Weddings can be ridiculously stressful. Emotions are high, we’re surrounded by extended family, and there’s a lot of pressure for everything to go just the way we want it to.
With that in mind, there are some things you can do (or not do) to keep from adding extra pressure to the bride and groom. Some are well-known: You’re not supposed to wear anything even close to resembling white. While others are pretty obvious: Don’t be late, or wing a speech after taking advantage of the open bar.
Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of weddings and have witnessed some pretty cringeworthy moments. Now that wedding season is here, it seems like a good time to remind everyone of the things you should never do at a wedding:
1. Don’t bring extra people or forget to RSVP.
Weddings are a lot of money and every person who attends costs the couple even more money. It’s not an appropriate time to bring along uninvited guests or to show up unexpectedly.
2. Don’t text or take selfies during the ceremony.
What happened to common sense? Put your phone away for the ceremony and for speeches. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of time to Instagram everything later.
3. Don’t make a huge life announcement.
This is one of the best days of the couple’s lives; it’s really not a good time to announce your pregnancy/promotion/etc. This is their day! Let it be about them! Especially don’t propose or announce your engagement. FFS, this is why we can’t have nice things, people.
4. Don’t bring kids to an adult-only wedding.
If the couple politely requested that kids stay home, it’s not cool to bring them anyway. Get a sitter. Get a backup sitter if you have to. You probably had at least a month’s notice, so there’s really no excuse to ignore the couple’s wishes. Why do people get worked up over this? I don’t even want to hear my 4-year-old throw a tantrum. Of course, the couple doesn’t want to deal with it on their wedding day either.
5. Don’t hog the couple’s time.
It’s also the busiest day for the bride and groom. They have things planned down to the minute. Now is not the time to text them for directions, or bug them about whether or not there will be gluten in the wedding food. Say your congratulations when you see them, then move on and let them get back to their schedule.
6. Don’t try to take charge.
It’s not your responsibility to choose the music. The photographer doesn’t need your feedback about what photos to take. It’s not your call when the food or drinks are served. All of these people are paid to do their jobs the way the couple wants them done. So just relax, be nice, and tip well.
7. Don’t be a Debbie Downer.
Oh, the food isn’t to your standards? You’re upset that they waited so long to serve it? Don’t like the decorations? Didn’t find anything on the registry? Maybe keep it to yourself, just for one day. Because, again, it isn’t about you.
8. Don’t get shit-faced drunk.
Yes, most of us like to drink at weddings. Personally, it’s the only way I’ll dance at all. But don’t overdo it. Don’t become someone else’s responsibility because you can’t control yourself. You don’t want to end up starting a fight, stripping, throwing up in a centerpiece, or taking bets on how long the marriage lasts.
Weddings are supposed to be fun! They’re a reminder that love and hope are still alive and well when the rest of the world is looking like a dumpster fire.
The couple deserves for people to respect that it’s an important day for them. And everyone in attendance should get to have a good time. So don’t be that person who ruins the celebration or causes extra stress for others. A little self-awareness goes a long way.