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Guest Etiquette for Weddings May 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sensationalwv @ 10:27 am
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Etiquette.  Fancy word for common sense.  Or so you’d think … As wedding professionals, we see a lot of things.

Our friends at Always a Blogsmaid just posted a fabulous and insightful “What Not To Do At A Wedding” list to give guests a better idea of, well, what not to do.  Here’s an excerpt –

“Last week, I answered a reader question about what to do when people reply with a guest when they weren’t invited with one. Since then, I had the unusual experience of having guests invite friends to join them at a wedding….. I can’t begin to express how wrong this is. I was standing there with my clipboard when I saw people clearly not dressed for a wedding attempt to enter the reception. I went over to stop these wedding crashers when a guest came over to tell me that it was “OK” and that they were friends of hers that she invited to stop by since they were going to go out together later anyway. If I thought it was a problem, maybe she could ask the bride.

Sigh. When we started this business, I always vowed not to become the #itch with a clipboard…. no one likes that planner. But, there I was, horrified and holding a clipboard. I tried to not use the words “barn”, “home training”, or “common sense” and instead simply let her know that it wasn’t OK as nicely as possible. However, I realized that there seems to be a general lack of awareness these days about what is wedding guest etiquette. If you know better, you’ll do better. So, I thought I’d lay out some basic rules of thumb that any wedding guest can follow! (btw, these are all ACTUAL things that we’ve seen people do.)

#1. The Envelope with the invitation tells you who is invited. It also tells you who is NOT invited. If it has only your name, then only you are invited. If it says & guest, then you may bring a guest. If it doesn’t have & Family or your childrens names on it, then your children are NOT invited. Peggy Post frowns on writing adult reception on invites, but unfortunately, guests seem to not understand that if your children aren’t included on the inner or outer envelope, they aren’t invited.
#2. Do NOT Wear White. Yeah, it’s just not OK. You must own SOMETHING else. I know you like that dress. You feel pretty in it. White is your favorite color. You know who else looks good in white? THE BRIDE. And why do it to yourself? The bride is getting her hair and make up done AND she’s accessorizing it all with the glow of love. You will never look as nice as she does AND you’ll just be “can you believe that woman in the white dress??”
#3. Don’t Dance Before the First Dance. You can sway during the cocktail hour, but when you get into the reception room, TRY, please TRY and contain your magic moves until AFTER the couple has been announced and done their first dance. (Note to couples: No matter how untraditional your wedding might be, if you aren’t going to do a first dance, do SOMETHING to open up the dancefloor, since most people will be waiting for your cue.
#3a Don’t Dance During Parent Dances. Or any other “special dance” for that matter. I KNOW, I KNOW, you are an amazing dancer! But it’s awkward with you busting a move when the only other people on the dance floor are the bride and her dad.
#4. Don’t Skip the Ceremony. It’s just kind of rude. It makes it look like you just came for the free booze. It’s the most important part of the day.
#5. Don’t come late and Try and Come in During the Processional. You got an invitation. You know the start time. If for some reason you are late, don’t add insult to injury by cutting in front of the bridal party to try and squeeze in “unnoticed”. Hang back, wait for the bride to enter and THEN come inside. ”

For the other 5 points on the list, check it out at

What type of guest do  you want to be?

Much love,

Jennifer & Eve



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