We live next door to a lovely little church.
From my living room window, I get a sneak peek at the excitement of brides, grooms, and their guests coming and going. I’ve always loved weddings- the flowers, the music, the romance! ?
Before your family attends a wedding, it’s smart to brush up on wedding guest manners and prepare your children so they know what to expect and how to behave. Here are some “must-knows” for you and your family.
- Respond promptly to a wedding invitation. It’s an honor and compliment to be invited, so show your appreciation with a prompt RSVP.
- Uninvited guests are a definite NO. Only the guests specifically designated on the invitation are to attend. If an invitation is marked “& Guest”, you may invite a guest of your choosing.
- Dress appropriately. The location, time of day, and overall level of formality of the event are your guide. This post at The Knot is a good resource about what to wear to weddings.
- Arrive early. Research where to park and get thorough directions beforehand. You do not want to be walking down the aisle with the mother of the bride!
- Show respect during the ceremony. No talking, chewing gum, checking your cell phone, or taking pictures. Read that one more time- do not take pictures during the ceremony unless you are the appointed photographer!
- Do not post pictures to social media of the bride and groom unless you have permission. The bride often puts a lot of planning into getting the “perfect” photos of her dress, her handsome groom, etc. so do be respectful. If a hashtag is posted at the event for guests to use, then post away!
- Gifts should be sent before the wedding (or very soon after) unless the local custom is to bring gifts to the reception. It’s a manners best practice to send a gift, even if you cannot attend the wedding.
- If your young children are attending the wedding, be prepared to leave the ceremony if your little one starts to cry or gets antsy. Sit at the end of the aisle towards the back if possible for an easy exit.
- At the reception, find the hosts (usually the bride’s parents) to give your best wishes and to say “thank you” for being included. If there’s a receiving line at the reception, do participate. Introduce yourself to those you don’t know in the line and keep your conversation brief so you don’t cause a slowdown.
- Mix and mingle at the reception making an effort to meet and chat with other guests. Speak with the bride and groom but don’t monopolize their time.
- It’s polite to stay at the reception until the bride and groom leave if that’s doable for you and your family but never be the very last guests to leave the reception.
Cheers to gracious wedding guests! ?
If you’d like more help with your family’s manners, check out this free guide I’ve written for you!