The planning paid off, the wedding ceremony was touching and now it’s time for the best part of weddings…the reception! However, there are still wedding party etiquette rules to follow that will ensure your behavior is not the talk of every family function for the next ten years.
Alcohol & Wedding Party Etiquette
Yes, there is an open bar. Yes, the bride and groom want you to have a good time, but, they don’t want you to have a fall down drunk, make out heavily with your date in the corner type of good time. Everything in moderation here, people. Yes, you have the toast, and you probably need a few drinks in you before you’re ready to hit the dance floor, but, don’t be drama. And never, ever drive drunk.
Toasts & Wedding Party Etiquette
Though you may have something sweet & emotional to say to the bride and groom, unless they open the floor to toasts, if you’re not part of the bridal party, don’t hijack the microphone and steal the show. Either pull the couple aside later and tell them then or put it in a card. These days, though, opening the floor to toasts is common, so you’ll get your chance to pour your heart out about how happy you are for the newlyweds.
Dancing & Wedding Party Etiquette
Wedding dance etiquette states before the dance floor is opened to the guests, the bride and groom will have their first dance, then the bride and her father, then the groom and his mother and then it will be open to the rest of the guests to jump in. Do not ever cut in. It’s rude and not funny.
Leaving Early & Wedding Party Etiquette
Once the bride and groom have cut the cake, that’s the international sign it’s ok to leave the reception. You may have an important work assignment to get back to. You may have a babysitter you need to relieve. You may just be bored out of your mind and want out of there, but, you can not leave until that cake is cut.
Centerpieces & Wedding Party Etiquette
The MC usually has a competition for the guests while they’re waiting for the bridal party to finish their photos and the winner takes the centerpiece. If that’s not the case, do not assume you can take the centerpiece at the end of the wedding. Sometimes, they’re rentals and the bride and groom will have to pay out of their pocket for them when they’re not returned after the event. Wedding bridal party etiquette states you watch the centerpieces like a hawk.
There really aren’t any other wedding party etiquette rules except for this one: have fun in this fantastic celebration of your close friend/family member’s new life! Oh, and you’re contractually obligated to dance to “YMCA”.