How to do weddings right

Abide by these simple wedding tips and forever hold your peace

Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Illustrations: Amber Rose Pretorius

Wedding season is here and rice is in the air, and if you’ve had a weekend to yourself since summer started then you’ve obviously got more progressive friends than we do. 

Even if you shave your whole life ahead of you and your social calendar is a string of 21sts, you still need to know some basic wedding etiquette so that when the time comes to start sharing in other people’s nuptials, you conduct yourself like an adult.

Here’s how to be a better wedding guest.

Read the invite

The couple who has invited you to their wedding has had to agonise over your inclusion. There have been arguments, threats and someone else being bumped off the list so that you could be there. It’s simple, if the invite says RSVP then you can’t simply tell the bride you’ll “definitely be there” when you see her at yoga. Phone, text, email or do whatever is stated on the invite, and do this as soon as possible so that you can give them enough time to plan the biggest day of their life. Don't even think about asking to bring the dude you're currently chising and then the other important piece of information to gauge from the invite is…

The dress code

What works for a beach wedding might not be appropriate for your cousin’s traditional wedding in Dutywa. The invite should stipulate whether the wedding is black tie, formal, semi-formal, casual, traditional or Star Wars-themed. If it’s stated on the invite that means it’s not optional, if no dress code has been explicitly stated, then…

Make an effort

Put together an outfit that is elegant, classy and isn’t white. Nothing too loud either, you're a wedding guest, not a Christmas tree, and remember that black is for funerals. Even though weddings have become more casual you shouldn’t fall into the trap of dressing like someone who could be mistaken for a waitron. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Just make sure that you…

Wear something you can party in

You’re not there for a haircut. After the formalities are out the way you’ll want to cut the rug to Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. And trust us, you’ll be grateful when you’re doing the hora in ankle boots instead of heels. Don’t dance the hora? Why not try one of the other six dances you’ll see at every wedding?

Stay dressed

This means wearing an outfit that actually looks like you’re dressed. No flip flops, no shorts and not even a short-sleeve shirt, please. If you get hot then fan yourself with a hymnal or something. No matter how fun the party gets, don’t be the guy with his tie wrapped around his head, his shirt front unbuttoned, sliding around the dance floor in his socks.

No complaining

It’s hot, yes, we’re all hot, but you don’t have to keep reminding everyone about it. Sure, the wedding  might be the same weekend as Rocking The Daisies, and you may have had to drive a long way and booked a night at a B&B only to find the bridal couple didn't even provide a free bar. However, your loudly complaining about this won’t change anything and is frankly embarrassing. Which brings us to…

The thing about drinking

Show a modicum of decorum, champ. Just because there’s an open bar doesn’t mean you need to order triples or coax whoever is standing next to you into doing shots. Know your limits and instead of testing them, don’t even go anywhere near them.

Your presence isn’t a present

Hey, guess what? Weddings cost money! The least you can do is select the second cheapest thing from the registry, which is more than a wish-list of things a newly married couple would like, but instead is a fail-proof way of ensuring they don’t end up with 20 Pyrex dishes. Gift vouchers and cash are always good, and then there are some relatively new additions like honeymoon funds or donating to a charity of the couple's choice. Don’t be a deadbeat – take your wallet out. And your phone so that you can…

Use the hashtag

Even if you don’t get the newlyweds to trend on their special day, you should still try by posting all your content using the cute hashtag that they cleverly came up with. Yes the wedding photographers were probably paid a fortune to shoot the wedding, but it will be months until anyone sees those and friends and family are so much better at capturing candid moments.