When you get a wedding invitation, it’s always a good thing: it means that the couple cares about you and wants you to be there on their special day. It’s one of the biggest moments in their lives and you don’t want to make a mistake that could ruin the moment. You want to make the newlyweds happy and proud to have you as their friend and a wedding guest, but you might have some doubts about what’s appropriate and what might not be.
Do be punctual
Planning a wedding is an incredibly stressful job, and there’s a reason why wedding invitations are sent at least six weeks in advance. The couple will ask you to RSVP about a month before the wedding so that they know how many people to expect. Vendors need a final headcount because of the seating and the food, and unless you reply in time, you’ll put the couple and their wedding organizer in trouble. Also, if you make an entrance after the bride has already walked in, it’s unacceptable. This is why it’s a good idea to show up at least half an hour before official showtime. In case you’re running late because of traffic or some other unexpected problem, don’t interrupt the ceremony but rather wait until the guests have taken their seats to join.
Don’t play paparazzi
Admit it – your phone is a major distraction during the day. You probably spend a lot of time checking your e-mail or using social media apps, but at a wedding, you should tone it down a bit. When the bride and the groom look around, they want to see the smiling faces of their dear family and friends beaming at them, not people looking down on their phones or worse – keeping their phones (or iPads) up and taking pictures. They probably already have a wedding photographer and are going to get their wedding photos, so you should keep your phone and camera out of sight at least until the reception.
Do plan your outfit
When you get an invitation that states that the dress code is formal or casual, you know what to expect. On the other hand, there are also some in-between categories that might be confusing. "Creative black-tie" actually does exist, and you might want to do a bit of research before you prepare your outfit. Don’t wear white (only the bride wears white) and never wear stilettos for an outdoor event. Instead, pick a pair of flats or sandals with block heels in color you like: red, nude, or black. You can try combining them with womens black bags, lovely versatile accessories that allow you to add a little colorful detail such as a scarf or a brooch. Fashion guidelines aren’t laws you should follow, and you can work your way around them if you think it’d be wise.
Don’t drink too much
Weddings are great because they’re basically parties, but even though drinks and food are free, it doesn’t mean you should drink yourself silly. Drinking to ridiculous excess is just bad manners, and what is more, it can also be dangerous. If you’re planning to drive home, you shouldn’t be drinking, and if you’d like to drink, make sure there’s someone who can take you home. The bride and groom who provide an open bar are being courteous, and if you drink too much and make a fool of yourself, you’re not exactly showing gratitude.
Do ask if kids are welcome
A lot of people will find it rude to write “adults only” on their wedding invitations, but they leave it up to you to interpret the wording. If the envelope is addressed to your entire family, e.g. “The Smith Family” or the names of you and your children are listed on the inner envelope individually, you can all show up. If that’s not the case, think about hiring a babysitter and leave the little ones behind. If you’re not sure whether or not you should bring your kids, simply contact the couple or their best man and ask.
It might not always be easy to leave a good impression and have a nice time at a wedding, especially if you have doubts and aren’t exactly sure how to act. The best way to make sure you understand the ‘rules’ is to talk directly to future spouses. Make sure you follow the dress code, drink responsibly and be on time; it will make you a good attendee and you’ll likely be invited to the next friend or family wedding too.
About the author:
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.