12 Unspoken Wedding Etiquette Rules Every Guest Should Follow
At Old Church Chapel, a wedding chapel ceremony can range from very formal to extremely casual and even rustic. Here is a great guide from HouseBeautiful to unravel the mystery of what is “correct”.
1. Is there a rule that says wedding guests can’t wear black or white?
Not anymore. Unlike the bridesmaids, you can wear any color you want. However, if you do choose white, make sure “it doesn’t look remotely bridal,” suggests etiquette expert Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute. If you opt for black, “it should look chic, not funereal.” You should also consider the time of day, location, and any religious restrictions (for example, no bare shoulders or risqué necklines).
2. Speaking of church weddings, do I need to dress really conservatively?
It depends on the venue and time of day — some weddings are formal and others more relaxed, says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. Take cues from the wedding invitation. “That will give you a sense of the tone of the event.” A sleeveless sheath dress is generally appropriate for an afternoon church wedding.
9. How rude it is to skip the ceremony but attend the reception — or vice versa?
If possible, go to both — especially if it’s a good friend or family member’s wedding. If you have a major conflict that night, let the couple know well in advance. The protocol for leaving a reception early is to wait until the cake is cut, says Gottsman. And always find the bride and groom to thank them and say goodbye before you bow out.
12. When and what can I post on online about the wedding?
“You don’t want to post anything on Facebook or any other social media until your friend has made it public and you have her blessing,” says Gottsman. For example, if she just got engaged, she may have told you but not members of her immediate family.
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