Wedding etiquette is essential in making celebrations enjoyable for both the couple and their guests. These are the rules; a list of do’s and don’ts for the bride, groom, and guest to follow.

While etiquette may vary depending on the culture and personal preferences, some universal rules apply to all marriage events. So, if you are getting married or about to attend a celebration soon, read our guide to ensure your wedding etiquette is on point. 

wedding etiquette for couples and guests

Wedding Etiquette for Couples

  • Check the Invite List

You might have planned several pre-wedding events, such as engagement parties, bridal showers, or bachelorette parties. So before creating a guest list for each of them, remember that those invited to these events must be invited to the celebration itself. You can add people to your guest list, but it would look rude not to invite them after they have attended your pre-marital events.

  • Send Clear Invitations

We recommend couples send the invitations at least 6-8 weeks in advance. It should clearly state the time, location, date, dress code, and guest details. Also, don’t forget to include clear RSVP instructions – online on the website or through text message or email. If you expect a traditional RSVP response, include a stamped envelope with your address. However, include your website details if you want your guests to respond online.

  • Well-accustomed Suites

Choose well-accustomed and spacious rooms for getting ready. Why? Well, first of all, it gives you plenty of space to prepare. Plus, the extra space lets you photographer be more creative while choosing several wedding photography angles.

  • Prepare a shot list 

We highly recommend couples prepare a list for family photos. Such shots are important because marriage celebrations are a kind of family reunion. This is why you and your closest relatives would like to preserve these special moments. Typically, we suggest our couples provide a detailed list of family portraits. This way, it is easy to quickly do the portraits so everyone can get back and enjoy the rest of the party.

  • Communicate with the Photographer

Discuss with your photographer and let them know which specific moments you want to be captured. Also, you can ask them for some wedding photography tips to get timeless and gorgeous photos. It’s also a good idea to inform guests if you prefer they don’t take photos of you during the ceremony or other important instances.

  • Planning Transportation

If you are hosting a ceremony and reception at a different venue, it might be appropriate to offer transportation. If it is a remote location or a limited parking facility, you may consider a bus that can drive guests from one place to another.

  • Thank You Cards

Expressing gratitude to your guests is one of the most important parts of your marriage celebration. No matter how casual your event is, sending thank you cards afterwards is something you should not miss.

  • Photographer’s Seating

When deciding where to seat the photographer, consider a table location that is not in the pathway of the serving staff. If you assign them some space, ensure the photographer is facing you to capture the key moments from the day. Also, remember to let them know exactly where you decided to sit them.

  • Feed your vendors

Your vendors would be busy coordinating and making necessary arrangements throughout the day. So don’t forget to feed them. They should be well-fed and hydrated to keep up with the excellent work. As a rule of thumb, always ask the venue for space where the vendors can take a break to eat and coordinate. 

Wedding Etiquette for Guests

  • Avoid Blocking Photographer’s View

During marriage celebrations, everyone seems to love snapping a few pictures of the couple. Sometimes, out of eagerness, you may block the photographer’s view. This is especially true during the ceremony. So please be mindful and ensure you are not interfering with anyone’s work.

  • Request for Photos

Guests should avoid asking the photographer for their pictures using their cameras. Such distractions simply waste the photographer’s precious time. A good idea would be to set up selfie stick stations and suggest guests to use them.

  • RSVP Timely

As soon as you receive the invitation, make a note to RSVP as soon as possible. It becomes stressful for the couple to chase and follow up on invites. You may even take a cue from the invitation card and respond via a stated method of communication.

  • Don’t Wear White or Red

Wearing white on another person’s special day is an absolute NO. While no one would mistake you for the bride, it is still their day, so make sure not to break tradition. We also recommend not wearing bold colours such as red, as it may seem you are trying to upstage the bride. For men, styling rules are simple; a dark, well-cut suit would be appropriate.

  • Bringing Guest

The biggest unacceptable mistake is bringing someone who is not invited. If the invitation does not convey “Plus One “, only you are invited. Many people often mistakenly assume that they are allowed to bring a guest. When extra people turn up on the day, it becomes a massive headache for the couple who have put in a lot of effort organising for the day. If you are in doubt, always check with the couple to avoid ruining a carefully seated plan arrangement.

  • Keep Speech Short

Speeches and toast are essential to the special day, allowing close family members to share their heartfelt messages. If you’re giving a speech, keep it short and sweet. Take time to prepare for it, and always conclude with a toast to the couple’s new beginnings.

Lastly, marriage celebrations are a great moment to have a good time and let your hair down. Observing the rules of wedding etiquette will ensure your behaviour is appropriate. The most essential thing you can do is enjoy and celebrate the day with smiles and laughter. 

Wedding etiquette has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs and preferences. By following these insightful tips, couples and guests can ensure the day is memorable. 

If you are planning to get married and need assistance, let’s connect. Apart from our wedding photography guide, we are eager to further assist you and capture all your worthwhile memories.