Now that lockdown restrictions are starting to lift gradually, celebrations including weddings have been given the go-ahead. It is a very exciting prospect to be invited to a wedding and a real honor to know that you have been thought of to be a part of someone’s special day. However, then comes the worry about how much you have to prepare and how to conduct yourself at such an event which may leave you slightly apprehensive – but this is completely normal. Before sending back your RSVP note, here are a few handy hints you may need to know about attending your very first wedding:
1. Know whether you can bring a date
The guest list is often very restricted for weddings, therefore, don’t presume that you’re entitled to bring a plus one. Inspect the invitation for who it is addressed to – if it isn’t written with your name and ‘guest’, it probably means you have to go it alone. Never ask the couple if someone can come with you – it puts the couple in a very difficult position and could lead to unnecessary tension.
It’s natural to feel apprehensive about attending such an important event on your own, however, keep an open mind and view the strangers you bump into as a chance to create conversation and make new friends.
2. Give a suitable gift
Giving a gift to the happy couple is a tradition as a ‘thank you’ for being invited to their special day. However, always check if there is a gift list to adhere to or whether the couple is asking for money to put towards property or their honeymoon. While it isn’t exactly mannerly for the couple to ask for such a gesture, it saves you a great deal of stress as to what to purchase.
In most cases, it is completely your choice as to what you choose to buy the happy couple, which allows you to stick to a budget you’re comfortable with. In this case, you could simply browse gifts for couples to gain inspiration.
3. Sit on the correct side
At most wedding ceremonies, it is a tradition for the guests of the bride to sit on the left side of the aisle and the grooms’ guests to sit on the right. While this tradition isn’t always followed, it would be best to stick to this practice if in any doubt. You could always sit with friends you know and are comfortable with if you’d rather have company.
4. Get there on time
There is no such thing as being ‘fashionably late’ for a wedding, so aim to save yourself the embarrassment. It would be advisable to arrive at the ceremony at least 15-30 minutes beforehand to prevent running into the ceremony halfway through and becoming the center of attention, which wouldn’t be looked on unfavorably by the couple.
Wedding guest etiquette is just about being courteous towards the happy couple on the happiest day of their life but is nothing to be worried about.