Drunk man at wedding

Wedding etiquette guide

Now that wedding season is in full swing, it’s time to talk etiquette. There are certain things that just shouldn’t be done either leading up to or during someone's nuptials.

Inviting extras

The only people who should be going to the wedding are the ones who were invited. That means you can’t bring your best friend from out of town along with you and your date or your kids if their names are not on the invitation. The bride and groom likely spent a lot of time figuring out who they wanted at the wedding and how many people they could afford to invite, so by you springing an extra guest on them at the last minute, you’re not only adding to their stress, you’re opening the door for others to get upset that their kids or far-flung friends weren’t allowed to attend.

microphoneHogging the spotlight

While you might have a great story to tell about your time with the bride and groom, some dance moves that even Justin Timberlake would be jealous of or a dress that’s right off the couture runways, someone else’s wedding just isn’t the place to show off or try to steal the attention away from the happy couple. By all means, have a good time, share some kind words about the bride and groom, and take advantage of the dance floor, but don’t try to one-up the people who have been planning this day for a year (or more).


So you didn’t like the choice of main course, you hated the music and you thought there was way too much time in between the ceremony and the reception. It’s totally fine to have those opinions, but just remember that it’s not your job to voice them. The bride and groom wanted you to be a part of their special day and their choice of table wine or cake frosting shouldn’t be your focus. Make the best of the event and show the happy couple you love them by doing your best to have a good time.

iPhoneUsing your phone

Think of how mad you get when you hear someone’s phone ring, buzz or beep in a movie theater. Now imagine how you would feel if you were saying your vows, only to be interrupted by the buzz, beep or ring of a phone? You would likely want to throttle the person who decided to a) use their phone during your wedding, or b) neglected to turn off or at least put their phone on silent. You can text all you want after the ceremony, but it’s common courtesy to put the phone away (and shut it off) during the main event.

Sharing photos too soon

We all get excited at weddings, take countless photos and want to post them to Facebook or Instagram immediately after taking them, but this is often before the bride and groom get a chance to post a photo and they really should be the first ones to post a picture from their own wedding. Save the onslaught of wedding photos until you know the couple has had a chance to post their own.

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Comments on "Wedding etiquette no-nos"

Bryn October 02, 2012 | 3:56 PM

I never understand why people think they can bring people that aren't invited?! My friend sent an invite to 2 people, and they RSVP'd back for 7! 7!! There is so much thought that goes in to the guest list I would never think to alter it one my own or assume anything.

Laurel October 02, 2012 | 3:53 PM

I think that is trying to be considerate to wait and post pictures until the couple has the chance, but oftentimes now the couple will ask everyone to use a unique hash tag for their wedding so they can see them all compiled together. Their day is so busy, who has time to post pictures! But of course you'd want to see them soon!!

Hannah October 02, 2012 | 1:08 PM

Great advice! I am in a friends upcoming wedding so this was a great reminder of what NOT to do! I agree - don't share photos before the bride, after all it's her big day! And definitely don't be looking at your phone and causing distractions. Great reminders- thanks!

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