The wedding etiquette. Guidance for guests

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For the clothing, the gifts and the (in)appropriate behavior


Everybody loves weddings: fun, alcohol, dancing, food, cake… But somebody’s wedding is not just a party with free food. It is an event that celebrates the beginning of “and they lived happily until the end of their days” for the new family. And because it is the first most important moment of a family history, it is not enough to just show up. Read this short guide for guests, which will reveal the basic rules of the wedding etiquette.


The clothing

Every woman who has been invited to a wedding falls in the throes of the crisis, called “I have nothing to wear”. The difficulty actually derives not so much from the lack of clothing, but from the inability to determine what garment is most appropriate.

Your first starting point is the invitation – if there is a stated requirement for the clothing (such as “strictly formal”), life becomes easier.

The second clue you should look for at the place and time of the wedding. If you are invited to an evening wedding at the Hilton, there’s nothing to think over the matter – an evening dress and high heels are mandatory. However, if the wedding party is held outdoors, for example in a garden with grass then a colorful summer dress and espadrilles will be completely appropriate.

Another way to orientate how to dress is to look very carefully at the invitation – is it expensive, formal, printed with “golden” letters or simple and handwritten. The logic is that “the snobbish” invitation should be followed by a “snobbish” wedding where the casual clothing will make you feel uncomfortable and vice versa.


The gifts

The gift can be served in 3 ways: to send it in advance, to give it away on the wedding day or send it after the wedding, but within a reasonable period – no more than a month. If you can not go to the wedding, you are not obliged to send a gift, but it would be a nice gesture – still the newlyweds have decided that they have to share with you “the happiest day in their life,” as they have invited you.The etiquette, however, allows spending a little less for a gift in this case than if you would have visited wedding.

How expensive should the gift be is also a question that has traumatized the invitees. The rule is this: whether you attend or not, how much money you spend for the gift depends on your budget and possibilities, from your relationship with the newlyweds and of course – your creativity.

And one more thing – let your gift carry a personal message. If you give, for example, a pressure cooker, put in it your wish and your favorite recipe, handwritten on a stylish greeting card.


The guests

If on the invitation are listed the names of the invited – i.e. yours, of the spouse and children, everything is clear. If the children are omitted again everything is clear and there is no need to call to ask if you could take them with you.

If you are single and in the invitation is stated that may bring someone with you, it means that you can pick whomever you choose – a person you are dating, friend, etc.

If the invitation is addressed only to you, and you are raring to star with your new friend, hold it. According to the wedding etiquette to bring a guest, when only you are invited, is one of the most serious blunders. At the weddings usually everything is planned – not only the food, but also the places and although almost always remain from both, it is still likely to create confusion and inconvenience for the couple.



Here are some common warnings.


What is inappropriate to do:

– To toast when you’re not sure what you will say. If you are friends with the bride from your student years and suddenly, in the midst of wedding you choose to share any of your “wild” stories, it could get quite awkward.

– To violate the ceremony with your late arrival. If you’re late, enter in the hall or the church in the most inconspicuous way and stay behind.

– To wear white, cream and so on colors that look more “bridal” than the bride’s dress. This is her day – do not take it away from her.

– To overdo it with the alcohol. Whatever feelings you get hold of, do not “drown” them in alcohol at this very moment. No excuses will correct the things if you ruin the celebration of the couple.



What is appropriate to do:

– To attend both the ceremony and the party. If you appear after the completion of the ritual it will seem as though you came just for the free food.

– To take pictures. Even if the newlyweds have hired a professional photographer, they will always be pleased to receive more pictures from that day.

– To have fun, of course, within the framework of the ethical, this does not mean that you can not flirt – for example with the groomsmen… Who knows, if you are alone and single, this day could be as special for you as for the newlyweds…

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