Wedding Etiquette 101
Our event specialists share the dos and don’ts every wedding guest should know
Wedding season is upon us, and with it comes a set of guest expectations that cover everything from dress code to gifting, RSVPs, and more. After executing countless weddings at venues across the city, our event specialists have truly seen it all. To help attendees navigate what constitutes appropriate wedding etiquette, we’re offering a few handy guidelines to keep in mind as the invites come rolling in.
RSVP IN A TIMELY FASHION
- Congrats, you made the cut! Given the couple has a lot on their plate, let them know if you’re able to make it ahead of the deadline and save them the stress of having to follow up.
- When it comes to wedding attire, there is simply no excuse to wear jeans or sweats. Even if the dress code is casual, it’s a hard no.
BE ON TIME
- Plan ahead and be mindful that there could be traffic, construction, difficulty finding parking, and who knows what else? When in doubt, arrive early! There’s nothing worse than a straggler sneaking in mid-ceremony.
MAKE CONVERSATION AT THE TABLE
- While you may not be seated with familiar faces, be friendly and chat to your fellow tablemates. Stuck for words? Share your own memories of the happy couple.
PARTICIPATE IN GAMES (EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEM)
- Although it might not be your thing, be a good sport and get involved in any activities the couple has planned for their big day.
PUT YOUR TECH AWAY
- If the couple has asked for an unplugged ceremony, be sure to respect their wishes. If not, snap the odd pic but remember to mix and mingle. It’s bad form to be on your phone all evening.
GIFT WHAT THE COUPLE WANTS
- While your idea of a great gift is likely well-intentioned, try not to go off script. If cash has been requested or a wedding registry has been set up, give an appropriate amount and steer clear of any ad-hoc items the couple hasn’t picked out themselves.
ASSUME KIDS ARE INVITED
- Be sure to read the invitation closely for any news about bringing little ones. No matter how well you know the couple, don’t presume children can attend. Consider keeping a babysitter on standby, and if you’re unsure, check with the couple before bringing kids of any age along.
- While this may be obvious, it must be said. White is reserved for those tying the knot and should not be worn by any guests. This counts for cream, off-white, ivory, and the like… just don’t risk it!
SWITCH YOUR NAME CARD OR MOVE TABLES
- The couple’s seating plan has been carefully considered and painstakingly planned in advance. Don’t mess with your assigned seat by swapping name cards with Uncle Ed or pulling up a chair at a table that isn’t yours. Venues often have important information like allergies or dietary restrictions linked to each place. Swapping seats could result in someone getting the incorrect meal.
CLINK YOUR GLASS
- The old (and let’s face it, kind of obnoxious) tradition of clinking glasses to get the newlyweds to kiss on demand is out. While it may have started as a cute idea, the noise is abrasive and could make the couple feel as though they have to perform for their guests.
MAKE A RANDOM SPEECH OR ANNOUNCE BIG LIFE UPDATES/PERSONAL NEWS
- If you weren’t outright asked to give a speech, don’t give one! Save any well wishes for writing in your card. The same goes for announcing any exciting personal updates or life events. Share your news for another time and let the couple shine on their big day.
HOG THE PHOTO BOOTH
- You may be excited to capture moments with friends and family, but so is everyone else. If there’s a photo booth, be mindful of the time you spend getting the perfect Instagram pic and be sure to share with others.
TAKE HOME CENTREPIECES WITHOUT PERMISSION
- Unless you are given the green light from the couple themselves, leave centrepieces — and any décor for that matter —where it is.
GET TOO DRUNK
- Open bar? We get it! Remember to hydrate and don’t overindulge. No one wants to be that guest…
We hope we’ve helped to shine a light on what is and isn’t acceptable wedding guest behaviour for any upcoming nuptials. By avoiding a few key missteps, you’ll keep your reputation and star guest status intact. Here’s to making the memorable day easier for everyone involved!
Planning your own special day? Get in touch at email@example.com to learn more about what O&B has to offer!