Originally published on June 24, 2015
Wedding season is upon us so what better time than now than to tackle the tricky and awkward subject of wedding etiquette and how to be a great wedding guest. Unlike a standard party invite, wedding invites have their own nuances and intricacies. Here is how to handle and prevent potential mishaps as a wedding guest.
Respond to the invitation… Being a great wedding guest begins as soon as you receive your invite in the mail. Make sure to respond to the invitation by the due date, even if you are unable to attend. If there is no ‘RSVP by’ date, it’s best to respond as soon as possible.
Respect the invitation… Wedding invitations are addressed directly to the guests that are invited. If your name is the only one listed on the invitation, then it just means you, and not your beau, bestie, child or sibling.
Pick a great outfit to fit the venue and tone of the wedding… Depending on the venue, make sure you dress accordingly. Church weddings are often more conservative so it’s best to keep shoulders covered and generally keep the skin exposure to a minimum. Short or mid-length cocktail numbers work great at weddings held at the beach, garden or banquet hall. Black tie weddings typically mean floor length gowns (ooh la la). Never wear white as it’s the bride’s sole time to shine. And, in some cultures, black is seen as reserved for funerals, so tread carefully there as well. See more tips in a recent post on deciphering party dress codes.
Give a gift…Whether you attend the wedding or not, giving a gift is common practice. These days, giving money as a gift is perfectly acceptable as today’s modern couples seek non-traditional wedding gifts (like contribution to a house or honeymoon). However, if the couple has a gift registry, it’s best to buy something off the registry rather than to go rogue. This helps the couple avoid duplicate gifts and also ensures they are getting something they really want. In terms of what to spend, I love the guidelines recommended by TheKnot.com on managing a budget and spending appropriately.
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