Labour Day Weekend is fast approaching and for many, that means it will be a weekend full of wedding fun!
The three-day summer-ending weekend is a popular time for nuptials and it’s a pretty perfect time for outdoor ceremonies. Whether or not you’ll be attending this weekend or not, it’s good to remember that this is an extremely special day for the engaged couple and you want to make sure you aren’t in the way of that. Now that’s not to suggest you’ll misbehave and ruin the whole ceremony, but some people sometimes forget that weddings aren’t just a fun party to attend but a very important day for two people. No wedding will go off flawlessly but you can do your part to help the happy couple. Here are some tips for being the perfect wedding guest.
Let me know if this sounds familiar: You get a nice wedding invitation in the mail and you think that’s so nice and are so happy to be invited, then you put it away and think no more of it. What are you forgetting? Chances are the invitation has a big bold request for RSVP. I know you’re not being rude by not responding right away, but maybe you’re not considering way the couple makes that request. Without an accurate number of guests, the wedding planning can come to a standstill. Food, venue, drinks—all these decisions depend on the number of guests. You can’t control how other guest respond but you can at least make it a little easier on the couple and show them how excited you are for their big day. Take a few seconds and respond immediately.
Stick to the gift registry.
Getting the right gift for a married couple is a pretty hard decision. In the end it is the thought that counts but the wedding gift is simultaneously a ‘thank you’ for the party and a way to help them start their new life together, so it’s nice to get them something they need. That’s why gift registries are so helpful. Yet, for some reason some people find choosing a gift off the registry impersonal and elect to come up with their own gift idea. Don’t get too creative. These are the gifts the couple thinks will be helpful, so you’re safe sticking with something off the list. Alternatively, don’t turn your nose up at the thought of giving cash as a present. After a big wedding and getting ready to start a new life, a little extra money is often much appreciated.
Be on time.
Yes, I know, weddings infamously never start on time. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a schedule to keep. No dillydallying on someone’s wedding day. It’s just common courtesy to show up on time or earlier. If the ceremony is a little late getting started, you can at least rest easy you won’t be one of those people entering as the bride is making her walk down the aisle. No one wants to be that guy.
Abide the seating plan.
It’s never fun to get seated at a table with a bunch of strangers when your friends are across the room. But as much as you might think it’s a little harmless fun to switch around name cards for the seating arrangement, you have to understand that a lot of thought and planning went into the seating plan. As much as you’re meant to enjoy the night, there are plenty of other people to consider. So make new friends at your assigned table and then mingle with the crowd at the reception. That goes the same for the ceremony as well. Stick to the seat the usher gave you. If there are no ushers, then you have a little more freedom, but use common sense. Do you really need to be seated upfront with the core family members?
Know when to participate and when to sit back.
A lot of weddings these days have activities as part of the ceremony in which the guests are meant to get involved to a certain extent, but as always, understand that this day is not about you. It’s not necessary to be in every picture, or to hang around the head table all night. Certainly don’t give a speech unless you were asked to. And, not to confuse the matter, be enthusiastic and outgoing when it’s appropriate.
Don’t post you own photos without asking permission.
It’s common that guests take their own pictures of the wedding. It’s only natural that you’ll won’t your own little reminder of the day. But in these days of social media, you need to be sure you have the couple’s permission before you post any pictures online. They might want to be the first to share images of their big day.
Go easy on the open bar.
If the couple in question are immensely generous (and considerably wealthy) the wedding reception may even have an open bar. Don’t go in expecting it, but show you appreciation if there is one. And you are meant to enjoy it, but go easy on it as well. That doesn’t mean you’ll be a drunken buffoon (although do avoid that), but treat the open bar as if a friend is buying you drinks. Don’t leave half empty drinks around the place and don’t get greedy. It can be one hell of a tab by the end of the night.
Hopefully these tips didn’t have you thinking that you have to be walking on eggshells the whole time. The wedding is a celebration and the couple want to see their guests having fun. So eat you fill, have some drinks, mingle and certainly dance. You know how to be a gracious guest so just keep this tips in mind and you’ll have a great time.