Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

May 2022

11 Wedding Etiquette Don’ts For The Bride and Groom and Their Guests

Whether you are the bride or groom, or a guest, read up on these wedding etiquette don’ts so you can avoid them.

Weddings are tricky. Not only do the bride and groom have to deal with wedding planning issues and hiccups, they also have to ensure that they do not commit any wedding etiquette don’ts while planning their wedding and on their actual day. But despite their best efforts, things happen, and mistakes are made, since you may not even be aware of all the wedding etiquette don’ts. Guests, too, are not spared from making wedding etiquette mistakes either.

Here’s where we come in to help. Whether you are the bride and groom, or a wedding guest, we’ve listed out 11 wedding etiquette don’ts that you should be aware of to avoid committing an etiquette faux pas.

For The Bride and the Groom

1. Don’t keep your guests waiting too long

Sheena and Vivegan’s Stellar at 1-Altitude Wedding with Bold Florals by Thomas Tan Photography

Part of making your guests feel welcomed and appreciated is to ensure that the flow of events are smooth with little to no waiting time between programmes. If your venue needs some extra time to turn over after the solemnisation ceremony, or if you need time to touch up your hair and makeup, you should ensure that your guests are provided with some refreshments while they wait for the space to be ready for the wedding reception.

If your solemnisation ceremony and wedding reception are located at different venues, do make sure you allocate sufficient time for them to travel from one location to the other while factoring in possible delays such as traffic conditions. But, don’t leave too long a gap between the two programmes and let your guests wait or linger around. If you really need to, do ensure that your guests have a comfortable area to wait at with food and drinks and some entertainment to keep them occupied as they wait for the next programme to start.

2. Don’t forget to take care of your wedding party

Ame and Shaun’s Tropical Boho Wedding at W Singapore Sentosa Cove by Love Me Tender Films

Your wedding party will be going out of their way to help you with your wedding preparations and actual wedding day, so don’t take them for granted and forget to take care of them. Although they are ever ready to help with you any task you need help with, don’t abuse their good intentions by making them do everything on your behalf or expect them to put their lives on hold at a moment’s notice just to help you out with a task.

If your wedding starts early in the morning, do ensure that you provide some food and drinks for your friends before the day’s flurry of activities start. You also also make sure that lunch is provided for them, if your wedding lasts an entire day.

If it is within your budget, you can also consider covering the cost of your bridal party’s outfits and hair and makeup as a way to show your appreciation and gratitude for their help.

3. Don’t designate a singles table

Ming Tong and Daryl’s Honest and Raw Wedding with Gold Accents and Sustainable Elements at Botanico at The Garage by Bottled Groove Photography

Seating all your single guests at a table may seem like a great idea when you’re doing up the seating plan, but it will not be a move that they’ll appreciate on the day itself, especially if that’s the first time they are meeting each other.

If you have enough seats, try to include your single guest’s plus one in the invitation so that they have a companion at your wedding and will not feel left out when they are seated with others whom they do not know. Or, you can group a few of your single guests who know each other at a table with other guests, instead of singling them out at a particular table.

If you have no choice but to seat your single guests at a table where everyone else knows each other, ensure that you try to arrange for them to sit with people who has the same interests or are working in similar fields. Then, help break the ice by introducing your single guest to the rest and get a conversation going so that they can continue during the celebration.

4. Don’t make guests pay for their drinks

Jacqueline and Joey’s Heartfelt Wedding at Novotel Singapore on Stevens by Natalie Wong Photography

Since your guests were invited to celebrate your nuptials, they shouldn’t have to pay for any food or drinks during your wedding. Ensure that you have included sufficient food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages, to last your guests for the entire celebration. You should also inform your venue to bill any additional drinks that your guests may have ordered to you, instead of making them pay for what they have ordered.

5. Don’t forget to feed your vendors

Kamelia and Jeremiah’s Cosy Cafe Solemnisation at Belo by Bobby Kiran Photography

Whether it is your photographer, stylist or hair and makeup artist, your vendors will be the ones who will be working non-stop to ensure that your dream wedding comes true, so make sure you remember to take care of them as well by ensuring that they are fed and hydrated while they work on making your wedding a successful one.

You can pack small bags filled with easy-to-eat snacks and bottled water, and hand them out to your vendors during the wedding to make sure they don’t go hungry or thirsty while working on site. You can also ask your bridal party to ask the kitchen to set aside extra portions of the wedding meal for your wedding photographer or videographer, who may consume them after they are done with their duties.

