Etiquette Q & A: Guest Questions
Have you been invited to a wedding recently? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
I have received a wedding invitation with a choice of menu. I am a vegetarian. They are offering beef or salmon. What do I do?
They are only offering beef or salmon, so you check beef or salmon, eat what you can and leave the rest. Hopefully your hosts will know you are vegetarian and will have arranged for some veggie meals to be served. If not, stop on your way home and get something to eat! If you are severely allergic to something, call the host and explain your situation, if they are not already aware of it.
What time should we arrive for the ceremony?
Guests should arrive at least twenty minutes to one half hour before the set time. If one arrives late, one should absent ones’ self in the corner of the ceremony site’s entry until the entire wedding party reaches the altar. Then be seated in the back row as inconspicuously as possible.
What should men wear, is a blazer OK?
Traditionally for a formal wedding a gentleman guest always wears a dark suit.
How do guests know when they should stand up?
The mother of the bride rises only for the bride, not the wedding party. She stands, when she sees the bride poised to take her first step, and once she stands, all of the guests stand.
Is it acceptable to bring a gift to the wedding?
No, unless it is a card with a check…and even those are best sent ahead. Traditionally, a guest has a year to send a gift, although many modern etiquette mavens have shortened it to three months. One never brings a gift to the wedding as it makes more work for the couple and their families. They have to lug it all home after the reception!
Is it permissible to take home a centerpiece?
Only if the family invites you to take one. Often these have been pre-assigned to special guests. Sometimes the containers belong to the florist and must be returned.