11 things to know if you are going to a wedding

Unless you have been to a long string of weddings in the past, going to a wedding can put you out of your comfort zone. You want to make a good impression, but you aren’t sure what to do and what the rules are. Women live for these things, but guys, not so much. To help you, we have made some simple guidelines to follow to keep you safe and let you have a great time and impress everyone there on what a nice guy you are. 

Understand the invitation

The invitation will generally tell you everything you need to know, from dress code, to venue, and how many they are expecting. Is it just you? Or a plus one? Is it black tie? Black tie optional? Casual? Do you have to travel for it? What date is it? Do you need to take time off? Basically, read the invitation and if you have any questions, call them, though the invitation should cover it all of it if it is well planned. 

Reply fast

Let them know immediately if you are coming, and if you are coming alone or with a date. There is a tremendous amount of planning in a wedding and the sooner they know who is coming and who isn’t, it makes it a lot less stressful for the couple. So, reply immediately. 

No extra guest if not permitted

If the wedding invitation says just you, that means just you. Do not bring a date and think its ok, it is not. Every seat and meal are planned at a wedding, there are no extras. If you really want to bring someone, and you know the couple well enough, you can call and ask them, but it should be a good reason. If in doubt, just do what the invitation says. If it says plus 1 and you aren’t going to bring anyone, let them know that as well as soon as possible. 

Dress code

Make sure you dress appropriately. Know what black tie, white tie, black tie optional, formal, and casual all mean. Black tie is tuxedo, black tie optional means tuxedo or formal dark suit. White tie means tuxedo, but you will have to talk to a rental place, as that is as formal as it gets. Formal is suit, and casual is not casual. Yes it says casual, it doesn’t mean jeans casual. It means slacks and blazer casual. Think going to the yacht club. Casual just means one step down from wearing a dark suit. If it’s a beach wedding, you are still dressing up. You are showing the couple respect, so dress appropriately 

Don’t stand out

The couple is the main focus, not you. Don’t wear a tuxedo if it is casual dress, and don’t wear a bright yellow jacket. do not wear a white suit or jacket under pain of death. You are there for them, so fit in with everyone else and let them have their moment in the sun. 

Buy a gift

You are going to a wedding, so it is appropriate to buy a gift. Women know this and know how it all works, so if you are unsure, ask a woman friend. Very often they will be registered, which means they have picked a list of things they want from a particular store, and you go and buy from the list. That way they don’t get duplicates as when you buy, the store removes it from the list for others. 

On time

Do we have to explain this one? It’s a wedding, it has time to start, you don’t want to be sneaking in after it started and disrupting things. If it’s a church wedding, just wait at the back, and just feel bad that you were late. Better still, be early. 

Stay longer

Sometimes people disappear from the receptions like rats leaving a sinking ship. Remember this is for the bride and groom, if they can stick it out, then you can. Show some respect and stay until the end, or until the bride and groom leave. 

Thank the couple before you leave

If you’re going to leave, make sure you thank them for inviting you and say some nice things about the wedding, it will be appreciated. This is a special day for them and they shared it with you, so the least you can do is thank them. 

Thank you note

A much-forgotten courtesy is the thank you note. We have learned to send thank you notes for almost anything people do for us. It gives people joy receiving it, and it shows them that you respected them enough to take the time to write a handwritten note thanking them and then mailed it. 

Don’t drink too much

Even if it’s an open bar, don’t get drunk, there is nothing worse than a drunk at a wedding. It is a fast way to not get invited to any others (unless that’s what your agenda is). Drink responsibly, and if you are single, one of those attractive bridesmaids might take notice. 

A wedding is stressful for the bride and groom, but also for the guests if you have never been to one and don’t know the rules. Most women seem to be born knowing the rules on how to act at a wedding, but not guys. So just keep in mind, this is for them, not for you, and treat the day in that manner. Enjoy.

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