The I Dos and Don’ts of the Inexperienced Wedding Guest
Wedding season is nearly upon us, so now is a good time to gem up on wedding guest etiquette to save yourself from any embarrassing, and very public faux pas. There are tips below for both guests and the bridal couple to help the preparation and day run smoothly.
Do Reply Promptly
When sending out invitations you should always add a deadline date for when you need RSVPs. This is especially important if your are sending out invitations many months, or even a year in advance of the wedding, as the recipients may glance at the dates, then mentally file their need to reply as ‘not urgent’.
Guests should reply as quickly as possible, and if there is a reason to delay your attendance decision, contact the couple and forewarn them. State a date that you will reply to them and check this can be accommodated by the preparations.
Don’t Stand Out
There should only be two people who stand out at a wedding, the bride and groom. Make your guests lives easy by incorporating the colour scheme into your wedding invitation, so your guests will know the colours they need to avoid, or compliment.
Guests should avoid loud colours, enormous hats, bridesmaid-style dresses, white outfits or anything scruffy.
Do Respect Requests About Children
When it comes to children at weddings it is impossible to keep everyone happy. Some will want the pitter patter of tiny feet to liven up proceedings, and others would prefer an adults-only occasion. The bride and groom should choose their preference early on, and make their position clear. If children are invited to the wedding, they need to be accommodated and catered for. Child-friendly foods, play spaces and quiet activities to keep them occupied during the speeches.
Guests must accept the decision and make their plans accordingly. It’s not a decision that has been taken lightly and any attempt at coercing the couple to change their mind risks causing ill-feeling.
Don’t Be Late
Only the bride is allowed to make a grand entrance. If you are running late to the ceremony, don’t race her down the aisle. In fact you shouldn’t travel down the aisle at all. Even if someone has bagged you front row seats, discreetly slip into the back row, and accept your lack of punctuality has resulted in this poor view.
Bridal couples can mitigate the damage caused by late comers by reserving the back row for them, and hanging a polite, discreet sign on the closed door directing them to their seats.
Do Be Happy
All of you. Guests, bride, groom, families, friends, all of you have a responsibility to fill the day with joy, cheer and smiles.