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No one wants to be “that” wedding guest. You know the one — they show up late, make a scene and generally just act obnoxious. You might think you’d never be like them, but it’s easier to slip into these errors than you might think. Before you attend the next big event, read over this list to ensure you don’t commit any common faux pas like wearing red to a wedding or switching seats at the reception.
1. Wearing Red to a Wedding
Wearing red to a wedding is a long-standing offense. This bold color becomes the center of attention in photos, stealing the show from the bride.
While many wedding traditions have changed in our modern times, it’s still a good idea to err on the side of caution with your wedding guest attire. Leave your diva outfits at home, forgoing red, white, cream, blush and black or anything overly revealing or bridal.
2. Forgetting to RSVP
You received an RSVP for a reason. Food is often the most expensive item on any couple’s wedding budget, and they’re usually required to pay for it in advance. They rely on an accurate RSVP count to know how much of each dish to order.
Showing up without letting anyone know is rude. The couple would have to scramble to find a way to feed you. However, it’s also a faux pas not to show up after reserving your spot. They paid a lot for you to be there. Always check in with the bride and groom before the big day if you have to change your plans.
3. Bringing an Uninvited Guest
If your invitation doesn’t specifically say you can bring a guest or “plus one,” don’t bring one. It’s sometimes hard to be alone at a wedding when it seems everyone else is coupled up. Just now, you likely won’t be the only single person there. Use this opportunity to reach out and make some new acquaintances.
4. Asking for a Plus One
What you see on your invitation is rarely a mistake. If you weren’t granted a plus one, there’s probably an excellent reason. The couple is likely trying to save money on the wedding by keeping their guest list to a minimum. Please refrain from asking for a plus one — it’ll just put both of you in an awkward situation.
5. Sharing on Social Media
The newly wedded couple paid a lot to get professional photos taken. Do them the courtesy of letting them post their pictures of the event first. Sharing yours on social media during the next of the wedding or the next day steals their thunder.
6. Getting Exceedingly Drunk
Just because a wedding has an open bar doesn’t mean it’s an invitation to drink as much as you want without consequences. Getting a bit tipsy is fine and can be fun in the right scenarios, but imbibing to the point of embarrassment won’t just hurt you — it’ll also mar the couple’s big day.
Your friend or relative’s wedding is absolutely not the place to propose to your girlfriend or boyfriend. No matter how good the ambiance is or how right the moment feels, anything that takes away from the bride and groom’s special day is a bad idea.
8. Switching Seats
You have no idea the amount of bickering, late-night pondering and puzzle mastery that went into the finely tuned seating arrangement. Trust us — don’t mess with it. Even if your best friend is at a different table and you don’t know anyone else at yours, don’t make a fuss. Switching your seat without the couple’s knowledge or complaining about it to them only ends in frustration and hurt feelings.
9. Showing Up Without a Gift
Like any other party, giving the host a gift is a common courtesy. Most wedding registries have items at various price points so that you can find something no matter your budget. The general recommendation is to spend approximately the price of your meal on your present, but some guests will go overboard, and others can’t afford it, so everything evens out in the end. It’s your thought that counts rather than the amount you spend.
10. Gifting Outside the Registry
Even if you think you have the perfect idea, this isn’t the time to go off the book and order that gag gift or inside joke. Frying pans and sheets might seem like a boring gift, but the happy couple asked for them for a reason. Show you care about their wishes by sticking to the list and saving your other idea for a memorable present later on.
11. Leaving Your Cell Volume On
Using your phone to take photos is alright as long as the bride and groom haven’t asked everyone not to. However, you need to remember to turn off your phone volume. The last thing you want is to have a text or call come in during the service. Once you arrive, double and triple-check so you know you’re covered.
12. Blocking the Photographer
While you’re taking photos of the festivities, be mindful of your surroundings. You’ll see at least one professional photographer making rounds and taking pictures. Let them have the locations with the best shots. Perhaps your photos won’t turn out quite as nicely, but that’s not really the point. As their loved one, you should want the couple’s professional photos to turn out the best.
13. Taking Decor Home
Never take decor home without express permission. The bride and groom may already have people in mind to receive the centerpieces and such. Sometimes these items are even rentals, so taking them home with you would mean the couple would have to pay for them.
These Faux Pas Make the Couple Uncomfortable
As a guest at the wedding, the last thing you want to do is make the new couple uncomfortable. Yet, committing any of these guest faux pas will frustrate them or even drive a wedge between you.
Wearing red to a wedding and leaving your phone volume on are easy mistakes to fix. Avoid these common discourtesies at any cost so that you won’t be the reason for any wedding day drama.
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