Pumped to celebrate the wedding day of your good friends or family members? Then take a little bit of the pressure off them by knowing how to attend in style — and what’s expected of you as a wedding guest.
Be on Time
It may seem a little obvious, but it’s worth reiterating: take a look at the invitation, and know where you need to be and when. Are the ceremony and reception happening in the same place, or will you be travelling between the two? Plan how you’re going to get to each venue so you don’t interrupt the bride’s entrance or miss the first course when you show up frazzled and late.
Dress the Part
Unless otherwise stated, it’s safe to assume the wedding you’re attending to is a formal affair. So women, here’s your time to glam it up in your favourite (not white) dress, and men — it’s time to clean up nice in your suits. In some instances, like outdoor or destination weddings, the dress code may be more relaxed, so it never hurts to check what others are wearing. If you’re unsure, the style of the invitation and the venue should provide some clues. But it’s generally better to be a little overdressed and adjust your ensemble accordingly upon arrival.
Only Bring Those Invited
Your invitation should clearly indicate who’s actually invited to the event. If it doesn’t say “and guest,” that means you’re expected to fly solo — no friends, no coworkers, no pets. Same applies for kids. While you may not mind wrangling your rugrats, the bride and groom may not be so welcoming to underage guests.
There’s a Time and Place for Photos
While many of us clutch our cameras (or camera phones) to capture the special moments of the day, we should remember there are also hired photographers to do the same job — and in most cases they’ll do it better. Don’t get in the way of photo shoots to snap your own pics, don’t distract the couple of the day with incessant camera flashes, and abide by any photography rules the venue may have during the ceremony.
Don’t Hesitate to Give What They Ask For
Ah, the great gift debate. While best friends and close family members may choose to go the more personal route, you shouldn’t hesitate to give a gift off a registry. These are items the couple have specifically requested and if you shop early you can have your pick of items. The gift of money or gift cards, meanwhile, can be a welcome contribution to wedding, honeymoon, or other life expenses.
For personal touches to wrap up your cash gift, check out these Life Made Easy wedding wrap ideas.
Remember it’s the Bride and Groom’s Day
Weddings are certainly time to celebrate, but remember the bride, groom and their families have put a lot of time and effort into preparing — so remember it’s not all about you. Refrain from interrupting speeches with hooting and hollering, keep any catty commentary to a whisper, and be ready to oooh and aaahh over the happy couple!
Oh, and if the guests of honour say there’s no clinking of glasses to get them to kiss, you best follow that rule too.
Toast the Happy Couple (But Don’t Get Sloppy)
We admit, we enjoy an opportunity to celebrate with some bubbly. Have a great time in celebration mode, but keep in mind an open bar isn’t an invitation to openly embarrass yourself. Be mindful of your drinking so the next day everyone’s talking about how much fun they had at the wedding — not any drunken debacles.