So you've been asked to attend a wedding. You’ve marked the date in your calendar and sent off your RSVP, but you probably haven't given much thought to faux pas. If you’re not part of the wedding party, you could be forgiven for thinking that all you have to do is turn up and have a ball. To a certain extent, that’s right, but attending a loved one's wedding is a real honor, and you don't want that person to regret sending you an invitation. To keep you in good graces, here are some wedding guest faux pas to avoid.
1. Getting Drunk and Making a Scene
An open bar can be a recipe for disaster. Whether due to social nerves or an eagerness to get into a celebratory mood, you may be tempted to hit the booze hard. Around 17 percent of guests admit to getting inebriated at someone else’s wedding, according to one survey by Wedding Wire. Bu consuming too much could mean that you accidentally make a scene, say the wrong thing, or even fall over and hurt yourself. Find a responsible drinking buddy who will help make sure you party hard, but drink in moderation.
2. Wearing a White Dress
As a woman, there’s one major wedding guest fashion faux pas you should avoid at all costs—wearing white. The last thing you want to do is look like you were attempting to steal limelight from the bride. While there are exceptions to this rule—some couples do decide to throw an all-white affair—in most cases, play it safe and opt for a colorful alternative.
3. Arriving Late to the Ceremony
If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you’ll know the goal is to have it run like clockwork. Most brides and grooms plan their day down to the last minute. The least you can do as a guest is have the courtesy to arrive on time (if not early!) to the ceremony. Don't be part of the 18 percent of guests who admitted they've arrived late, according to the Wedding Wire survey.
4. Bringing an Uninvited Plus-One
Plus-ones are like gold dust. If your invitation didn't specify you have one, it’s fair to assume you don’t. The average cost of a wedding guest is $140, according to recent research by Value Penguin. If you show up with an unexpected date, you're basically asking the bride and groom to shell out a $140 bucks they didn't budget for—and you run the risk of your date not getting enough food or having a place to sit! (Not cute.)
5. Making a Grand Announcement
Do you have some exciting news of your own? Perhaps you’re pregnant or newly engaged. You might be thrilled to share this, but making any type of major personal proclamation at someone else’s wedding is a serious mistake. Regardless of intentions, this move will look as though you’re attempting to make the event about you.
6. Being Glued to Your Phone Screen
Addicted to your smartphone? Phubbing—a social phenomenon in which you snub people in favor of your phone—is common, but still an absolute no-no at weddings. What’s more, 8 percent of guests have had their phones ring during a ceremony, according to the survey. The safest, most polite thing to do is turn your phone off, but at the very least, you should switch it to silent mode.
7. Taking More Than One Favor
The favors table may be brimming with exciting treats to take home, but when you saunter over to collect yours, please don't sneakily steal an extra one. Almost a quarter of guests admit to doing this, according to the survey, but it’s quite inconsiderate. And while it may not seem like a big deal at the time, it could mean that another guest goes home empty-handed.
8. Talking During the Toasts
As the night goes on, you might start to feel very merry. However, when the toasts and speeches begin, you must cease all chatting with old chums, newfound friends, or your date. The wedding party members have likely been planning what to say for months. Listening to their speeches—however long they may be—is common courtesy.
9. Hitting on a Member of the Wedding Party
Wedding receptions are their own special brand of aphrodisiac. There’s something about watching two people make the biggest commitment of their lives that speaks to the inner romantic in all of us. Still, whether you're interested in one of the groomsmen or bridesmaids, putting the moves on a wedding party attendant is undeniably clichéd. These particular guests have a variety of duties to see to during the event, which means they could do without your advances.
10. Staying Far Too Late
Toward the end of the reception, the songs will become slower and guests will begin to filter out. That’s your cue to leave. You may have been the life and soul of the party earlier in the evening, but the bride and groom have other business to attend to now. When you see the event is coming to a natural close, take the hint and say your goodbyes.