Maybe you think you know everything about wedding etiquette, but I guarantee that there are many offenses that guests don’t realize they’re committing when they attend friends’ and family members’ nuptials. To make sure you don’t make a major snafu, heed this list of the worst social crimes a wedding guest can commit.
1.Wear white. Sure, wedding gowns these days can be blush or even black. But, even if the bride isn’t wearing white, that doesn’t mean you can. And if you know that the bride is wearing a color other than white, try not to don a dress of the same exact shade. This is her day, after all.
2. Crash the bride’s room. The second most common faux pas I see is when friends outside the immediate bridal party crash the bride’s dressing room just to wish her well. The gesture is absolutely gracious — but the timing isn’t. If you weren’t invited to hang out with the bride while she gets ready, wait to share your congratulations at the wedding.
3. Misuse your smartphone. If it were up to me, everyone would leave his or her smartphone at home when attending a wedding. From guest snapping photos during the ceremony–instead of paying attention to the moment–to posting photos of the bride and groom on social media without asking, guests tend to use smartphones in ways that are disruptive and rude. If you can’t part with your technology, at the very least turn the ringer off for the ceremony.
4. Change your seat. Many guests look through the seating cards to find out who else is sitting where. Figuring out a seating plan was a difficult enough process for the bride and groom and having to deal with musical chairs (or requests for a change) is just too much when they’re trying to enjoy their special day.
5. Make side comments during speeches. One of the most annoying thing guests do is not pay attention while speeches are being made and continue to chatter making it difficult for those that care to listen. When it is speech time: HUSH! Yes, that also means keeping your whispered comments and commentary to yourself until after the speeches have ended.
6. Swap your food order. Usually you are asked for your meal preference on the RSVP. This is for a reason: The caterer or hotel requires a pretty close to accurate count of who’s eating what so that they may order the correct quantities. I have attended many weddings where someone decides that they like what the guest next to them was presented with and they “change their order,” leaving a person with dietary restrictions without their meal of choice.
7. Complain about minimal costs. While the bride and groom are your hosts for the evening, they may not be able to cover every single cost, such as parking at their venue. Granted it is a gracious offering when there is no charge, but in the event the wedding you attend has not arranged for paid parking, please do not make negative comments. Each person has their own set of priorities and budget — if you are close enough to be invited and attend the wedding, then you should be respectful and not make negative or hurtful comments.
8. Drink too much. Weddings are celebrations and many take place on a Friday or Saturday evening so no one is inclined to leave early. But this also gives leeway to imbibing a bit too much. Don’t get sloshed and try to drive home. The bridal party doesn’t want to manage your lack of management — they want to stay and enjoy the fun! (This is when services like Uber comes to the rescue.)
9. Grab décor. Table decorations belong to the rental company that provided them unless otherwise indicated. Guests that walk away with decorative votives or pretty napkin rings don’t realize that the bride and groom will be charged for these items when the total count is not returned.
10. Hang around too late. Even if there’s an afterparty that ends wee into the morning hours, at some point, the bride and groom want to have some alone time. Therefore, don’t begin an impromptu after-afterparty in their bridal suite or try to convince the groom to continue on at a bar that opens at 6 a.m. The party is over when the bride and groom say it is — respect that.