Wedding Etiquette, What NOT to Do as a Guest

Groom placing the wedding ring on his bride's finger during an outdoor wedding ceremony.

It does not matter if it is the wedding of a close cousin or that of someone in the office, certain things are just inappropriate. (Image: Shuo Wang via Dreamstime)

It is said that marriages are made in heaven, but it falls upon humans to ensure that wedding ceremonies take place in a suitable manner. It is not only about making merry, delighting in singing and dancing, and enjoying sumptuous foods. When you attend a wedding, you have to be mindful of maintaining proper wedding etiquette. There is a thin line between having fun and going overboard at such large-scale social events. 

It does not matter if it is the wedding of a close cousin or that of someone in the office, certain things are just inappropriate, activities that you should not do when attending a wedding.

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Wedding etiquette guest faux pas

Wearing white is not always proper wedding etiquette

This is not exactly set in stone since the color of the wedding dress may vary across regions and cultures. Still, it is better that you avoid wearing a white dress to a wedding. Shades of white, cream, and ivory are meant for the bride, in most cases. Of course, you can keep part of your attire white at a wedding. From another perspective, in some cultures guests and brides are expected to wear bright colored clothes, so in such instances, a white dress would be seen as too plain. 

Not thinking of the venue and type

Not all weddings are the same and the wedding theme has to be kept in mind. You might choose to wear one type of dress at the wedding of a childhood friend who is rather bohemian and has settled for a beach wedding. However, do not wear the same type of dress for the wedding of a senior office colleague who prefers formal things! The same is applicable to the accessories you wear at a wedding.

Chairs and a floral arch set up outdoors on a beach for a wedding.
Keep in mind that the dress you wear for a beach wedding might not be suitable for a more formal church wedding. (Image: Magdanatka via Dreamstime)

Wearing flashy and loud attire

For most weddings, it is not suitable to wear a dress that is too revealing or loud. So fight the urge to wear the expensive leopard print top or a revealing short skirt you have recently bought. It is a wedding event and not a fashion parade, after all!

Being loud or trying to grab attention

It is important to remember that the wedding is about the bride and groom. This is not the day when you should try to grab everyone’s attention. It is a nice thing if your wedding attire and demeanor draw admiration and appreciation from the guests. But being too loud or showing a domineering attitude and indulging in gossip to draw attention at a wedding is simply bad etiquette. Some guests try to pose with the bride and groom frequently so that they will be seen the most by others. It is not ideal wedding etiquette.

Complaining about the food and climate

The wedding venue is not a place where you should keep on whining about things. It is the day when two persons are starting a new journey for a lifetime. Do not spoil the ambiance by talking about trivial things and it is better to remain quiet if you do not have anything good to say. 

Getting overly drunk is poor wedding etiquette

Sure, at a wedding you are allowed to enjoy sumptuous foods and sip a few glasses of wine. However, getting drunk is not advisable. It is not a bachelor’s party when you can get tipsy and indulge in silly behavior. You have no right to spoil the mood of other guests. If you are intoxicated, you may lose control over what you do or say at the wedding venue.

An open bottle of champagne sits next to a tower made from champagne glasses at an outdoor reception.
Getting drunk at a wedding is not advisable. (Image: Hupeng via Dreamstime)

Creating hassles for the photographer and videographer

Your new smartphone may have DSLR-class cameras, theoretically. However, that does not give you the right to get in the way of the photographer and videographer. They are there to do a task professionally. So ensure when you take snaps or record videos, you stay out of their way. 

A wedding is a very important event for the couple who ties the knot and as a guest, it is your responsibility to act classy and let others enjoy the event. So do not indulge in acts that make things troublesome for anyone.

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