Etiquette for Wedding Guests
Today’s post veers a little from the usual topics, because I have had requests to cover this very subject. Apparently, the following examples are common enough that several people – men, actually – have pulled me aside with opening lines of “I have some amazing wedding stories for you!” And by amazing, they usually mean appalling. So, in order from least to most cringe-worthy, are the top five offenses for wedding guests.
6. Dressing like it’s a BBQ
Unless the invitations, bride, and bride’s mother all say it’s a casual event, you need to be dressed nicely. The later the hour of the wedding, the more formal your attire. Only under the most unusual and specific of circumstances e.g. the engaged couple or their families expressly say so, can you wear any combination of the following:
-Tshirts/graphic T’s, muscle shirts, wifebeaters
-loafers without socks
Clear? Moving on.
5. Trying to use Food Stamps to Pay Your Bar Tab
Okay, I get it. You shelled out to buy a shower gift, wedding gift, a new dress or tie, and got yourself to the wedding…you’ve already put out a lot of money for this shindig and now you want to reap the benefits by partying. Of course you want to have fun. And if you are one of the 43 million Americans on EBT program, you certainly want to make use of those things. I understand this.
But, you need to understand…an open bar is not going to accept those food stamps. It is catered by a private vendor, not a grocery store. Also, you should know by now that you can’t buy alcohol with food stamps. Period.
So either budget some cash for the wedding bar, or stick with the dinner wine. Nobody likes a guest who doesn’t pay their tab!
4. Skipping the Ceremony
No excuse for this one. Weddings are an all-or-nothing deal. If you check the “happily accepts” box on the reply card, you are expected to be there for the wedding, not just the party. Don’t feel like spending an hour in a religious service? Tough. You might find it boring, but it’s better than suffering the hundred-person-stink-eye when you show up – very obviously – during the cocktail hour. Instantly, you are branded as “bad guests.” You may be shunned at your table. The best man will probably snarkily mention you in his toast. And you will probably get a thank you note that looks something like this:
“Dear Joe and Jane Smith,
Thank you so much for taking time out of your oh-so-busy lives to just barely show up for the free food and booze. We will remember your thoughtfulness forever. Especially at Christmas, your birthdays, and whenever you need a fake job reference or help moving.
With utmost sincerity,
Bob and Mary Jones.”
Suck it up and go to the ceremony.
3. Get Completely Trashed
This really should go without saying. I don’t care how informal the wedding is, it is not a frat party. You should not be getting so drunk that you can’t stand upright, or plunge your hands into the wedding cake and start flinging it around like monkey crap*.
That’s what the bachelor/ette parties are for. Keep it classy at the wedding, mkay?
*Yes, that really happened. And it was the groom.
2. Taking Off Your Shoes
This just baffles me. You ladies, who buy high heels knowing you can’t wear them for more than thirty minutes before you have to prise them off like a shell off a crab…why? Why do you even buy them?! Any sexy effect is counteracted by you hobbling around in obvious discomfort. And we know, at that point, that we will soon see you kicking off those heels before you head out to jam on the dance floor.
I’m all for you getting into the party spirit, but you know what really ruins a nice wedding? This:
Ahhhh! WHY? You look so nice with your hair done and makeup and nice dress…are you a Barbie doll? Did you just decide shoes are too hard to keep track off/keep on, so you decided it’s okay to go without? Gross. You will be lucky if, by the end of the night, your feet look as good as the ones in the photo. Do the other guests a favor, honor the couple and save your own dignity by coming in comfortable shoes. Or, if you absolutely have to bring those pumps that you will only wear for an hour, bring along a pair of these. In fact…brides? Maybe post a link about these awesome little things on your facebook page every so often. Give your female guests a couple solid hints.
1. Alluding To A Divorce
I know. It’s hard to keep the cynicism at bay when marriages have good chances of ending in divorce. But you know what? No matter what your reservations about the couple’s relationship, put a smile on your face and congratulate them on their big day. And for heaven’s sake, don’t allude to the rate of marriage failures or anything that doesn’t mesh with the “marriage is forever” vibe.
Keep your trap shut…at least until you’re on your way home. Then, feel free to let loose with the analysis of the couple, the problems their relationship already has, and the likelihood they’ll make it to their 5th anniversary.