The postman has delivered a letter that is clearly not the gas bill. Your excitement builds as you anticipate what it may be… It’s a wedding invitation! How exciting! Being invited to share in a couples wedding is an honour. The bride and groom have chosen you to be apart of their special day and it is important to the couple that you enjoy yourself. Here are some Wedding Etiquette tips to ensure that you are a gracious guest and that you enjoy the day just as much as the bride and groom.
Why should you RSVP? – There will be a specific date in which the couple have requested you RSVP by. It’s important that you RSVP by the set date. If you know that you can attend then let them know. They’ll be very excited to hear back quickly! Similarly, if you cannot attend then it’s courteous to give them quick notice as this may enable them to invite another guest. If you are waiting on confirmation of work commitments then advise the couple of this and keep them up-to-date. A LOT of planning goes into a wedding and it’s time consuming for the couple to be chasing up guests that haven’t replied. Be a great guest and RSVP!
Can I bring a guest at the last minute? – In my opinion once you have RSVP’d then, barring exceptional circumstances, it’s not appropriate to arrive on the day with an additional guest, particularly if the guest will be attending the reception. If you have RSVP’d without a guest and would then like to bring someone, call the couple and ask them if it is ok. Be prepared that they may say no depending on how close to the day it is.
Respect the dress code – When a couple plans their wedding day they will envisage what it will look like. This includes their friends and family dressed to compliment their vision. Ensure that you understand what the dress code is and wear an appropriate outfit. If you’re unsure, then ask! The couple would prefer that than have you feel out of place for not being dressed appropriately.
Be on-time! – Wedding days are timed to precision. The church may be booked for another service and the photographer is on a strict schedule. Don’t rely on the bride running late. More than likely she’ll be right on time. If you do run late and arrive once the ceremony has commenced then stand back, or outside, until the ceremony is over. You don’t want to distract the couple whilst trying to sneak to your seat.
Honour the Unplugged request – In the case of the bride and groom requesting that their wedding be unplugged then it is your duty to ensure that this is met on your part. Sit back, relax and be totally immersed in the moment. Wedding ceremonies are such a special moment. Absorb the love and watch the faces of the couple as their dream comes true. There will be plenty of professional photos that the couple will share.
Remember your table manners – The post ceremony reception is the time for the couple to dine with their guests and celebrate their marriage. It’s a lovely time to spend with family and friends. Ensure that you sit in your allocated seat until the dinner service is over. Be considerate and thoughtful when enjoying the food and drink. You don’t want to be remembered as the guest that was drunk or who ate half the buffet.
Remember that you are a part of a really special day. Think about how you would like to be treated and behave in a way that emulates that. If you have questions or are unsure of what is expected there are plenty of available resources online or ask the couple. Have fun and be a great guest!