But with all the excitement, build-up to the big day and emotions running high, even with all the good intentions in the world, it can be easy to get it wrong.
Whether it’s the ‘unwritten’ dress code, an impromptu comment or a well-meant (but not received) gesture, here’s how to breeze through the day without any bother – or ‘anxiety’ the next day….
1. Offer your best wishes to the happy couple
It’s traditional etiquette to congratulate the groom and wish the bride good luck. We suggest staying consistent and equal with your words – it seems odd otherwise, and someone might take offence.
2. Don’t wear white
We know, white is super trendy in the style stakes this summer, but save your suave trouser suit or lacy midi dress for a hot date – white at weddings is a no-no, and you don’t want to upstage the bride.
3. Don’t rock up late
4. Don’t mention the ex
We’ve all lost friends when relationships failed, but if they’re not a part of the wedding, former flames should not be mentioned. And if they have been invited, move on – don’t talk about the brilliant times you had when they were together – it’s massively offensive to any new partners.
5. Never make a drunken speech
If you’re making a speech, it’s only natural to try to calm your nerves with a drink or two, but pace yourself. Even if you think you’re OK, no wine is ever worth the shame.
6. Always shop from the gift list
There’s a reason why couples curate a wedding gift list. They’d like something they need or wouldn’t necessarily splash out on themselves – not your random offering. If you can’t afford anything on it, ask some other friends to club together so you can.
7. Stay away from the photographer
Much as you want those close-up candid shots on your camera or mobile, so does the professional photographer. There’s nothing more annoying than someone getting in the way of a well-rehearsed or impromptu photo opp, so politely keep your distance.
8. Don’t do a photobomb
Whether you’re part of the bridal party or guest line-up, don’t think it’s clever to pull a silly face, make a gesture or do something out of the blue – it’s not funny and it’ll get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.
9. Don’t be too showy and flamboyant
It’s not your party, so don’t try to call the shots. The spotlight should always be on the newlyweds. Even if you’re used to being the life and soul of a party, take a step back and be a happy onlooker. Chances are, you’ll thank yourself – and so will the couple’s in-laws.
10. Hush your complaints
If this was your wedding, you may well have done things differently, but it’s not. Keep your thoughts to yourself. And if something goes seriously wrong, lend your support.
11. Never ask to change seats or tables
We’ve all been there. Why oh why would anyone think you’d want to be on that table? Grin and bear it. Seating plans are a complete nightmare and there will be a reason you’re on that table. There’s plenty more fun to be had on the dance floor later.