If you’re headed to a co-worker’s nuptials this summer, remember you are still the “face” of your company in social settings “outside of office hours.” These dos and don’ts of wedding etiquette will place you firmly in the “gracious guest hall of fame.”
Business Etiquette Tips for Co-Worker Weddings
- Do: RSVP as soon as the invitation arrives. After all, the bride and groom have many decisions to make based on the number of guests attending. Then, follow through on your commitment; cancel only for an emergency, not because “something better” came along.
- Don’t: Take uninvited children or friends. Those whose names appear on the outer and inner envelopes are the only ones invited. If your invitation includes “and guest”, reply with your name only if you don’t plan to take a guest. But, if planning to take a guest, include the guest’s name, as well.
- Do: Send your gift ahead of time to the bride’s home. This polite gesture frees family and bridal party members from having to secure and tote gifts brought to the ceremony. Consider checking the couple’s online bridal registry. Not only can you conveniently select and ship your gift directly to the bride’s home, but many online registries, such as Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn, also offer gift wrapping for a nominal fee.
- Do: Dress appropriately. No denim, please, or jeans or flip flops. Women who opt for a strapless dress can wear a stylish jacket, dressy sweater, or Pashmina during the ceremony, then remove the wrap at the reception. Also, let the bride wear white; she’s the one in the spotlight! Wearing ivory is okay. Men should wear a conservative suit or jacket, and a not-too-flashy tie. However– if it’s a destination wedding on the beach–then bring out the tropical attire!
- Do: Arrive at the ceremony at least 15 minutes early. Allow for traffic, for finding your way in an unfamiliar city, for late-running taxis, and for a long queue of guests waiting for ushers to seat them.
- Do: Remember to turn your cell phone on silent and let calls go to voice mail. Marring the nuptials with your phone’s latest ring tone will certainly land you in the “wedding guest hall of shame!”
- Don’t: Talk only to your guest at the reception. Introduce yourself to everyone at your table and make polite conversation, i.e., you might ask how he or she knows the bride or groom and say how you know them.
- Do: Be mindful of your alcohol consumption. Have a great time, but make sure that Monday morning’s water cooler buzz isn’t about you.
- Do: Send a gift, even if you cannot attend the wedding. Not only is this considered proper etiquette, it is a gesture that shows your friendship and support for the new couple. Be sure to write a heartfelt note of regret inside the card or gift enclosure.