TOP TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION ON A COUPLE’S BIG DAY, FROM RSVP AND GIFTS TO TIME-KEEPING AND CHOOSING YOUR OUTFIT COLOUR

by ASJAD NAZIR

There is always practical help, tips and advice for couples who are getting married; but what about the guests who are attending?

The outfits, location, décor and, of course, the couple play a huge part in making a wedding magical, but guests are also a major factor in making it a success. Most of those attending will have to follow their instincts when it comes to being the perfect guest.

Eastern Eye decided to provide top tips on being the perfect guest at a wedding and making the big day even more memorable.

Offer to help: If you are able to offer a helping hand it would be greatly appreciated, but only do so if you mean it. The couple doesn’t mind you not helping out, but will do if you make a promise and don’t keep it.

RSVP: First, make sure that you are attending the function and then reply promptly to the couple. Don’t assume they know you are attending and don’t just randomly turn up without that confirmation that was asked for as it is highly likely you won’t have a place to sit. If you can’t attend, be polite enough to let the couple know.

Guest list etiquette: Remember, a lot of planning goes into a guest list, including seating, budgets and so on, so the last thing you should do is request extra numbers or even worse to bring gate-crashers. Don’t make it awkward for the couple and be happy you were invited.

Don’t bother the couple: Getting married is magical, but also massively stressful, so don’t bother the couple with minor things in the lead up to the wedding or on the big day. Most of the times any minor problems like not finding the venue or selecting the right outfit or choosing the gift can be solved by common sense or asking a mutual friend.

Heads-up: Make sure you let the couple know about any food allergies well in advance or if you have any special dietary requirements, like being vegan or only able to eat gluten-free. If there is a last-minute emergency and you can’t make it, let the organiser know. Also, don’t just do an unplanned speech, and especially, without letting anyone know.
Be on time: Your inside knowledge of south Asian events may tell you that most never start on time, but that shouldn’t stop you from being on time at the function. Give yourself extra time to reach the venue and help add atmosphere during the build up to the special occasion.

Not all white: Dress to impress and light up the day with your swag. It may be your favourite colour and make you look fabulous, but don’t wear the colour white to a wedding (or if south Asian, a deep red). The bride wants to stand out as it is her day and part of that is to own the wedding dress colour.

Gifts: Don’t go rogue when it comes to gifts at a wedding. The couple will usually specify what they want, whether it is a registry at a store, money or charity donation, so respect their wishes. It is okay if you can’t afford a gift, but at the very least give a card with a heartfelt message inside it. Don’t do an extravagant gesture they didn’t request as that will usually backfire.

Be nice: Whether you are having a bad day, are in an awful mood or have a grievance with a family member who might be at the wedding, leave all that outside. Smile, enjoy the occasion and remember, the day is about making the couple happy, not about the dramas in your life.

Mingle: Guests interacting with each other not only generates the added atmosphere, but also makes it nicer for those attending. So introduce yourself to those on the same table and make an effort with others there for the same reason as you. Who knows, you could make new friends or even find a special someone if you’re single.

Message: Most weddings have a guest book for those attending to sign, so leave a nice message for the couple. It will be cherished for years to come, so make it special.

Go with the flow: Unpredictable things can happen at weddings, such as bad weather, traffic jams, delays, randomly meeting annoying people or the food not being to your liking. Don’t get stressed out and look at the bigger picture. Someone you care about is taking the first step into the next chapter of their life and celebrating their biggest and most important day, so just smile and enjoy the madness.

Drink responsibly: An open bar isn’t a green light to get so drunk that you become a nuisance and embarrassment. A wedding reception also isn’t a Saturday night party, so don’t drink beforehand and turn up sober. Remaining in control of your senses and not unleashing that inner party animal are the sensible options.

Respect the suppliers: The couple has spent a lot of money on the various suppliers, so allow them to do their jobs unimpeded. That includes the photographers and videographers trying to capture the best elements of the day, which means, don’t impede them for your personal selfies and snaps.

Social media responsibly: Check with the couple before sharing photos on social media. Some people want to keep the ceremony private and one of the couple may not want their pictures online. Sometimes, the couple wants to be the first to share the wedding photos and won’t appreciate you stealing their thunder. Pictures of you and your friends having an amazing time is fine, but err, on the side of caution when it comes to the couple. Don’t share anything that may embarrass the couple or their loved ones.

Tune in: The age of social media and smartphones means it is easy to get distracted. For this one day, switch off the phone and just be present in the moment. Enjoy yourself, help create a wonderful atmosphere and make memories that will last a lifetime. (Don’t forget to silence your phone).

Silence please: You might be catching up with friends after a long time or may have just met your future partner, but that doesn’t mean you should speak during the ceremony or speeches. Give the couple your full attention during the important moments.

Be positive: The food, bridal outfit and setting may not be to your liking, but that doesn’t mean you have to be negative and rain on the parade. If you don’t have anything nice to say to other guests, don’t say anything at all and just smile.

Be respectful: You may be closer to the couple, but it doesn’t mean you should dominate all their time. Offer your congratulations and allow them to have adequate time for other guests. Talking of timing, try staying as long as possible and if you are leaving early don’t make a big deal of it, and quietly slip out.