Weddings Etiquette 101
The wedding season has been upon us in Barbados, the Caribbean, and… frankly all over the world! And the wedding season brings, of course, wedding questions.
One Wearing White — I have definitely seen them too... the fashionistas proclaiming that white is the "new black" this season in their attire. This may be true, but for weddings and showers, LEAVE THE SOLID WHITE TO THE BRIDE.
No Guessing Guests — Ok so we know this happens a great deal in Barbados. Unless the invitation specifically states "and guest" or "and family" you can presume ONLY THE PEOPLE NAMED on the invitation are invited. Although you may want, feel, think, and be sure others should be invited, only those issuing the invitations can make those decisions. FOR YOU SINGLES OUT THERE - WEDDINGS ARE GREAT PLACES TO MEET POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANT OTHERS!
Pay the Price for Postage — Wedding GIFTS SHOULD BE MAILED TO THE BRIDE (AND/OR HER PARENTS) IN ADVANCE, not brought to the actual wedding. Gifts are easily misplaced during the festivities and/or can be damaged in transport. Even a checque should be mailed to ensure the bridal couple receives it. And, whenever possible, put the card for the gift inside the package or wrapping for easy identification.
Ceremony and Celebration — I am always SHOCKED to hear that some people feel attending the marriage ceremony is optional!!! THE WHOLE POINT OF A WEDDING IS TO WATCH THE ACTUAL EVENT TAKE PLACE. It is rather tacky to skip the ceremony and attend only the celebration or food. The bride may not notice, but the other guests will. VERY TACKY!
Arrive Before the Bride — Ok, ok, this seems like the most obvious advice, but for some reason there are always stragglers. Make every possible effort to arrive at the wedding ceremony prior to the bride walking down the aisle. This means that IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE ROUTE TO THE AFFAIR, LEAVE LOTS OF EXTRA TIME. In fact, for any event let try not to arrive at bajan time! LOL
Clicking Cameras — Pictures may be taken at the beginning and at the end of the ceremony, but only the photographer hired for the event should be clicking away during the ceremony (this includes the vows, ring exchange and kiss). The clicks, flashes and sound of film rewinding can turn a serious and (usually) religious event into a paparazzi-fest. At least take them from your seats!
Until They Cut the Cake — Hopefully you are able to relax, dance and enjoy the wedding festivities. If you have accepted the celebration invitation, YOU SHOULD REMAIN AT THE PARTY UNTIL THE WEDDING CAKE HAS BEEN CUT. ONCE THE CAKE CUTTING HAS BEGUN, IF YOU MUST LEAVE, YOU MAY.
Gracious Good-byes — Before you leave, be sure to WISH THE WEDDING COUPLE WELL, congratulate the families of the bride/groom, and thank the wedding hosts (i.e. whoever paid for the wedding!).
First Year Myth — Someone somewhere began a vicious rumor that a guest can wait up to a year to give the wedding couple a gift. The twisted reasoning states that the guest can then be sure the couple will stay together before having to give a gift. This myth is simply not true. Ideally, gifts should be given before the wedding. If the wedding does not take place, the gift will be returned.
Smile, Smile, Smile — My strongest advice to bridal couples is to remember that when you turn to face your guests to walk back down the aisle after the ceremony, TURN, PAUSE, SMILE, AND THEN WALK SMILING THE WHOLE WAY. Too many times the couple races back up the aisle with a look of dazed confusion. The smiles set the whole tone for the celebration.
And remember lovies, you were invited because you were special enough to be part of that blissful wedding day. Let's all put our best foot forward!