Wedding Do’s & Don’ts: Proper Wedding Etiquette

From late spring to early fall, it’s prime time for weddings. The temperatures are rising and love is in the air.  You may even have several weddings to attend this season, but don’t wait until the last minute to make plans. Did you know that there is a proper wedding etiquette to follow? Society has created rules on how much to spend on gifts, bringing a plus one, and even what to wear.  

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Wedding Gift?

Best wedding gifts

Of course, bringing a gift to a wedding is pretty much expected. But, how much should you spend on a wedding gift? The general rule of thumb is to spend no less than $50 on a wedding gift. However, if you are a friend or close relative, that guideline increases to $100 to $150.  Even if you aren’t attending the wedding, it is customary to send a gift unless they are more of a distant acquaintance. Many wedding invitations will include a link to the couple’s wedding registry. While it can sometimes be permissible to shop outside of the registry, it’s better to give them something they want or cash instead of risking a duplicate gift.

Can I Bring a Plus-One to a Wedding?

Can I bring a plus one to a wedding

When it comes to proper wedding etiquette, bringing a plus-one is definitely a hot topic.  The wedding invitation will be your main indicator of whether or not you can bring a plus-one. The couple will typically address the invitation to the recipient and include “and guest” if they are allowing you to bring a plus-one. Some invitations will solely list the invitee’s name, which means the invitation is for you only. Many couples opt to limit plus-ones due to budget. It can be expensive to buy food and drinks for extra guests, so they restrict the guest lists to only their closest friends and family.

What Should You Wear to a Wedding?

What should you wear to a wedding

Of course, you obviously shouldn’t wear white to a wedding. It’s safe to say that color is reserved for the bride only. If you know the bride isn’t wearing white, you should be sure to steer clear of whatever color she is planning on wearing. Black was once considered unacceptable to wear to a wedding, but the little black dress has changed that. Should guys wear a suit or is a button-down acceptable? If the wedding requires a suit, there will typically be an indicator on the invitation. Many modern weddings are less formal, which means a button-down and a tie could do the job. Ladies can get away with a nice dress, with or without heels. If you aren’t used to walking in heels but are planning on wearing a pair to the wedding, be sure to break them in and bring a backup pair of flats just in case they hurt your feet.

How Long Should You Stay at a Wedding?

How long should you stay at a wedding

Knowing when it is acceptable to leave is an important piece of wedding etiquette.  Most people say it’s safe to leave after the cake is cut, which usually comes after dinner, toasts, and dancing. Cutting the cake signifies the party is winding down, and guests will usually start departing shortly after.

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