Is there any life event more fraught with rules and guidelines and expectations than a wedding? Doubtful! For such a joyous occasion, the average wedding is often a stressful experience for everyone involved, including the couple, their families and their guests. No one wants to commit a faux pas that’ll have them permanently fixed in lore of the day as the “person who did that terrible/tacky thing.”
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to avoid notoriety, provided you follow some basic etiquette rules. Guests, start off on the right note and respect the RSVP process. Reply by the indicated date, and then stick to it! You don’t want the happy couple to hold it against you for all eternity because you no-showed (and thus cost them some serious money) because you felt like watching a “Bachelor” rerun marathon, instead. If you do get sick or otherwise can’t make it for a legitimate reason, shoot them a text or email as a heads’ up, so that they don’t spend their big day wondering where the heck you are.
The vast majority of brides and grooms are considerate and reasonable, but occasionally someone truly earns the moniker “Bridezilla.” One bride went viral after asking for opinions on Reddit about whether she was within her rights to kick a couple out of her reception for failing to mind the “no children” request (to be fair, many people agreed with the bride, although plenty of others felt that she needlessly embarrassed the guests). Yet another bride went viral after an email with incredible demands was circulated far and wide. Among them, she required that guests do not sport “a full face of makeup” or wear a hairstyle “other than a basic bob or ponytail.”
Fortunately, the vast majority of couples and guests are focused on having a beautiful, drama-free day. Just remember: An invitation is never an obligation — but once you accept, you better play by the rules. Take this Wedding Etiquette Quiz to remain respectful on the big day.