There’s plenty of horror stories out there of badly behaved wedding guests. The following should help guide you on how to act without ruining the fun of the celebration.
- Don’t try to make yourself the center of attention. You aren’t the bride and you aren’t the groom so you don’t matter today. Those two are the stars and unless you can accept this, you shouldn’t go to the wedding. If you have to go to avoid hurt feelings or it’s your family, avoid doing anything to draw attention to yourself. Brides will remember that day for the rest of their lives and if you do anything to ruin it, your actions will be remembered above all the other things that may happen that day. Show them respect by letting them have this one day to themselves.
- Don’t tell the bride or the groom that they’re making a mistake or they shouldn’t have gotten married. It’s too late now and your opinion isn’t wanted or especially appreciated on their wedding day or any day for that matter. Keep your opinion to yourself because ultimately they’ve made up their minds and you’re going to become a common enemy to them for your telling them they just made a mistake by getting married.
- Don’t treat the open bar like it’s a free booze buffet. Your body can only hold so much liquor, whether it’s free or not, so don’t over do it just because you aren’t having to pay for each drink. This most likely will help you avoid the above two problems as a happy bonus.
- Buy an appropriate gift to what you can afford. Do not listen to what the per plate price was in determining how much to spend. You can spend as much or as little as you can afford but do not feel pressure to spend above your means. This may be one of many weddings you’ll be attending this year and you need to budget for each one according to your relationship to the couple and how much you can comfortably spend.
- That being said, don’t go too cheap either. The couple has provided you with at the very least a free dinner and/or drinks so if you have to go cheap, give something meaningful and with some personal thought behind it rather than signing your name to a dollar card and calling it a day.
- Don’t take it personally if you can’t bring your young children. The couple has the right to not invite them and you have the right not to attend for this reason. Again, this is their day so respect their wishes. They probably didn’t invite them for safety issues since they wouldn’t want the kids to be surrounded by free flowing booze or maybe they just want to keep it an adult event.
- Don’t be the last person to leave the reception. It’s awkward to have to kick out an excessively drunk person at 4am after a long day of dealing with stressful things/people. You don’t have to be the very first person to leave but once you see the majority of the people are leaving or have left, join them.
- Don’t take things unless you get permission. Don’t just walk off with the flowers or basically anything that isn’t tied down unless you were specifically allowed to do so. Just because they will probably throw it away once the reception is over doesn’t make it yours to take before then.
- If you have a medical reason forcing you to need a special meal then tell the bride as soon as you are invited so they can deal with this immediately. Do not tell them the day of the reception or a week before about your need to be gluten free or sugar free or vegan or whatever since it’ll probably be too late to be able to do anything about it. Give them notice and you’ll be able to eat something better than whatever you happen to find in the reception’s vending machine or the kale garnishes on the buffet tables.
- Have fun. Don’t make a fool of yourself but remember, this is a party celebrating love. Don’t be the fuddy duddys with your arms crossed sitting at your table all night. It’s a wedding reception, not a funeral. Now go and join the funky chicken.