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I need to know: Wedding Etiquette

What I need to know about Wedding Etiquette: As weddings are one of the most significant events in anyone’s life, it’s crucial to make sure you’re on your best behaviour. Wedding etiquette is a set of norms and behaviours to follow to show respect, gratitude, and politeness towards the couple, their families, and other guests. Some traditions and customs have relaxed over the years, while some remain unchanged. Here is a guide on the dos and don’ts of wedding etiquette everyone should know before attending a wedding ceremony.

RSVP Timely and Accurately

When you receive an invitation, RSVP as soon as possible. It helps the couple in planning an accurate headcount, helps the venue team, caterer, and other vendors in their preparations. Always RSVP as per the invitation’s exact request, whether by phone, email, or mail. If there is a deadline mentioned, please respect it and do not reply late. Remember, the couple has a lot of last-minute details to sort out, and knowing the numbers helps alleviate some stress.

The Dress Code

What I need to know about Wedding Etiquette: One of the critical concerns when attending a wedding ceremony is what to wear. Always follow the dress code mentioned on the invitation, whether it’s formal, semi-formal, casual, or theme-based. Be careful not to outdo the bride or the groom by wearing white, which is reserved for them. Avoid wearing anything that will attract more attention than the couple or anything inappropriate like very revealing clothes or casual attire. The wedding couple has invested their time and money to plan the perfect day, and guests should not ruin it by violating dress code guidelines.

a bride and groom standing in front of a white car.

Gift Etiquette

When selecting a wedding gift, it’s best to refer to the couple’s registry if they have one. It makes it easy for guests to choose a gift without any confusion or duplication. If there is no registry, avoid buying gifts that are too personal or expensive. If you’re unsure what to give, cash or a gift card is another option. Consider sending the wedding gift to the couple’s home if you’re not attending the ceremony. Remember, the gift is not a measure of love, but it’s a gesture of goodwill towards the couple’s union.


What I need to know about Wedding Etiquette: Always arrive at the ceremony and reception venues on time. Arriving late can look disrespectful and create unnecessary chaos. Plan your travel and parking arrangements beforehand, and consider unexpected traffic or other delays. Avoid leaving the ceremony before the couple as it can come across as rude. It’s customary to stay through the vows, ceremony, and speeches at the reception.

Food and Drinks

During the wedding reception, make sure to inform the venue or the couple beforehand, if you have any specific dietary or food allergies. Make sure to respect the seating arrangement of the wedding, and do not sit at the head table if you’re not specifically invited. Regarding drinks, it’s wise to limit alcohol consumption and remain sober, especially if you’re driving home. Avoid taking drinks on the dance floor and maintain a personal space when socialising with others.

Photography and Social Media

What I need to know about Wedding Etiquette: Always ask for the couple’s permission before taking photos during the wedding ceremony or reception. Some ceremonies have strict photography restrictions, and it’s crucial to respect their wishes. Be mindful of where you take pictures and avoid blocking the view of others. Don’t post any pictures on social media that may offend, embarrass or disrespect the couple without their consent. Remember, the couple has invested a lot of money to hire professional wedding photographers, and guests can request images from them.

Reception Etiquette

When at the reception, it’s essential to follow the bride and groom’s lead during the ceremony’s formalities. That includes standing when the wedding processional starts, clapping at appropriate times and staying silent when necessary. Always avoid bringing additional guests, unless it’s expressly mentioned on the invitation card. Lastly, avoid any drama or confrontations with the family members or other guests.

a wedding cake and cookies on a table.