13 Things You Should Never Do at a Wedding

Wedding Mistakes Cover

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Wedding Mistakes Cover
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Wedding Faux Pas

Wedding season is upon us, which means the time to celebrate and party has also arrived. While weddings should be filled with only the best vibes, they also have an often unspoken code of conduct to ensure the day remains special for the couple and their loved ones. As such, behaviors like overindulging in alcohol to wearing white, can detract from the main event and cause discomfort or annoyance to others

Being mindful of wedding etiquette is not just about following rules; it’s about respecting the couple’s carefully planned day and ensuring you contribute positively to their memories. 

Here are 13 things you should never, ever do at a wedding. 

Young couple and their guests with champagne flutes during wedding reception in garden
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1. Wearing White

Since this color is traditionally reserved for the bride to make her the standout of the event, showing up in a white outfit can be perceived as insensitive or rude. It can also be seen as an attempt to steal attention, which is a big faux pas. Instead, opt for outfits that complement the wedding's color scheme as indicated by the invitation. 

The bride and female wedding guests
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2. Bringing Uninvited Guests

Here's the thing: Crashing a wedding is only cute in movies, never in real life. If your invitation does not specify a plus one, bringing an additional guest without first checking with the couple or event planner can cause issues with seating and catering. Respect the couple’s guest list and budget by attending solo unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Letting Loose at a Wedding Reception

3. Ignoring the Dress Code

Most wedding invitations will specify a dress code, and ignoring it can imply disrespect or a lack of effort. Whether the invite requests black tie, cocktail attire, or a casual dress code, adhering to these guidelines not only enhances the overall aesthetic but also demonstrates your support and respect for the occasion, the couple, and their guests. 

Guests And Couple Toasting Champagne Flutes At Reception

4. Getting Wasted

We get it: Weddings are a ton of fun — and with an open bar — it can be easy to go overboard with the booze. But overindulging in alcohol can lead to inappropriate behavior like slurred speeches, stumbling or falling, or oversharing personal details (nobody wants this). To avoid being an obnoxious drunk, enjoy yourself but pace your drinking. A good strategy is to have a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks. 

Related: Most Outlandish Celebrity Weddings

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5. Being Glued To Your Phone

Spending too much time on your phone during the ceremony or reception can be distracting, or seen as as a disrespectful gesture. To avoid coming across as rude, consider keeping your phone on silent and out of sight to fully engage with the celebration and show your support for the couple. Putting phones away also allows us to be more present and make meaningful connections without any distractions. 

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Here's to an unforgettable couple and an unforgettable day

6. Making a Scene During Speeches

Talking or being loud during speeches interrupts the flow of the event and can be very disrespectful to the speakers and the couple. Remember to give your full attention, laugh at jokes, and clap only at the right moments to show appreciation. Keep side conversations to a minimum and save any comments until after the speeches are complete. 

Related: How To Save Money on a Micro Wedding, According to Redditors

Portrait of two brides on their honeymoon strolling along the beach in their dresses.
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7. Wearing Overly Casual or Revealing Clothing

Attire that is too casual or revealing can be seen as inconsiderate or inappropriate, especially if the wedding has a more formal or traditional setting. Choose outfits that are tasteful and align with the venue and the time of day. For example, a beach wedding might allow for lighter fabrics and colors, while a church wedding would typically require more covered options. 

Remember: When in doubt, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Newlywed couple walking out church and celebrating wedding with confetti

8. Arriving Late or Leaving Too Early

Arriving after the ceremony has started can disrupt the service and draw attention away from the couple. To avoid unexpected delays with traffic, plan your travel time wisely and aim to arrive at least 15-30 minutes early. Similarly, leaving before major events like the cake cutting or the first dance can be seen as rude or insensitive. 

Wedding Invitation With Rose Petals

9. Not RSVP-ing on Time

Delaying your RSVP can complicate planning efforts and add more stress to the couple. Since the bridal party needs to know guest numbers for seating arrangements and meal preparations well in advance, do them a favor and promptly respond to invitations as soon as you can. If your plans change, let the hosts know right away so they can make necessary adjustments to their seating and catering plans. 

Happy young African American bride sitting by served table among friends

10. Discussing Former Relationships

This should go without saying, but as a guest, discussing ex-relationships or comparing the newlyweds to former partners can ruin the mood. This type of conversation can lead to awkwardness, especially if overheard, and it detracts from the focus on the couple's current happiness and commitment. Instead, keep the conversation positive and appropriate, focusing on celebrating the newlyweds. 

Wedding Party -01

11. Nagging the DJ or Band With Song Requests

Dominating the playlist with your preferences can disrupt the carefully planned musical atmosphere intended to please all guests. While it’s okay to request a song or two, trust the professional judgment of the DJ or band to keep the energy right. Let them guide the mood and dance floor to ensure a balanced and enjoyable experience for everyone. Remember, the music isn’t just for you; it’s for every guest’s enjoyment.

Beautiful laid boho wedding banquet table

12. Ignoring Table Assignments

Table assignments are made with guest dynamics and relationships in mind. Sitting in an unassigned spot can cause disruptions to the seating plan and for the catering staff. This can be an issue if meals are pre-selected based on seating or if there are dietary restrictions to consider. To avoid any potential confusion, stick to your designated seat to respect the couple’s decisions and to maintain order at the event. 

Gifts at wedding / birthday party
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13. Bringing Large, Unwieldy Gifts

Bringing large gifts to the venue can create logistical problems due to the limited space. Large gifts can be cumbersome for the couple to transport post-celebration, and handling them can distract from the festivities. Instead, check if the couple has a gift registry and opt to send your present directly to their home. This approach not only eases their burden but also ensures that your gift will be safely delivered.