Weddings are a fun and joyous event for the happy couple as well as friends and family. But if you’ve never been to a wedding, it’s a good idea to read up on wedding dos and don’ts. Weddings are nothing out of the ordinary, but there are some faux pas you should avoid.
What to wear
Most weddings will specify a dress code on the announcement, and it’s strongly encouraged that guests stick to it. Some might be black-tie, some might be semi-formal, but classy dress is required at almost every occasion. If nothing is specified on your invitation, just think one step above “business casual” and you should fit right in.
For ladies, a sensible dress can be dressed up or down with accessories or heels. Leave the large purse at home and bring a clutch or crossbody — much more classy.
Be sure to consider the location — the same rules do not apply for a beach wedding, for example. You still want to look nice for the wedding, but consider more sensible shoes that you can wear in the sand.
What to gift
Of course the registry is a good place to start. The couple has hand-picked items they want to receive, so you can’t go wrong with ordering off their list. Typically, these items aren’t the most exciting or unique gifts, since couples tend to need essentials for setting up a home, but they are very helpful.
If you want a more memorable keepsake, you’ll have to think more specifically about what the couple would appreciate. Usually this kind of gift is more personalized and tailored for the newlyweds. We recommend straying from the registry only if you’re a closer friend to the bride or groom.
Consider something the couple can use to preserve the day or use for special occasions — those are the type of items that are often forgotten in wedding planning, but are very appreciated. Something like a wedding wine box, where couples can store memorabilia from their wedding day or celebrate an anniversary with a special bottle of wine, is thoughtful and fun.
What to Do
Before the wedding day, make sure you R.S.V.P. on time so the family knows how many meals to plan on.The families of the bride and groom will have other things on their mind that don’t include making sure each guest has a plate.
When the day comes, be sure to check your invitation for the option to bring a plus-one. If your invitation doesn’t explicitly invite you and a guest, don’t bring a date. It’s courteous to arrive a little early so you can find a seat and be ready for the ceremony to start. Don’t forget to silence your cell phone. Before and after the ceremony itself, be sure to socialize with other guests, especially ones you do not know. You will take a lot of the stress of hosting off of the bride and groom, and they will love to see their guests getting along.