Wedding Traditions

Wedding date etiquette

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Etiquette helps the bride and groom have a perfect day
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Wedding date etiquette minimizes stress for the bride and groom

When you go to a wedding, you want to look your best, have fun and be there for the bride and groom. You usually also want to take someone with you, as well. But how do you know if you are permitted to?

Being familiar with wedding date etiquette can let you in on whether or not you can bring a guest. And if you are, these rules can help you determine who to bring.

The Invitation Says It All, Sometimes

The bride and groom likely put lots of thought into the wedding invitation. Besides the look of the invitation, they probably spent a good amount of time thinking of the wording, the font and everything else that goes along with creating the perfect invite. The envelope is just as important.

Typically, the people who are invited to the wedding are listed on the invitation envelope. That could be you, your significant other and perhaps other members of your family. It may even say your name and “guest.” If not, look elsewhere in the invitation. The bride and groom may have included a note that says you can bring a guest. If not, it may be an indication that only you are invited to the wedding.

When the Invitation Isn't Informative

Just because the invitation didn't include information on whether you can bring a date or not doesn't mean you can't. However, this does not mean you can show up with a date without letting the bride and groom know ahead of time.

The caterer is often paid prior to the wedding, and if you bring a guest without them knowing, they will probably have to pay cash for the extra head on the day of the wedding, which is a problem they shouldn't have to deal with on their special day.

Additionally, since seating probably took a while to figure out, bringing an uninvited guest can cause a major kink in those arrangements. Bringing an unannounced guest can also make giving out wedding favors difficult, as they may not have enough.

So what do you do if you want to bring a guest and don't know if you can? Ask the bride and groom. Since you were invited to their wedding, there's a good chance you are close enough that you can ask these types of questions.

Your date's exclusion may have just been an oversight, or they didn't know you wanted to bring someone. If they agree, go ahead and bring your date. If they would rather you didn't bring a date, don't take it the wrong way. The bride and groom probably have financial reasons for not doing so, or maybe they have to stick to a set headcount. The bottom line is this is the bride and groom's special day and you are there to support them, not cause drama.

Who to Bring

Since your date is a reflection of you, you'll want to bring someone who is respectful and easy to get along with. A date who is demanding, loud or rude will likely be a nuisance and make the bride and groom regret inviting him or her. And don't even think about bringing someone the bride or groom doesn't like or has a negative past with. Doing so makes things awkward for everyone and can interfere with the bride or groom having a great day.

Ask the bride or groom ahead of time if the person you want to bring is acceptable. If not, don't take it personally; this day is about them, not you.

Following wedding date etiquette can prevent awkward moments and tension between you and the bride and groom. Make their day memorable and go off without a hitch by abiding to these wedding date rules.


Essortment: Wedding Etiquette on Bringing a Date

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