8 Wedding Party Dos and Don’ts
If you’ve ever been in a wedding, you know a few of things are certain: you’ll be asked to wear the wedding party uniform; you’ll have to stand in front of the entire congregation through the ceremony; you’ll be expected to take the lead in getting the party started when the reception begins. However, there are a few things that might not seem so set in stone. Why? Every wedding–and every couple–is different. Generally reflective of the bride and groom’s personalities, weddings can range from laid-back and casual to super formal. No matter if the wedding is on a Satuday afternoon on the beach or on a Saturday night at a ritzy venue, there are a few do’s and don’ts that will always apply. Here, we establish a few ground rules for being a highly-regarded member of the wedding.
Do: Understand What’s Expected of You
What an honor, you’ve been invited to be a special part of someone’s Big Day. No one wedding is the same, and no one bride (or groom) is the same, which means that expectations are different. Expect to be present the day of the wedding, as well as the other events leading up to the wedding day. Depending on the couple and the traditions they want to honor, you could be asked to attend a number of events—engagement parties, showers, teas—over the period of several months. Here are some of the things you’ll likely be asked to pay—your dress/tux, the bachelorette/bachelor party, one or more wedding showers, hair and makeup on the wedding day, wedding weekend transporation and lodging. And don’t forget about the presents for the happy couple! In a nutshell, being a member of the wedding party can be expensive and time-consuming, so before committing, get a clear understanding of what exactly this entails.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Say No, Politely of Course
Because it requires a lot of time and money, it’s perfectly understandable and acceptable to politely decline the invitation. Reinforce what an honor it is that you were asked, but explain the very practical reasons you can’t be a part of his/her day in that capacity.
Do: Show Up on Time to Everything
Once you have committed to being part of the wedding party, you should remember that you are now a key player and your tardiness could throw off the entire schedule. If you’re asked to be at the rehearsal at 4:30, be there at 4:15. If you are asked to be ready for hair and makeup by 7am, be completely caffeinated by 6am. You're expected to be at the church by noon for pictures? Start doing inventory of your to-go items right after breakfast. Shoes? Check. Dress? Check. Big smile? Check. Bottom line—do whatever it takes to be on time.
Don’t: Forget the Schedule
There will likely be a lot of little things to do the day of the wedding, and the bride and groom have too much going on to manage all of them. Ask once and step in when others need information.
Do: Take Plenty of Pictures
Some of the pictures the couple will treasure the most will be the candids taken by their friends and family throughout the day. They look like this: casual moments of sheer, unposed bliss; celebrations with only your closest gals. Just remember your albums with the newlyweds. It might mean more to them than you realize.
Don’t: Post on Social Media
While we do recommend taking pictures, we don’t recommend posting them on social media immediately. While some couples may not have any opposition to their wedding day being visible on every social platform, others might not appreciate it—in the least bit. Remember, this is their special day. You were invited; your 604 Instagram followers were not invited. These days, many couples are opting to share where they stand on the issue before the Big Day. If you aren't 100% sure, choose to opt out of posting immediately. The bride and groom will thank you.
Do: Grin and Bear It
Let’s face it, not all responsibilities will be fun. For example, posing for photos in a black tuxedo in the middle of August in Alabama. Shopping for bridesmaid dresses every weekend in the fall. During these times, try to remember why you’re here and that this is a very big deal for a very special person in your life. Put on a big smile and remember it won’t last forever.
Don’t: Forget to Prepare a Speech
Even if you're comfortable speaking in front of crowds, please show up prepared. Think of tasteful stories, heartwarming memories, and funny tales about the couple. As long as it comes from the heart, it’ll be a hit!