Weddings are wonderful. There's nothing more special than having friends and family come together to celebrate the love two people have for each other.
However, they can be stressful. Not only for the couple preparing to tie the knot, but for their guests as well.
There's certain etiquette that needs to be followed as the celebrations unfold, and trust me, when you stick to it, things will be much easier for everyone involved.
Here are nine things you should avoid doing this wedding season:
1. Do not wear white
Most people already know this, but it's worth bringing up again. Unless you've been asked by the couple to dress in white, do not even consider wearing white.
It's the bride's special day, so let her shine. You have every color on the spectrum to choose from, so there really is no excuse to show up in a white outfit.
2. Don't show up early, but don't be late
If you aren't part of the wedding party or haven't been assigned a specific role, you shouldn't show up at the venue more than 30 minutes before the ceremony is expected to start.
This is because organizers often use up the last few minutes to ensure that everything is in proper order, and you don't want to be in their way while they're putting in the final touches. It can be really stressful for them and the bridal party.
"It's better to wait in your car than go into the venue and risk stressing out the bride by seeing her before the ceremony," says Holly Patton Olsen, founder of Perfectly Posh Events.
3. Don't take photos during the ceremony
It's understandable that you would want to document the big moments and later share it with the world on social media, but really, you should put that cell phone away and be in the moment instead.
Not only are you unknowingly ruining the ceremony for the bride and groom, you're also getting in the way of the professionals who have been hired to photograph or videotape the wedding.
An Australian photographer, Thomas Stewart, penned a Facebook note in which he reminded people to lay off the cellphones at weddings, and urged couples to "please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony."
"Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer's way," he wrote. "You're paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way. These same guests will get in YOUR way. You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there'll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner's face in the aisle."
He continued, "Imagine you're in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You're elated. You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you're sure they're sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own. What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony."
4. Don't bring gifts
Apparently some people consider it as poor etiquette when you bring a gift to the wedding, according to etiquette expert at Gourmet Invitations, Tifany Wunschl.
Wunschl says this practice is frowned upon because this will save the couple from trying to figure out how to get all the gifts home at the end of the reception.
The best way to make sure the couple receives your gift is by sending it to their home. If there is no address on the invitation or wedding website, there's no harm in directly asking them for it.
5. Don't bring an unexpected plus one
While most couples will give you the option to bring a date to the wedding, it doesn't mean that you should take advantage of it.
Firstly, make sure you don't add a second name when you were the only one invited.
Secondly, if you're allowed a plus one but you did not indicate that you would be bringing them when you sent your RSVP, then you should not show up to the wedding with an extra guest.
If you have children, don't assume they are automatically invited. It's best to always ask the couple if the event is family-friendly or just for adults.
6. Don't change seats
Couples put in hours of work trying to figure out the best way to seat their guests, and they have a very good reason for seating you at a specific table.
Sometimes you'll be seated at a table that you love, and other times, you're stuck with company you can't stand, but whatever you do, do not switch tables.
It can come off as rude and can also create confusion when it comes to the dinner service.
You'll only be sitting down for an hour or two before the party begins, and you can freely move around the room.
7. Don't make an impromptu toast
If you weren't asked to give a speech or a toast, it's best that you keep what you have to say to yourself or share it with the couple later.
Speeches already take up time, and the last thing you want to do is delay the event or bore people by doing something that was not planned beforehand.
8. Don't eat dessert before the newlyweds
More and more couples are replacing the traditional wedding cake with other desserts, like cupcakes or donuts, so they may not have an official cake cutting moment.
Still, this doesn't mean that you should start devouring the sweet treats before the couple gives their guests the go-ahead.
9. Don't take the centerpieces home
Sure, some couples do give away the centerpieces to anyone who wants to take them home, but this isn't always the case.
Certain vases, candles, and fake flowers are rented and if you do end up taking them, the couple will be stuck footing the bill for the unreturned items.
Be on the safe side and ask before you take anything from the venue.
Is there anything else people shouldn't be doing at weddings? Let us know!
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