This is part two of the Wedding Guest Etiquette blog we published last month.
When two people are married, it may be a beautiful and joyous occasion as they join to celebrate their love and commitment to one another. Additionally, it's a chance for loved ones and friends to get together and celebrate this momentous occasion. To ensure that the event works smoothly and that everyone has a good time, there are a few etiquette guidelines the wedding guests should abide by.
WHITE OR NO WHITE AS A GUEST
When preparing to attend a wedding, it is extremely important that a female guest considers her attire so as not to take the attention away from the bride. It is common knowledge that more than likely the bride will wear a shade of white, i.e.: cream, eggshell, ivory, or even plain white. It is somewhat common knowledge to avoid wearing any shade of white to a wedding.
Unfortunately, there have been guests who have violated that unspoken rule. Therefore, many couples have felt the need to make the request in the invitation, that the guests avoid wearing a shade of white.
On the wedding day, the bride takes the spotlight because quite a bit of consideration has been given in reference to what she will wear from head to toe, literally. There should be no question or confusion as to who is the bride when viewed on social media or any other platform. It should be a clear understanding of who the bride is, simply because of her attire and the color. Occasionally, a bride will wear a color other than shades of white. However, it is not often. Therefore, each guest should embrace the idea that refraining from wearing shades of white is proper etiquette and shows respect to the bride. Whether the guest is her dear mother, sister, grandmother, cousin, or aunt, it is her day and white is reserved for the bride. Essentially, you wish for the bride to have her moment and be celebrated completely.
One should try not to attend a wedding without either taking a gift with them or purchasing it prior to the wedding from the registry. Now, the age-old question is, how much do I spend on a gift? I believe it all depends on your relationship with the bride and or groom. A gift makes a statement. The gift you choose essentially informs the couple how much you were willing to invest in them. Oftentimes a guest has to invest in other ways in order to attend their beautiful wedding, i.e.: hotel accommodations, airline tickets, transportation (car rental or Uber), or even driving long distances. When all of that is considered, it is a gift within itself. At that point, a small well thought gift is appropriate between $25 to $50. The couple should consider all that was invested in order to attend their wedding and be overjoyed that they received a separate gift.
It is always safe to visit the registry early to purchase a gift. By doing that you have the ability to select a gift that is within that price range and you know for sure you have purchased what they desired and you have not spent an astronomical amount and can still fund what is necessary for your attendance. The guests who are local and may not have to drive more than 20-30 minutes to the venue, should consider investing a little more than those who are traveling long distances. I believe $50 - $100 is appropriate. If all gifts in the registry have been purchased, one can never go wrong purchasing a VISA gift card for the couple. Don't be afraid to give cash in a nicely sealed envelope with a card. Just be sure it is placed in the right hands or box. However, the safest is to give it in the form of a check or gift card.
Of course, one can take the liberty to give the couple considerably more than recommended. There is no limit on the amount a guest chooses to spend. However, there sure is an etiquette rule to give a gift of some value to the happy couple. Please don't show up empty-handed or without purchasing a gift via the registry. That's not proper etiquette!
CAN'T ATTEND THE NUPTIALS? SHOULD I STILL OFFER A GIFT?
If you have received an invitation and regretfully cannot attend the wedding, I highly recommend you send a gift to the couple. One would ask "Why?". Consider that the couple thought enough of you to invite you to celebrate with them on their special day. They wanted you there. That is called proper etiquette and signifies your regret of your absence, however, you still wish to celebrate them. It speaks volumes! In addition, can you imagine once the happy couple settles and begins to open their gift and sees yours even though you did not attend? That alone will warm their hearts and they will realize you thought of them and wish to bless them with a gift.
In a nutshell, a guest must make every effort to allow the bride and groom the space and opportunity to shine on their day. One should not conflict with the bride in dress color or anything else. A guest should focus on ensuring the happiness of the couple on that special day and beyond, that is why a thoughtful gift is necessary to add the icing on the cake-no pun intended!
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