UKbride’s education in wedding etiquette
A wedding is neither the time nor the place to ditch the decorum, so mind your manners and win your wedding guests over with UKbride's education in etiquette...
In the first instance, guests should accept, or decline, the wedding invitation by the RSVP date stipulated on the invite. Once you accept, you are obliged to attend - no last minute changing of plans (unless there is an emergency of course!).
When choosing an outfit, remember it’s the bride’s day, and as a guest you must not outshine her. Wearing white or anything remotely bridal is a big no-no, while wearing black is equally insulting.
It is also considered polite for guests to buy the couple a gift, often from a gift list compiled by the bride and groom prior to their wedding.
For bride and groom:
The groom and his best man should arrive at the venue at least 20 minutes prior to the ceremony's start.
The bride travels to the church with her father. The father of the bride also has the responsibility of making the first speech, and traditionally he should be the last person to leave the reception.
At the reception, the groom is expected to introduce his bride to any friends or family she has not met before. He must also always thank the bride's parents in his speech and include a toast to the bridesmaids.
Seating your guests however, is perhaps the toughest task when it comes to etiquette, and tackling the top table can be particularly tricky! A traditional format seats the bride and groom together in the centre. The bride is seated on the groom's left. To the bride's left is her father, the groom's mother, and the best man. To the groom's right is the bride's mother, the groom's father, and chief bridesmaid.
If you have a more 'unconventional' family arrangement, feel free to adapt the setup in order to best suit your needs.
The cutting of the cake should take place after the speeches, and guests should not take to the floor until the bride and groom have had their first dance.