Sharon Schweitzer: Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide
It's a We Are Austin wedding special! Etiquette expert, Sharon Schweitzer, of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide shares six tips so you can be the best guest. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @WeAreAustin and find us on Facebook at We Are Austin Lifestyle Show.
Sharon Schweitzer's Wedding Faux Pas & How to Avoid Them
Faux Pas #1: Wedding Crashers
Pay attention to the writing in the invitation. Does it include "and guest," specific names of children or your dog? If not, they are not coming. Invitations are selectively written and if it's not on the invitation, don't ask about it, and certainly don't bring any uninvited guests. The couple's budget, space, and arrangements are all catered for a specific number they would like to share their special day with.
Faux Pas #2: Respondez s'il vous plait
If a Bride and Groom do include "and guest," and/or the names of your children, it is imperative that you specifically RSVP for everyone included in the invitation. If all of your party is in attendance, let them know so they can begin to generate seating plans and accommodate dietary preferences as necessary.
Faux Pas #3: Better Late than Never
Respond to wedding invitations as soon as possible so the happy couple can begin to make their seating charts, budgets, and finalize wedding day details. To be the best wedding guest possible, responding within 24 to 48 hours will greatly help the happy couple. Never assume they know you are coming, even if you are family. They are keeping track of plenty of people and logistics at this time, therefore giving them a hard copy of your plans greatly helps the wedding day logistics.
Faux Pas #4: Wearing White to the Wedding
This day is not about you. Be a guest who is respectable, appropriate and still the beautiful soul you are! Remember to never wear white, ecru, eggshell or cream to a wedding. That is saved for the Bride. Black is more acceptable and accepted at weddings these days, but any variation of white is still off limits. Don't offend more conservative guests by popping on your slinky deep V cocktail dress. This is a time to celebrate the relationship of the happy couple. Reflect that in your dress whether you're a man or a woman.
Faux Pas #5: Attitude of Gratitude
As the Bride and the Groom, remember to write thank you notes to guests around three months after the ceremony. Resources such as Crane's & Co.'s Blue Book of Stationery, will help the happy couple to choose their best invitation and thank you note options. Always remember it is never too late to send a thank you card! Your guests put time into picking your gifts and they are looking forward to hearing how you've enjoyed them.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert, and the author of best-selling, international award-winning book Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, which was named to the Best Books of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews.