When two people get married, it's a happy celebration of love and hope. Two families become formally joined, and the couple has one of the most memorable days of their lives. If you don't want to be the person to spoil this lovely occasion, there are a few things you need to bear in mind.
If the bride plans on wearing a white dress, no other woman should even consider putting one on. Yes, even if your potential dress color is technically called cream or ivory, or vanilla. Without a bride-stipulated theme of some sort, white-adjacents are simply off-limits.
Why the draconian rule? In North America, white dresses maketh the bride. And said bride should not have to compete with or be compared to anyone else on her Big Day.
So, wear your dress to another glamorous event, and a bride draped in meringue-like fabric won't shoot daggers into your back with her eyeballs.
The only things that should be exiting the premises are the wedding favors. Unless you've expressly been given the go-ahead to do so, it's not okay to leave with your table's centerpiece or flower arrangement. And for heaven's sake, don't pack the leftover grub for later.
The bride and groom's families may have plans for these perishable items, and if you leave with hired vases and the like, there's a good chance they will pay handsomely for your straight-up thievery.
As a wedding guest, you have a few easy jobs to do. You have to look happy for the couple, and you should be fully present during the day's milestones.
When the family who invited you are walking down the aisle as part of the wedding procession, you'd better be smiling and cheering them on, not swiping left or right on your dating apps. When it's time for prayers, vows, or speeches, you should be nodding or laughing at the corny jokes, not texting your bestie. And while we're at it, make sure your phone is in silent mode.
This is very bad form. The only thing worse is turning up after not RSVPing.
Firstly, weddings are expensive undertakings. Every guest comes with a cost. Secondly, if a space opens up, you'd best believe the families will want to fill it with someone else.
As soon as you know that either you or your plus one can't make it, you have to tell the person who invited you so they can take care of logistics and make any relevant alterations to seating charts.
Don't be that person who drinks too much at the open bar only to leave a bad taste in other peoples' mouths. How might you do that? Well, by mouthing off about politics only to offend half the attendees.
Or you tell sensitive stories about the newly-married couple that paints them in a poor light. Maybe you're a sad drunk and pull the other people on your table into a morose vortex.
The bride and groom want their guests to have a good time, so Debbie (or Denny) Downers, and general buzz-killers who are liable to throw up, won't be looked upon too kindly.
If your mama raised you right, you shouldn't be guilty of poo-pooing all over the carefully curated menu. So, it's not quite to your tastebuds' liking. It's not your special day, is it? And most weddings cater to vegetarians, but if you're vegan or have any other dietary restrictions, it's on you to inform the relevant person.
If something really has gone wrong in the kitchen, the couple and their close family will be upset enough without you adding fuel to the fire. Make them feel better when they ask about the food by brushing it off - white lies for a white wedding and all that jazz.
Know thy offspring and act accordingly. If your child is a hurricane in human form, you'll have to keep a close eye on them to prevent any wedding-wrecking mishaps.
But even the most well-behaved kids can be rowdy when in a group. Prep your children about the Dos and Don'ts beforehand, and rope your partner into staying on guard too.
We've gone over the white attire. But you'd be surprised by how many other ways guests have managed to make weddings about them. And no, we're not talking about genuinely warm gestures like giving classy, touching toasts.
It's the dramatic pregnancy announcements and surprise proposals to which we refer. And the guests who regale others with tales of their spectacular nuptials that make the current one pale in comparison. Ever heard the phrase "pick your moment?" Most people only ever get this one day to shine. Don't be the doofus who takes away from that.
Lots of time and thought goes into organizing the perfect seating chart. When you don't pay heed to it because you see someone you want to sit next to, you risk throwing a spanner in the works.
Don't worry. Your seating assignment is not a prison sentence. There'll be plenty of time to mingle and chat with Aunt Eliza about your business proposal later.
You can arrive too early. Or you can be late and miss aspects of the marriage ceremony that were meticulously planned for the benefit of guests. At weddings, both are faux pas.
When you show up well before the appointed time, you'll likely arrive without the finishing touches in place. This could end up rushing things along and stressing out the couple and their families. The bride may still need to get dressed, and things could get awkward.
It's also impolite to leave too early.
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