Wedding Etiquette Tips – For both You & Your Guests

Weddings are a lot of fun and a lot of work. I know…as I have been privileged to cater over 700 of them throughout my career.

And with that volume of weddings, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to behaviors and etiquette of brides & grooms and their wedding guests. (that behavior will be the topic of another article)

Following is a short list of some etiquette tips that may make your special day a little less stressful – for both you and your guests…

FOR BRIDES AND GROOMS: Here are little Etiquette things that could be a big deal if not handled properly…

I believe there are three things that can put a damper on your wedding reception:

1- You arrive late from your photos. During this time, the question would get asked of me- “Where are the Bride & Groom”? I understand how important your photographs are to you, but keep in mind that your guests are ready to start eating the furniture because they are hungry!

2- The toasts are too long-winded. I understand that the people you have chosen to toast you mean a great deal to you, but PLEASE don’t make the toasts the length of a 1 act play! 3-5 minutes is perfect, per toast!

3- You schedule all your activities back to back (cut the cake, toss the garter and the bouquet, bridal dances, etc.). While on paper this may seem like a good idea, keep in mind that all your guests are doing during this time is drinking, sitting and more drinking. That could be a problem later on in the evening. So, keep the party moving by respecting your guests’ time.

Other thoughts to keep in mind…

Start your ceremony on time.

  • Choose food that you want to eat, but also food that most guests will like as well.

  • Try your best to avoid a Cash Bar.

  • What does your venue look like? Is it clean, attractive, maybe even unique? Guests remember those little things.

  • Good Food & Drinks- But there is more than just that. Did they wait in long lines for the bar? Was there enough food for everyone? And here’s the kicker- guests remember food that is wonderful and food that is NOT.

  • Socializing / dancing- Are they able to talk, laugh, dance etc., with family and friends? No one wants to have a night of long-winded speeches and activities and only 30 minutes of dancing.