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Wedding Reception Etiquette Every Guest Should Know

So all your friends are getting married and you have seven weddings to attend this year and not one clue of what’s expected of you? We’ve got you covered with 6 Wedding Reception Etiquettes every guest should know.

Photo Credit (left to right): Front Room Photography, Collin Pierson Photography

Can I bring someone?
Unless your invitation says “and guest” don’t assume that you can invite your significant other, best bud or dog. Be considerate that the bride and groom probably have a set budget and cannot feed everyone’s “Plus One’s.” And please don’t text, call or email the couple asking to be an exception!

Where to sit?
When you first walk into the reception, you can feel somewhat like a deer in headlights. There’s a sea of tables and people and you don’t know where you are suppose to sit. First thing to do is scan the room to see if you recognize an escort card table or if people are open to take a seat wherever they please. If there are escort cards, grab the card with your name, take your seat and enjoy the evening!

When to hit the dancefloor?
Everybody wants to jump on the dancefloor, we get it! Be on the lookout for cues from the DJ for when it’s appropriate to hit the dance floor. Once the bride and groom have had their first dance, the father-daughter dance made your cry, and the wedding party has shook the room with their youtube worthy dance moves, then it’s safe to cha-cha your way onto the dance floor! You definitely don’t want to be that guest that interrupts an important and emotional dance.

Can I give a speech?
Your best friends are married and you want to express your happiness and blessings to them? You don’t need a microphone for that! As a rule, you should only make a toast if you’ve been asked to by the bride and groom. If you have something special to say to the happy couple, pull them aside and tell them. It will mean more to them than announcing it to the entire room.

Can I post on social media?
With the ever-growing obsession with capturing all of life’s moments on social media, it’s understandable that you’d want to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Tweet every moment of the wedding. Before you do, be sure to scan the room and see if the bride and groom have announced a customized wedding hashtag for you to use. If they have, then that’s a greenlight for you to start posting! If you’re unsure, then ask the bride or groom if it’s ok for you to share their special day with your followers. During ceremonies, many couples will ask you to put your phones away and enjoy the special moment with them, so do your best to recognize the moment.

When can I sneak out?
Weddings can be an all-day (and sometimes all-night) affair, and we understand if you have to get back to your real life and responsibilities! If you must leave, try to do so gracefully and at appropriate times. Do not leave during speeches! Try to wait until after the cutting of the cake, and grab yourself a slice because it’s good luck! Once the dance floor has opened and the DJ starts playing music, it’s safe to make your exit.

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