If you’ve attended any weddings as a guest, have you happened to see an evening party that doesn’t take off, a desolately empty runway an evening party with very high expectations left unexpected?

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Etiquette and Bon Ton for grooms and guests
The bride and groom work weeks, months and in some cases more than a year on their wedding dedicating body and soul, time and energy, stress and fears all to make those few hours absolutely unforgettable for them and all the guests who will be by their side.
So much effort deserves to be valued and rewarded by friends and relatives while avoiding behavior that could create embarrassing situations or worse ruin all the work put in by the bride and groom.
In this article, drawing on our experience in the field, we have tried to list some rules of good manners and some small Bon Ton tips for you and your guests.

1. Confirm participation [Per gli invitati]

Dear guests, whether you have received the classic mailed invitation or a virtual Save the Date now so fashionable, you are required to communicate your participation in the wedding as soon as possible.
A wedding is indeed a big celebration but also a massive expenditure of energy and time by the bride and groom, not to mention the budget they invest for everything to be perfect and as they have always dreamed.
Therefore, by making a decision in a short time and communicating it you will respect the organizational work of the couple who will be able, having defined the precise number of participants, to proceed more expeditiously in their preparations.
You will thus put the bride and groom in a position to make arrangements in time with catering, location, wedding favors etc; They will definitely appreciate your quick response!
Remember to NEVER take your attendance for granted!
This may sound trivial, but it is not.
It seems unbelievable, and yet very often it happens that confirmations take a long time to come from the very people closest to the newlyweds.

2. Avoid white [Per gli invitati]

It seems trivial to be reminded of this again, yet many wedding guests fall into the most egregious of mistakes, which is to tarnish the bride by wearing what is the quintessential color of a wedding.
Only the bride, if she wants, can wear white.
Therefore, any outfit in this color should be excluded a priori: the same goes for its shades, ice, cream, ivory or dresses with a train.
To choose such borderline shades is to run the risk of drawing the eyes of those present away from the bride.
The perfect wedding guest is well dressed but not overdressed: elegant and fashionable but not exhibitionist.
Eyes should only be on the bride (and groom), at least for that day. Also, do not forget to consider the right outfit in consideration of the type of wedding: Skirts that are too short or shoulders that are excessively bare are forbidden in the church, as well as long and overly ornate dresses, exaggerated front or back necklines or excessive transparencies.
If you are among the bride’s closest friends, go to her home to help her get ready and to share with her these moments of great happiness but also deep tension.
The perfect invitee arrives early at the church and can offer to help the bride with dress fittings just before the grand entrance.

3. Self-confident enough [Per gli invitati]

Whether it is a wedding for a few intimates or a celebration with large numbers always try to maintain a respectful, calm and cordial attitude.
Let us always remember that delusions of grandeur are unladylike!
The basic rule is not to steal the scene from the bride and groom.
During their wedding the bride and groom will have almost no respite between hugs, thank-you chats left and right and constant excitement, so don’t claim their attention for yourself, even if it is your best friend.
Respect their space, and avoid inappropriate exits.
This certainly does not imply a minimal and aloof attitude, but the wedding is the crowning of a dream for those you love, but also an unforgettable party for those who attend, so laugh, dance, toast, chat and even indulge in a few small moments of craziness, but never lose control.

4. Children should not be left to run wild [Per gli invitati]

When the bride and groom draw up the guest list, they might consider not extending the invitation to the children of the guests, which is especially the case when the number tends to be large.
If not, it would be important for them to contact an animation expert who can entertain them.
A wedding is not a suitable event for children; It is tiring for adults let alone for them to be bored and deprive their parents of the freedom to enjoy a day as ‘sweethearts.'”
If you have received an invitation for you and your entire family, don’t leave your children in the lurch and before you leave for this long day, invest a few minutes explaining to the little ones that this is a party, but it is also an official event, so no yelling or ball games in the mansion garden.