6. Don’t skip out on greeting guests

Joanne and Russell’s Magical Horseback Wedding at Capella Singapore by Pixioo

Don’t hide away in your bridal suite once cocktail hour starts and leave your guests to mingle alone until the dinner reception commences. Be a good host and make a quick appearance to greet your guests. Thank them for taking the time to join you on this joyous occasion and check in with them to make sure that they are comfortable and well-taken care of. Your guests would also want to give you their blessings in person, so do make sure you are present to receive them.

If you don’t have time to do so before dinner starts, make sure to set aside some time during dinner to make your rounds and greet your guests. Or, you can also arrange for a traditional receiving line by the door to greet and thank your guests as they leave after a night of celebration.

For the Guests

1. Don’t forget to RSVP

Siti and Husaini’s Elegant and Ethereal Clifford Pier Solemnisation by Colossal Weddings

Forgetting to RSVP to the couple is a big no-no, even if your attendance is a given. The wedding couple have enough on their hands to keep track of and handle, so don’t make them chase you for your answer on whether you will be attending or not.

Their planning of the wedding seating plan depends on the list of people of RSVP to them, so if you have forgotten to RSVP, thinking that the couple will include you into their head count, only to find out at the wedding that you do not have a seat, things might get awkward for both you and the couple. So, don’t put yourself and them in that position.

2. Don’t bring your own plus one or children

Zona and Jeff’s Dreamy Secret Garden Wedding at The Summerhouse by Bobby Kiran Photography

If the wedding invite you received doesn’t state that you are allowed to bring along a plus-one, then chances are, you are the only person invited to the wedding. Not only would it be rude of you to bring along a second person when the couple has only catered one seat for you, it might cause some trouble for the newlyweds as they might need to find an empty seat for your uninvited plus-one, cater another portion of the meal for him or her, and even rearrange the seating arrangement, which took them weeks to finalise, to fit your guest in.

Bringing your children to the wedding when the wedding invite says “Mr and Mrs Koh” is also a no-no. While most couples are more than happy to include little tots to their wedding, some might prefer to have a no-kids wedding. So, unless your invite says “Mr Koh and family”, don’t bring your children along.

To avoid breaking wedding guest etiquette, it is best to read the wedding invite carefully. If you see words like “Miss Adeline and a friend”, or “Mr Lim and family”, then you are allowed to bring a plus-one or your children to the wedding. If you don’t, then don’t turn up at the wedding with unexpected guests.

3. Don’t drink too much and get drunk

Jane and Rob’s Intimate COVID-19 Wedding at The White Rabbit by Hong Ray Photography

Merry making is a given at weddings, but don’t get too carried away with the free-flow alcoholic drinks and end up in a drunken state and embarrass yourself and your host. We’re not saying don’t touch them at all, but know your limit and keep to it.

4. Don’t Swop Seats On Your Own

Carissa and Keith’s Intimate Wedding at Zafferano with a Relationship Gallery Wall by Fang Jie, Natalie Wong Photography

The bride and groom have given more than enough thought to the seating plan, so don’t swop seats on your own if you prefer sitting to the people at the next table instead of the ones you’ve been assigned to sit with. Doing so might cause some confusion and trouble for the happy couple and their bridal party, as it might mean they have to rearrange the seating plan for some of the guests during the celebration.

If there is a place card with everyone’s names at each seat, then you shouldn’t swop them just so you can sit next to someone you prefer to sit with, instead of the one you’ve been assigned. The bottom line is, respect the seating plan.

Now, if you really have an issue with the table or seat you’ve been assigned, let the bride and groom know through their bridal party, and see if they can swop seats for you, with the permission of the other guests, of course.

5. Don’t ignore the dress code

Giselle and Sean’s Classic Wedding at W Singapore by

If the wedding invite specifies a dress code, do dress accordingly. Don’t ignore the given dress code and end up over or under dressed for the wedding. The dress code is given to ensure that you are appropriately dressed for the event, so you can fee comfortable throughout the event. You don’t want to turn up in a casual dress meant for a more relaxed event for a ballroom wedding and vice versa. For weddings with a themed dress code, if you can, try your best to dress in theme.

Credits: Feature image from Shaan and Jerome’s Warm and Cosy Wedding at Artemis Grill & Sky Bar by Alone Together Co.

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11 Wedding Etiquette Don’ts For The Bride and Groom and Their Guests