Wediquette 101

Appears in the April 2020 issue.

By Cara Sullivan

Photograph by Olivia Kohler

  1. Wednesday is the new Saturday. As a guest, be game to attend weddings on Friday, Sunday, and even a weekday, as spring celebrations postpone to the summer and fall. Be sensitive to why the celebration is on the weekend shoulder date. If you can not attend, simply send sincerest regrets right away, without long explanation.
  2. Send a gift before the wedding. Otherwise, a parent
    or planner will be responsible for transporting your
    present—whether it’s a check or an item from the registry—
    to a secure location during the reception and then home
    at the end of the evening.
  3. Respect the dress code. Carefully consider the formality
    of the wedding when determining what to wear, and remember that only the bride wears white (that rule extends to bridal functions such as showers, rehearsals, parties, brunches, and bachelorette bashes).
  4. Arrive on time. Plan your route and parking options ahead of time to avoid walking down the aisle with the bride. Keep in mind that seating typically opens up as early as 30 minutes prior to the ceremony.
  5. Put down your phone. Unless you have been appointed official photographer, don’t take pictures during the ceremony—and resist the urge to post wedding or reception photos on social media unless you have permission.
  6. Address dietary restrictions ahead of time. Call or
    email the host to let them know about food allergies well
    in advance of the wedding. Most venues can accommodate
    you if they have notice.
  7. Drink responsibly. Open bars are fun and festive, but
    it’s important to know your limit. The goal is threefold:
    Have fun, don’t make a fool of yourself, and get home safely
    at the end of the evening.
  8. Dance! Your role as a guest is to make the party, well … a party. If safe, get out there on the dance floor, mingle with the people you know, and introduce yourself to anyone you don’t.
  9. Don’t ghost the host. Before you leave, make a point
    to express your gratitude for being included. Say goodbye
    to both sets of parents, and make sure to give your best
    wishes to the newlyweds.
  10. Take your favor home. The couple put money and effort in choosing something meaningful as a token of their appreciation for their guests. So travel with that cute luggage tag, plant those garden flower seeds, and eat those chocolates the next day!