5. Think of others not just yourself [Per gli invitati]

If you have never been married, it is likely that you do not have a sense of how much work is put in and how much time is spent so that everything is perfect on the wedding day.
You will understand, then, that any small variation made at the last minute to detailed structured programs more truly jeopardize the success of the wedding.
If, for example, you have confirmed your attendance, but then show up as a couple, or if vice versa you have confirmed the attendance of the entire household, but then someone due to sudden inconveniences cannot be there, notify the bride and groom as soon as possible, and they can adjust with their suppliers.
Stupidly it is widely believed that ‘One more, or one less, what difference does it make?’ but if even a third of the guests felt the same way what would happen?

6. Dress appropriately [Per gli invitati]

Unless there is a dress-code that explicitly provides some guidance on the required outfit, a wedding remains a formal celebration and as such requires appropriate style.
To make no mistake, prefer an understated outfit to a flashy one.
Be discreet in tone, in expressions since one can be cheerful and celebratory even without becoming rude or vulgar.
It is the day of the bride and groom remember that.
It happens more and more often that style lapses in looks are noticed among guests since we often see the wedding as an opportunity to wear glittery outfits that we would hardly wear in everyday life but forget that we are not preparing for a New Year’s Eve party.

7. Let’s party? Yes, but with demeanor [Per gli invitati]

Try to maintain control even and especially when faced with the opening buffet or the dessert buffet, since free looting might have been contemplated in the days of Robin Hood but not today as we have unfortunately witnessed several times.
By this we do not mean that you have to sip the food you put on your plate; You can taste whatever you like best without, however, overdoing it.
You don’t want to be remembered for your gluttony, voraciousness or worse for having an atomic hangover as early as the aperitif.
So celebrate, have fun, but with demeanor and without ever falling into bad attitudes because the wedding is a joyous day, you have to have fun while remembering, however, that it is a formal event behind which there are enormous sacrifices and very high expectations.

Also among the things to pay attention to during a wedding are timing and specifically punctuality. A little lateness is allowed only for the bride, so guests should try to be on time.
Then if you are late, for example for the ceremony, be discreet or better wait outside!
If you are then, or have been elected as the contact person/organizer of the games and jokes for the bride and groom, try to use common sense since in the several years of working in the field we have really seen it all;
Tasteless jokes, poorly organized, uninvolving, and some offended the sensibilities of the bride and groom.
They also may not be tolerated or granted by the location, so always confront them before acting.
We then advise you not to get drunk or lose the staffs; You might ruin the bride and groom’s best day.

8. Compliment the bride and groom [Per gli invitati]

At every wedding there are, on the one hand, the high expectations of the guests and, on the other hand, the bride and groom’s fears that their relatives and friends may be bored or may not find the food, the location, and the music and entertainment-related part to their taste.
Reassure them about how great everything was, expressing appreciation for the menu, the venue and musical entertainment and more generally for the day with special consideration for the bride, who will be looking forward to nothing more than your comments on her wonderful dress

9. Cadeau to the bride and groom [Per gli invitati]

Even if there is not great confidence or a close degree of kinship, thank those who invited you to the wedding by giving them a small present, preferably taken from their wedding registry.
Find out about their wedding registry, and if-as many now do-they have opted for a money list on the account or a travel list, it will be easier; You will avoid unnecessary comings and goings in stores and malls, and the bride and groom will be able to realize their dreams thanks to the contributions of their loved ones.
Avoid unnecessary and unwelcome gifts: there is nothing more embarrassing for newlyweds than having to flash a smile in front of yet another silver photo frame!

10. Exchange a few words with the bride and groom’s family members. [Per gli invitati]

Whether you are from home or not, the parents of the bride and groom and their immediate family members will certainly have contributed to the wedding planning in terms of organization and sometimes budget.
Be sure to introduce yourself, if you don’t already know them, and thank them for a wonderful day.
And when you leave the party, give them a cordial greeting. You will definitely be remembered!
Then given that we are in the age of social media, it would be wise to avoid wild selfie taking or posting voluminous photos of the day; In agreement with the bride and groom, it would be ideal to create a specific wedding group and give anyone the opportunity to have all the photos of the day flow into it. You will thus avoid posting photos that are seen by those who were not invited to the wedding … or capturing relatives and friends in awkward poses.

