Bad Wedding Etiquette

From guests to the bridal party to vendors; here's a look at the common mistakes we all make at weddings.

Bad Wedding Etiquette

It’s scary to think of what a bridal couple would do if they had to cover the costs for guests who showed up unexpectedly to their wedding. But it happens all too often, says wedding planner Renee Richards.

“People show up with uninvited guest and it’s really unfortunate they don’t see this as bad etiquette, it’s horrible,” says Richards, Lead Coordinator of Turning Page Events.

But, let’s not just blame guests for committing bad etiquette acts at a wedding, everyone is accountable.

Be Our Guest
We’ve all been a guest at a party, but do we all have proper etiquette?

As an invited wedding guest, it’s important to remember:
- If the invitation is addressed in your name, it means you only.
- If the invitation is addressed in your name and a guest, you can bring one guest, not many.
- If the invitation is addressed to your family, it really means immediate family only.
- If the invitation requests “no gifts”, it’s suggested to bring a monetary envelope as a gift.
- Replies should be mailed on time.

According to Richards, many guests still commit these wedding faux pas at the ceremony:
- Talking on cell phone
- Texting
- Chewing gum
- Wearing sunglasses
- Arriving late
- Being disruptive

Etiquette blunders are in full swing at the reception too. Richards suggests that guests pay close attention to these common mistakes:
- When the invitation says formal wedding, it means it’s a formal affair, so don’t come in khakis and sneakers. “Dress code at a wedding needs to be upheld, because there will be pictures,” she says.
- Watch how much you drink if it’s an open bar. Don’t abuse the privilege of an open bar and drink more then you can handle.
- Don’t take more than one wedding favour unless you’re offered more.

Bridal Slip-ups
While you can’t make everyone happy at your wedding, you should make sure you don’t make these basic wedding blunders:

- Addressing the invitations incorrectly.
- Not providing an itinerary for guests.
- Sending invitations through casual emails.
- Being vague in the invitation by not providing detailed information. “If you don’t tell your guests what to do, how are the people supposed to know what to get you.”
- Not being prepared for the “Thank you” speech.
- Not providing a meal for the wedding planner, photographers, or officiate who’s attending the reception.

Richards suggests, if the DJ is only there for a couple of hours, provide him/her with snacks and drinks, “but if they’re with you from the beginning, you have to give them a full course meal.”

Another common mistake is making the vendor’s sit outside the hall. “Having them outside means they can’t see what’s going on,” she says. “Also, going in and out of the door can be disruptive.”

Vendor Bender
Vendors aren’t exempt from breaking the etiquette rules; Richards says vendors need to be considerate of the bridal couple.

As a ceremony host, telling staff to appropriately dress for the occasion and be helpful are just the basics. “Tell the staff to respect what’s happening (in the ceremony/reception) and respect the people.”

Photographers and DJs have their own personality and at times they do and say everything they can to capture the emotion of a person or a crowd; but, “they should know the limitations of the bride and groom, and try to fulfill their requests.”

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