Etiquette for navigating certain situations can be tricky. It’s wedding season! I have 2 close friends getting married in the next few months, and I was married last year.

Let’s just say wedding etiquette, or lack there of, can be a major pain point for the bride-to-be! Here’s how not to be a thorn in her side, or add more stress to her plate.

The invitation: Respond to the RSVP! Yes, you may be close friends of the bride, or groom, but they don’t have ESP, and a verbal confirmation is too hard to keep track of when there are 50+ people involved. Don’t add to the bride’s work by making her reach out to see if you’re coming because you can’t respond in a timely manner.

Know who’s invited: This one is so easy, yet so many people get it wrong! The person who’s name or names appear on the exterior envelope are the invitees only! If it says Miss Cassie Jones, Cassie is the only person invited. Miss Cassie Jones and Guest, then Cassie may bring a guest. Mr. And Mrs. Jones, means the Jones may not bring their children or any other guest. The Jones Family, the Jones may bring their children if they wish. Don’t try to bring a guest if your invitation is addressed to you only. This puts someone in the awkward situation of having to reach out to you and let you know your guest can’t come. If you think this is too harsh, remember, the number of guests needs to be confirmed to the venue and caterer at some point. Also, it’s costing the bride and groom $100-$500 per person, so adding uninvited guests is rude, and costly!

Don’t create pre-wedding drama for the couple: this can happen either intentionally, or subconsciously. Sometimes, people act out when it’s not about them, then they take steps to make it about them. Here are some examples: throwing a fit about your bridesmaid dress. The bride took a lot of time choosing what she thought was beautiful for her special day. If it clashes with your hair color, or you just plan don’t like it, suck it up. The bride has better things to deal with than your tantrum. Complaining about the food: if you can’t eat this or that, don’t eat it if it’s on your plate. Don’t bitch about it to the bride! True story, a friend’s wedding guest once gave her an entire list of foods she can’t eat to give to the caterer! Another true pain-in-the-ass story: getting involved in any aspect of the wedding planning, when no one asked for your opinion. A wedding guest of ours was so upset that the ceremony wasn’t inline with their religious beliefs, they refused to come to the ceremony, and would only come to the reception! So for all you drama kings and queens out there, this isn’t your day, and it isn’t about you!

At the reception: don’t over drink! Yes, typically drinks are free, but don’t let this entice you to drink more than you would if you were paying for the drinks yourself. Over indulging in alcoholic beverages can lead to all sorts of wedding nightmares! I’ve seen someone get punched out, throw up in the restroom, and eat flowers out of the centerpiece at weddings, all due to too many drinks. More common examples: bad drunken dancing, making out with a groomsman who’s clearly not your type, and unplanned speeches! If you were not asked to give a speech, please, hold your tongue! Yes, you have love for the happy couple, and in your drunken state, you think it a good idea to grab the microphone and express that love. But trust me, it isn’t. No one wants to hear a drunken, rambling, unplanned and unrehearsed speech!

Give a gift: let me remind you that the happy couple spent $100-$500 per person for you to attend. It’s is extremely poor etiquette to enclose a registry card in the wedding invitation. So to find the gift registry, look on the couple’s wedding website, or ask someone you know in the wedding party where the couple are registered. Get them a gift from their registry, one of your choosing, or a gift card, but for heaven sake, give them a gift! Service based gifts are also acceptable. Let’s say for instance, you made the flower girls dresses, or did the bridal party hair and makeup. This could be done instead of giving a registry gift.

Weddings are a time of joy, but a lot goes into planning them. Know your place, and play your part in support of the happy couple!

Here are some pictures from my special day.
Photo Credit: Carissa Bowen Photography

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