Wedding Etiquette, Refreshed - Carolina Country

Wedding Etiquette, Refreshed

I do? I don’t? 7 tips for today’s attendees


Wedding Etiquette, Refreshed

Even before the pandemic, wedding etiquette was tricky. Nowadays, the do’s and don’ts around “I do’s” and being a good guest have become even more complicated. Some protocols remain true.

It’s best to RSVP quickly. Don’t be late to the main event. Others are less clear. Should you send a gift for virtual ceremonies? What’s the best way to greet others at in-person events? Hilton, a global hospitality company that hosts weddings, partnered with international etiquette expert Diane Gottsman to provide these tips:

1 Dress to impress
Let the suggested attire on the invitation or the couple’s website be your guide. Still unclear? Reach out to the hosts. As a general rule, dress up rather than down to show you put thought into the event. The same rule applies if you are attending virtually. And don’t wear white. It’s still reserved for the bride.

2 Honor air hugs
“Everyone has a different comfort level with closeness right now,” Diane says. “Pay attention to non-verbal cues. If someone reaches out for a handshake, hug or fist-bump, reciprocate if you feel comfortable. If you’re not ready for physical contact, offer another friendly gesture, such as a heartfelt nod. It’s okay to pull back, smile and say cheerfully: ‘I can’t wait until I feel comfortable with hugs; I’m just not there yet.’”

3Know the posting protocol
Unless the couple indicates otherwise, they have the right to post the first photos on social media, Diane says. If they encourage you to post at will, it’s fine to share your snaps. Use provided hashtags and remember that the official wedding photographer and videographer get first dibs on great shots.

4 Stash your smartphone
Use your phone to take photos, but once you’re done, tuck it away. It’s potentially distracting for you and off-putting for others.

5 Show courtesy at your lodging
If staying at a hotel with friends and family, be considerate of other guests. For instance, if you booked connecting rooms, think through how often you’ll spend time together and when you’ll keep the connecting doors shut or open, Diane says. While you and your roomies may embrace an up-all-night party vibe, nearby guests may not. Keep the volume down and the fun contained to your rooms.

6 Duck a debate
“Conversation will no doubt turn to hot topics, like politics, religion and vaccines. A gracious guest will make every effort to steer clear of volatile debate,” Diane says.

7 Give comfortably
The first etiquette rule here: send a gift, even if you can’t make the event. The second: don’t feel pressured to give more than is comfortable. Gone are the days when guests are expected to cover their per-head cost. Not sure what’s appropriate? Follow the registry. Cash and checks are great alternatives as well.

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