[Per gli invitati]

In all these years spent going from one marriage to another, we have really seen it all, and when you are convinced you have seen it all, you still risk being surprised at certain situations.
To this decalogue of guest tips we could add many other things such as:

  • Invitees changing shoes upon arrival at location with clogs or slippers
  • Girls in church showing deep cleavage on both sides
  • Women plunge in a desperate attempt to catch the bouquet
  • Taking the confetti tasting for a last-ditch assault
  • Requesting a trap song from the ceremony harpist

These are just a few of the many situations we have witnessed over the years, and the list could go on for quite a while longer, but we will stop here in the hope that we have made you think and provided valuable insights to prevent the wrong attitude from going against both you and the bride and groom.
We now shift our attention and advice regarding Etiquette and Bon Ton to the bride and groom.
In fact, despite our 30 years of experience even today, we are still sometimes stunned at the sight of inappropriate, disproportionate and tasteless attitudes and situations.
Sometimes it almost seems as if the bride and groom forget that they are in a convivial, sharing event; It matters little whether they have planned an intimate wedding with a few people or a pompous event with hundreds of guests-they must remember to have respect and an eye for everyone in addition to always maintaining control of the day and everything that happens.
It may sound like cynicism but we assure you that fairy tale weddings exist only in the movies, we often remind our wedding couples. A wedding is a very complex event in which several services interact at the same time, the weather can upset plans without any warning, and the unexpected is always around the corner to all this consider that being a perfect, beautiful, smiling, available for photos, hugs and chats all day long is not at all easy in fact we guarantee that it is very tiring.
So here are some Bon Ton tips for a wedding of elegance and good taste

1. Adherence to Timing

This aspect is critical to the success of your wedding and to allow the services you have hired to express themselves in the ways planned in the months beforehand. Small delays are allowed and by any professional budgeted for, but large delays cascade into all phases of the wedding as well as being the basis of things not to do in order to achieve an elegant and relaxed atmosphere wedding. A major delay of the bride at the ceremony or a substantial delay of the bride and groom upon arrival at the venue can offset all the timelines of the day by no longer being able to guarantee the bride and groom what was agreed upon.

2. Plan and Delegate

We have already told you that marriage is a very complex event. The more time you invest in planning every single moment of the day in different aspects, management, entertainment, service coordination etc. the less chance of having unforeseen events during the wedding.
We are aware that it will be impossible for you during the wedding to keep the situation constantly monitored, (you are the bride and groom have other things to do, we would miss it) so remember to delegate different aspects of the day to several figures to make sure that you put all the services in a position to do their work as agreed. Don’t underestimate an art director to oversee the progress of the day for you by managing services and games/plays by friends. For our Team to take care of the artistic direction of the wedding is a pivotal point is will be a guarantee of success for you.

3. Changing Shoes

Shoes for the bride are an essential accessory to further enhance one’s figure and consequently the dress.
Unfortunately, as the evening portion and thus the dance approaches, many brides change them in favor of more comfortable footwear that often lacks heels.

At this point, however, the dress may turn out to be too long so brides are forced to fasten the dress as it happens penalizing both the dress and their silhouette.
Although this need of brides is very understandable.
When you try on the dress, try walking even without the 12 heel and see if it allows you to move freely or if it is in the way.
Consider small changes that will then allow you to fully enjoy the party even with flat shoes; in fact, it is not uncommon to see dress changes for the evening party or dresses with zippers that go to remove the bottom part of the dress to increase the mobility of the bride who has to rock the dance floor.
If you then opt for a change of footwear, avoid flip-flops / ballet flats / or colors that have nothing to do with you or your wedding’s file rouge. Questionable choices reset the Bon Ton!

4. Perfect groom

Although it is common knowledge that the bride is the undisputed queen of the day even the groom must follow certain Bon Ton rules to maintain a high profile.
Therefore, it is forbidden to take off your jacket, vest or tie as soon as you enter the hall despite how hot the day may have been for you.
Strictly forbidden to take the shirt out of the pants or remove shoes.
Toast and party but never overdo it; Your presence will be required all day long and as friends and relatives leave the party it will be your imperative duty to greet and thank them.
Avoiding getting drunk would already be a great achievement to avoid getting sick the least.

