It’s wedding season, and you know what that means. All across the country, people are about to take off work, buy (or rent) expensive new duds, watch that formerly single friend say “I do,” gorge themselves on passed hors d’oeuvres, and get caught up in a Macarena or Electric Slide moment they swore they wouldn’t partake in.
While much has been written about what not to do as a wedding host (See: not provide enough food, making guests pay for drinks, inviting people to the bachelor or bachelorette party but not the wedding), here, we turn our focus to the wedding guests. Those friends, close family, and distant second cousins your mother made you invite that make the party after the wedding memorable.
While a wedding would scarcely be any fun without our nearest and dearest close by, whenever you invite dozens (or hundreds) of people to a party, somewhere, along the old college roommate or extended family line, someone is bound to do some weird shit. Even if it’s not anything so flagrant as getting blackout drunk and giving a rambling, incoherent speech, there are plenty of ways — big and small — wedding guests can make the day a bit harder or more salaciously jaw-dropping than it needs to be.
Now, if you’ve only ever attended weddings, some of these faux pas may be harder to spot. But when you’ve planned or hosted a wedding (your own or anyone else’s), some etiquette blunders become more apparent.
Things like: Failing to RSVP and then showing up with an uninvited plus one. Disregarding the wedding registry the couple spent days putting together in favour of spontaneously purchasing them a tea kettle you like (or worse: offering no gift at all). Showing up late (or early), failing to specify dietary restrictions in advance, texting or calling the bride or groom the morning of with attire-, weather-, or venue-related questions. And how could we forget the people who use the occasion to make their own big announcements, cite divorce statistics, or casually violate the “no kids” rule?
In the comments below, tell us the worst wedding guest faux pas you’ve experienced, from the mundane administrative politesses, to the flagrant behavioural fouls, and we’ll round up the best ones in a future “what not to do” post. After all, every future married couple deserves to be protected from someone harassing the DJ, texting throughout the wedding, or getting in the professional photographer’s way so they can post a sloppy pic of your big day on social media.