and it won’t be well received AT ALL if you get it wrong. Make sure you double check if you need to (with a family member or on Facebook, IT’S SO EASY so there’s no excuse)…otherwise, the gift/card you got will end up buried at the bottom of a box in the loft or in the bin, however nice it may have been! When it’s their wedding, I can guarantee it’ll be taken very personally. Anyone wanna guess if it happened to us…? 😂
Brides, Grooms, Guests – have you got all of that? Some of it sounds a little intense I know, but, I say it as it is, that’s me.