5. Management of friends

Without them, there would be no party since they are the soul of the wedding and often turn out to be more excited than the bride and groom.
However, due to overzealousness, the pranks and games they devise for your wedding can turn into a boomerang by embarrassing you or putting you in dubious situations.
Dictate precise rules and identify a trusted person for them to coordinate their actions and supervise that good taste never fails.
If videos will be broadcast make sure they make contact with the DJ or musician on duty and limit the length of the projection to 10 minutes maximum. Excessive durations in addition to being boring can lapse into tacky or vulgar.

6. The location

One of the first rules of etiquette and Bon Ton is unconditional respect for things and people.
The venue that will host your wedding should be respected, nor should the indoor and outdoor spaces be respected, nor should the limitations and stakes agreed upon in the contracting process.
Remind guests that the garden is not a soccer field, flowers, furnishings, and furniture should be preserved from stupid and inappropriate behavior, and if the number of children attending the wedding exceeds eight, plan for them an entertainment that knows how to keep them occupied at least for the duration of the meal.

7. Set-ups

Good manners are often left at home so it often happens at the end of the evening to see the bride and groom desperately searching for that vase, that centerpiece, that piece of furniture owned by the vendor that has disappeared into thin air.
I understand it may sound silly or obvious, but remind your guests that, wedding favors aside, all the items on the venue either belong to the facility or to the vendor to whom the bride and groom will have to pay for any breakage or missing items.
It would be quite a bummer at the end of the wedding to find additional unplanned expenses due to stupidity, goliardia or greed of the guests.

8. Services

We go back to the concept of respect we talked about earlier as the service staff and operators all, work to make your day and that of your guests wonderful.
It is heavy work often done under boundary conditions for several factors. They will work relentlessly throughout the day, so have a good eye toward them.

9. Wine and spirits

By now we have lost count of the number of times the groom or the bride or both have finished the wedding tipsy or worse completely drunk.

Partying is fine but overdoing it to the point of completely losing control can become a problem for you and also for those who are working for you. If you raise your elbow, avoid going to the console waving your beer glass over it.
Electronics and liquids do not get along well.
In addition, your presence and lucidity may also be required for certain situations during the evening, if only to properly greet guests as they gradually leave the party.
Have fun, party but think about what ultimate image of you and your wedding you want to leave with your guests.

10. Respect for other people’s property

You have chosen the location of your dreams, you have paid handsomely for it, and because of this sometimes the bride and groom or their friends mistakenly believe that they can behave as if they were in their own home, actually worse.
We are no longer talking about Bon Ton or Etiquette but about real rudeness, unspeakable and disrespectful behavior toward the place hosting your party and the services that are working there.
Always reflect that in addition to ruining your marriage you can also ruin the marriage of other people who have nothing to do with you.
Making a location unusable the next day or ruining the DJ’s equipment can also create a disservice to that wedding couple who had chosen their services the next day.
Think about how you might feel if you had to give up part of your location because it was rendered unusable by someone’s reprehensible behavior using it the day before yours!

That said.

Remember to use a modicum of common sense in all the choices you make.
Remember that the wedding is not just your day but a day of celebration for the bride and groom and guests, and everyone should be able to enjoy it freely and feel comfortable.

Now with this knowledge you can devote yourself to planning the different aspects of your wedding or you can visit our website and go to the contact page to book a specialized consultation with our Paul and figure out how to leave your guests with a pleasant, indeed, indelible memory of your wedding.
Remember that

“Marriage is a live movie. You can’t go wrong because you can’t buy a memory.”

We always say this to all our wedding couples.
A few simple tips combined with a dash of common sense will make your day a memorable event.

I am Paolo Furlan the first Wedding Music Planner in Veneto and founder of the Wedding Symphony music agency specializing in music for civil or religious ceremonies and music and entertainment for wedding receptions.

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