You get the Save the Date in the mail, mark your calendar, and a few months later you’re opening up an invitation to one of the single most important events in any individual’s life: their wedding. As your calendar begins to fill up with engagement parties, showers, bachelorette trips, and of course, weddings, we sometimes forget that this season of life is currently the most important thing happening to the person that has invited you.

Of course you see the celebration, but some of you may also see a large personal commitment of time and resources to

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Don’t clap after a song, performance, or reading. This isn’t the theater and while some of these individuals may be paid for their performance, they are not the stars of the show.

Do not take pictures during any part of the wedding but especially not during the bride’s processional. It doesn’t matter if the wedding is in a church, on the beach, or in the middle of a field – just don’t do it. There is only one exception to this – the bride has asked you to do so. To be clear, from my experience, I have never had a bride ask someone to do this.

Now that you understand the rule, what do you do if someone else is breaking it? In any typical faux pas of etiquette, I’d typically say that good manners will fix bad manners and not to make a scene about someone else acting a fool. However, if you’re attending a wedding where there is a sign or there has been some effort made to tell guests to please not take pictures or have their technology out during the ceremony – say something. Your approach to handling this situation will take every ounce of grace that you have in your body. Your goal is never to embarass someone else… any guest at a wedding has been chosen by the bride and groom because that individual is special to them.

Why is this such a big deal? Because it matters to the bride and groom.

Reception

  • To eat or not to eat… Cocktail hour is over and you enter the reception space. What is already on the table? If you have a salad or similar first course…. Many receptions will have a blessing of the food
  • Sit down during the introductions
  • Sit down during the first dance
  • Photos – do not berate the bride and groom for a picture.

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