By Gretchen Ditto, Image & Personal Branding Advisor
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a number of weddings on your calendar in the coming months. Attending a wedding can be a whole lot of fun and excitement, but there is also a lot of protocol that accompanies these once in a lifetime (or twice, or three, or four times in a life) occasions. Although I can’t help you improve the form of your Macarena or chicken dance, I can help ensure that you’re the best damn wedding attendee you can be when it comes to guest etiquette.
Ditto & Co’s Wedding Guest Rules
- If your invitation is only addressed to you (no +1), do not call and ask if you can bring someone.
- Never rely on the old adage, “Don’t ask permission just ask forgiveness.” Just don’t bring someone.
- Research the wedding location ahead of time so that you don’t show up 15 minutes late looking like a sweaty frazzled mess.
- Don’t make any requests of the wedding party within a week of the wedding. (The only exception: Is there something I can do to help?)
- Always turn your phone off during the wedding and reception. Texting, emailing or playing angry birds during these times is extremely rude – no matter how long you’ve been sitting there.
- If the wedding is held in a church and you find yourself unfamiliar with the protocol, take a cue from the other people in the pew and fake it.
- Always respect your seating assignment at the reception. An unbelievable amount of planning goes into seat assignments (exactly why I chose not to have assignments at mine – who needs that stress??)
- Even if the food at the reception tastes worse than your elementary cafeteria, don’t say anything! It’s all good.
- Don’t drink too much—and always tip your bartender (even if it’s an open bar).
- Get out on the dance floor – even if you’re not Fred Astaire, the bride and groom will be happy that the money they spent on music hasn’t gone to waste.
- Last but not least: The dance floor at a wedding is not the same as a dance floor at a club – no bumping, no grinding, and no making out (unless you’re the bride and groom and that’s an entire different list of Do’s and Don’ts that I’ll get to one of these days).
Remember that the day is about celebrating your loved ones and not your love of cake (just eat one piece) or that guy that’s perfect for you that you just met in the buffet line—and, oh yeah, have fun!