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21 Rude Things People Will Do at Your Wedding

August 09, 2019

These days, guests aren't as familiar with wedding etiquette and will likely make one of these faux pas at your wedding. It's not okay, but knowing these ahead of time will help you roll with it on the big day.

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Photo: Robin Cain Photography

Instagram the Ceremony

Now more than ever, couples are choosing to have an unplugged ceremony where guests are asked to turn off their cell phones. We even had a sign at my wedding that specifically said to turn off your phone and be present with us. And yet, some people still had their phones up taking photos as if they were at a concert. And, on top of that, they immediately posted the pictures on social media and tagged us in them. Not cool. We had an intimate wedding for a reason. We didn’t want those moments shared with thousands of people, just the 60 or so people present. If you’re concerned about this happening at your own wedding, you could have the officiant remind everyone before the processional starts that this is an unplugged ceremony.

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Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography. From: Abby Larson.


I vow to cherish the next wedding invitation I get in the mail because I now know the insanity that is designing and ordering and paying $$$$ for pieces of paper that most of your guests will just throw in the trash. But you know what’s more of an insult than chucking my custom, foil-pressed invitation that I spent hours designing? Not responding. Invitations are vital for getting an accurate guest count which impacts rental supplies, food orders and so much more. By not responding by the date listed on the invitation, you’re hindering the couple from making reservations on time. We even had an online option on our private wedding website where people could RSVP if they seriously couldn’t be bothered to drop a (pre-stamped!) envelope in the mail. And yet I still had people Facebook messaging me after the RSVP date saying that they didn’t know if they could make it. True story: I received an RSVP in the mail three days before our wedding with selections for gluten-free and vegan options and then their own food preferences scribbled in the corner. So, I scrambled to adjust our food orders and paid extra money to add more gluten-free options and another vegan entree and this couple didn’t even show up.

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Photo: James G. Stokes

Arrive Late

Imagine this: You’re about to walk down the aisle and wedding guests are trying to sneak in the back of the venue or even walk down the aisle behind you! This actually happened at my wedding and my wedding coordinator had to scramble to send them through another entrance. Rule of thumb: If you’re late to a wedding and the ceremony has already started, you should wait and join the guests at the reception. Your FOMO isn’t as important as not disturbing one of the most important 15 minutes of your friend’s life.

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Photo: GettyImages/ShyLama Productions

Bring a Gift to the Wedding

This is a cardinal wedding rule that I feel has been lost over time: You should never bring a wedding gift to the wedding. Etiquette rules say that you should mail the couple a gift within a couple of weeks of receiving the RSVP invitation. Other rules say you have a grace period of one year after the couple is married to mail a gift. But no one says to bring a gift to the wedding. If you don’t understand why, it will make sense to you once you plan your own wedding. On your big day, you have to juggle tons of logistics and many venues have very strict clean-up policies where literally everything has to be removed from the site by the end of the day. The last thing you want to worry about as you drive off to your hotel or the airport is getting that random salad spinner your cousin got you into the trunk of your car. Unfortunately, people are going to keep bringing gifts and cards to weddings, so couples have started to incorporate a gift table and a card box with signage at the reception. It’s a pain and it’s extra money for more rentals and decor, but necessary to contain the stuff. If you’re planning your own wedding, you should designate someone in your wedding party or a close friend to manage gifts and ensure everything is removed from the venue and delivered to you after the wedding.

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