Monday, August 21, 2017
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Guest Etiquettes for the Ceremony
As an invited wedding guest you may find yourself at times uneasy or unsure about various things. This is common when in unfamiliar territories. Best practice is to be you and try to stay relaxed. You were invited to this special event because you are considered special to the bride, groom and/or someone in the wedding party.
Guest Etiquettes for the Reception
Once the wedding ceremony has completed, guests will commonly meet at the reception to celebrate with the newly wed couple. Wedding receptions often consists of music, dinner and dancing. Although the reception is a place to let loose and celebrate the couple's marriage, it is also a time where grace and manners need to be demonstrated.

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Guest Etiquettes for the Ceremony

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As an invited wedding guest you may find yourself at times uneasy or unsure about various things. This is common when in unfamiliar territories. Best practice is to be you and try to stay relaxed. You were invited to this special event because you are considered special to the bride, groom and/or someone in the wedding party.

What this means is that your attendance will be appreciated and remembered by the couple. You will have shared in a moment that is important and memorable and that stands to mark a significant and unique moment for them in time.
 Common ideas and etiquette to help you get better prepared:

  • Many guest face a dilemma when it comes to dressing for a wedding, one area to remember for men is that a tuxedo should not be worn before six o-clock in the evening. This is because a tuxedo is formal evening attire. When attending a daytime ceremony it is best to wear a basic or business suit (color does not matter but should not be too flashy wear it becomes more of a distraction)
     
  • It is very important to be on time for the ceremony. Do not walk in late as you could cause a disturbance.
     
  • All guests should arrive and be seated at least fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins.
     
  • If you are a relative or close friend of the bride or groom you may be asked to sit in an especially reserved pew located at the front of the church. You will know whether you should sit there either by receiving a note prior to the wedding or if the mother of the bride or groom informs you upon your arrival.
     
  • If you are arriving at the ceremony site and notice that the center isle runner is already in place, walk along the outside of the pews to take your seat instead of going down the center isle.
     
  • An usher will escort most single women guest to their seat. During this short walk the usher will commonly ask whether you are a special guest of the bride or grooms, this is so he may know where to seat you. Usually friends and family of the bride will be seated on one side of the church and the groom on the other.
     
  • If an usher offers you (a woman guest) his arm upon arrival at the ceremony, accept, he only wants to show you to your seat. While you are walking with him, you may make mild conversation by commenting on the lovely day or how pleasant the church looks. If along the away, you see someone that you would like to sit with be sure to inform him so he may direct you to that location.
     
  • Once the mother of the bride has arrived and been shown to her seat the ushers no longer escort guests to their seats. If you arrive late you may quietly take a seat in a back pew or stand at the back of the church if it is crowed.
     
  • If you arrive at the ceremony location early, you are in luck for the best seat. The isle seats are the best to sit in aside from the reserved seats up front. If you do get a good seat, it is common practice to feel as though you must shift over to accommodate seating for the other guests as they arrive and are being seated. There is no rule of thumb for this. You did arrive on time and so deserve the space you were given, simply move your legs to the side and allow the guest/s to slide past you.
     
  • Before the ceremony begins you may talk in a quiet voice to the person next to you.
     
  • The ceremony will begin once the mother of the bride is seated. At this time it is a good idea to be silent and alert. If you have not been present at a wedding ceremony before and don’t know what to expect, keep you eye on the other guests. Observe their actions and do the same, just before the attendants begin their walk down the aisle the guests will stand and turn to watch their entrance. Once the bride joins her husband, the guests will usually take their seats.
     
  • Being invited to a church of different faith than your own may seem different; just follow along with the other guests. If you are a Non-Catholic you are not expected to cross yourself or genuflect, for a nuptial Mass you do not have to take communion.
     
  • If you choose to take pictures, wait until the ceremony is complete. It is not polite to snap pictures during this time.
     
  • Once the ceremony is completed, the bride, groom and wedding attendants will leave through the main aisle. Guests should remain seated until every one in the reserved seats have gotten up and taken their walk up the aisle. Each pew will then get up and leave in a calm order.
     

The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding for couples. This is where the exchange of vows and important promises are made. Vowing forever is done openly and honestly and expressed sincerely. Your presence at this part of the event will be marked and remembered by the couple years to come, even if they do not find the opportunity to acknowledge your presence at this moment.

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