Yes, the bride and groom are the VIPs, the guests of honor, and the stars of the show on their wedding day. But even so, there's still a modicum of decorum that should be observed, especially when interacting with your wedding guests. Being "king and queen for a day" doesn't absolve you from using manners and treating others with respect. Where do you think the terms bridezilla and groomzilla originated? The labels were created to describe brides and grooms who didn't know how to behave themselves and made negative lasting impressions on everybody around them.
You don't have to go as far as being a "zilla" to do something you shouldn't at your wedding. It's a day when all eyes are on you and your new spouse. Anything you do with an audience will be observed. And talked about. And memorialized in pictures and video on 50 iPhones.
Don't be the couple with regrets about things that happened on their wedding day. The best way to ensure that doesn't happen is to avoid doing the following six things:
1. Never argue with your new spouse on the wedding day, especially with anybody watching.
Getting married is an emotionally charged experience, made even more potentially explosive by the presence of an open bar. If guests observe the bride and groom arguing at the wedding reception, or at any point during the wedding weekend, they will remember it, and they will talk about it. I don't think I'm overstating it when I say that witnessing angst between the bride and the groom truly ruins the wedding experience for all of your guests.
2. Do not speak rudely to or openly ignore any of your guests.
Even if you didn't want to invite that cousin or include your college roommate's obnoxious husband, they're there because you extended an invitation and it's your obligation to be polite and welcoming. You should spend a few minutes—at least—with every guest who made the effort to be there and celebrate your special day. If a guest gets too drunk or behaves badly, don't be the disciplinarian at your wedding. Let somebody else handle it, and don't be there when he or she does. It's not your job at your wedding.
3. Don't discuss the cost of things in front of guests or even friends.
It's tacky. Don't talk about who paid for what, who didn't contribute, or any of the other details. Do your grumping privately when you're planning, then accept that's what you decided to spend and move on. Griping about the cost of the band, the venue, the flowers, or the cake in front of wedding guests makes them uncomfortable. It's almost as if you're passive-aggressively asking them to pony up some cash—and, of course, you don't want to do that. It's almost as bad as using that app that asks for a credit-card number to hold your seat at the wedding reception and bills the guests who are no-shows. Seriously ticky-tacky.
4. Try not to address any problems with vendors in front of an audience.
If the bride is smiling, everybody is happy. But if your guests see you arguing with the caterer or wedding planner at the reception, they'll be angry on your behalf and it will kill the mood. If there's a problem that can be fixed, take the vendor aside and explain your concerns. Don't start out nasty; it doesn't accomplish anything. A little bit of honey gets a lot more done, and when you're nice, wedding vendors will go out of their way to make you happy on your wedding day.
5. Don't get sloppy drunk at your own wedding (or anybody else's).
It doesn't make for pretty pictures. If you think I'm making too big a deal out of it, go look at the pictures in your phone from your last few inebriated adventures with your friends. Then ask yourself if those are the kind of wedding photos you want to preserve the memories of your big day. And if you drink too much, you won't remember your wedding clearly. The day you say "I do" to the love of your life is way too important for that.
6. Don't disparage either set of parents to any of your wedding party or guests.
If you aren't close to one (or both) set of parents, your besties and relatives already know that. It's not necessary to tell everybody that one set of parents helped pay for the whole wedding bash and not mention the other set of parents at all. It's mean, and it implies the other set of parents did nothing to help with the wedding. If they're there, it's because you invited them, and regardless of your emotional history together, you should treat them with appreciation and respect on your wedding day. If you're snarky, it reflects poorly on you, not them. Do your best to treat both sets of parents equally at the wedding.