You're invited to a lavish wedding, but you’re worried. Will you embarrass yourself or make a wrong move? Relax. A lavish and expensive wedding is often seen as a daunting task for the bridal party and guests alike. Although you may feel unprepared or just not “fit” for this type of affair, basic etiquette can take you a long way. You can use some simple tips to help you survive even the most luxurious wedding ceremony and reception.
The Invite is Law
Invitations can be hard to decode, but if you know what you’re looking for, then you will know what to expect and how to behave. First, always use the reply card that is included. Weddings are formal affairs and should be responded to respectfully. Do NOT text or email a reply. Instead, fill out the card and send it back via snail mail. The invitation also gives other relevant information such as where the wedding is being held (a church wedding will be different than one held outdoors); if there’s a reception and when the invitation is due.
What (Not) to Wear
Not sure what to wear? Look to your invite for clues about how to arrive on the big day. Are you looking at a black tie (a tuxedo/gown), formal (traditional suit/dress), cocktail style (suit/less formal party dress), or even a casual (button-down shirts/summer dresses) style? By knowing what attire the bride and groom wish you to wear, you know you won’t arrive under or overdressed. You may also want to note the color scheme of the invitation, as this is often the color scheme for the entire wedding, and you want to try and avoid these colors since they are reserved for the bridal party.
Have Fun Being Fancy
Whether you’re in the bridal party or just a guest, don’t be afraid to have fun. Lavish weddings may seem daunting, but there is nothing more fun than dressing up to the nines and expecting something that may never happen again. Go dance, try some of the more pricey appetizers (caviar is a fan favorite), and have a few drinks of bubbly. Although you may feel the pressure to bring a gift that repays the couple for what you’ll experience, don’t stress about it. Weddings are about the celebration of a marriage; your gift is given from your heart, not in exchange for the experience. And, while it’s great to party, remember what you are there for and be respectful to the bride and groom, their family and the place of celebration.
If there just isn’t something you understand, feel free to ask! Before the wedding, a quick phone call to the happy couple is fine to help clarify. This also means you will show up prepared and ready for the day with the right attire and choice of food. On the day of the wedding, if a question arises (such as you can’t find the venue) don’t call the bride and groom. Instead, locate the number of a mutual friend to ask instead. Some invitations also include a contact number for the day, so don’t be afraid to use it if it’s available.
The couple, as well as their parents, are the ones who dictate how the evening goes. If the mother of the bride takes off her shoes to dance, then you know it is fine to follow suit. But, don’t break from traditional etiquette unless you are shown by those hosting the party that it’s okay to do so.
Remember Your Basics
Basic etiquette can go a long way. Always RSVP by the requested date, wear the proper attire, don’t comment on things you didn’t find enjoyable, and show up on time. These little things are just basics that show you are a respectful and kind individual ready to experience the bride and groom's special day.
While planning for a lavish wedding may be tricky, finding your perfect attire doesn’t have to be. The Perfect Bride is a wedding expert that specializes in bridal and bridesmaids gowns for any wedding. Looking for a dress as a guest? Don’t worry! We can even find you a variety of options from formal to black tie. Call to schedule an appointment today!