If you have not been to a wedding in a long time, or have never attended one, you may be asking yourself questions on what you should and should not do at a wedding. So here are a few tips on what is expected:
Invitation to the Wedding:
When you receive a wedding invitation, do not assume you can bring your entire family to the event. The only people invited are those people listed on the invitation Inner Envelope. If the invitation only has one envelope, then the person or persons listed on the address are the only ones invited. For example, if the invitation you receive is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, then only Mr. and Mrs. Smith are invited. If it reads Mr. Smith and Guest, this means Mr. Smith can bring one guest. If your invitation comes with a respond card, make sure to return the card by the reply date. Do not just assume the couple knows you will be attending and toss the respond card. Even if you do not plan to attend, you still need to respond. The respond card lets the couple know how many chairs to rent, how much food and cake to buy, how many favors to make, etc. If you respond declining to attend, do not change your mind later and show up at the reception, unless you have already made arrangements with the bride and groom. Showing up unexpectedly can throw off the head count and the caterer may not be able to accommodate additional guests.
Make sure you dress appropriately for the wedding. Be conservative, unless you are asked to wear a costume or period clothing. Even if the wedding is casual, low cut dresses, short skirts, T-shirts, cut-off shorts, etc. are really tacky for a wedding. If the wedding is being held outdoors, be sure to wear appropriate footwear. You do not want to wear high heels at a beach wedding. Do not upstage the bride by wearing a white, ivory, or cream colored dress. The bride is the ‘star’ of the day and you should not try to compete by wearing a dress similar in color to hers.
Be on time. You should arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the time listed on the invitation. However, if you arrive during the procession, you should wait until the bride has gone down the aisle before entering and quietly taking your seat.
During the ceremony and reception, turn off your cell phones and pagers or set them to vibrate. Better yet, do not take them. There is nothing more disruptive or annoying at a wedding than a cell phone or pager going off during a tender moment.
Avoid taking photographs with a flash during the ceremony. In most cases, this is a religious ceremony and it should not be disrupted by camera flashes going off. If the bride and groom have hired a professional photographer, keep out of the photographer’s way and let him or her do their job.