Do You Really Know the Rules of Wedding Etiquette?

John Miller

How should you break the news of your engagement?

Many people make the mistake of simply posting their engagements on Facebook, Twitter and the like. Consider actually informing your friends and family in person rather than on social media for likes and reaction emojis.

If you bring a camera to a wedding, what should you do?

Yeah, that smartphone captures amazing images. And if you don't put it away, the photographer might take pictures of your drunken antics on the dance floor and immediately post them on social media for thousands of people to see. Have fun with your camera but just, like, stay out of the way and don't make a spectacle of yourself.

Are you allowed to register for gifts if you've been married previously?

It doesn't matter how many times you've been married -- you can always register for gifts. And your guests can always skip the registry and buy you a rubber chicken.

If you've been invited to a wedding, how important is it to complete the RSVP process?

See that stamped envelope with the RSVP instructions? If you've been invited to a wedding, you really should complete the process -- if you don't, the couple won't have any idea how many people are actually going to show up. And if you really, really don't like the couple, skipping the RSVP is a wonderful way to get them out of your lives for good.

If you're a bride, who should you have walk you down the aisle?

These days, brides can ask anyone they want to walk them down the aisle -- or just go it alone. Or skip the aisle walk altogether, because it's that kind of era.

If you're a parent, what should you do with your young children at a wedding reception?

Oh, we get it -- a wedding reception is a rare opportunity for you parents to cut loose and socialize, drinking beer for six hours to numb the pain of your suburban existentialism, while your toddlers scream and paw at the faces of their small dance floor rivals. Or more appropriately (and rarely), you could, you know, continue being a parent.

If you want to give money as a gift, how should you address the check?

The bride and groom don't really care who you make the check out to -- they just want your money, because that trip to Vegas ain't free.

How should guests deal with dress code stipulations for a wedding?

Even if you're a former star on "Magnum P.I." you need to follow the dress code. Showing up to a black-tie wedding in a Hawaiian shirt is a good way to find yourself ostracized in a hurry.

If you're having a kids-free wedding, can you also have a ring bearer and flower girl?

So you don’t want kids screaming throughout the day? No one can really blame you. And you can absolutely have a ring bearer and flower girl in your ceremony if you want.

What time should guests arrive to a wedding?

It happens at Every. Single. Wedding. "Those people," the ones who arrive with sheepish grins right as the bride walks down the aisle. Your excuses will never make up for the shame you've brought on your family name.

If you're a single woman, what should you do during the bouquet toss?

Yeah, the bouquet toss is pretty cliché, but it's the couple's party, not yours. If you're a single woman, humor the bride and participate in this game instead of leaving her hanging.

What are invitees expected to provide after they receive a wedding invitation?

This is why some annoying couples send invitations to everyone they've ever met in their entire lives. If you receive a wedding invitation, you're generally expected to offer up a gift of some sort even if you can't attend.

If you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and there's no "plus one" option on the wedding invitation, what should you do?

These days, it's not safe to assume that every wedding is "plus one" for everyone. If you have a new squeeze (or a frantic last-minute Tinder date to avoid looking lonely and desperate), run it by the couple first.

How should guests approach the couple's gift registry?

Gift registries are a wonderful invention because they make it easy to find something the couple needs. But unlike the old days, they aren't a hard and fast rule -- you can choose whatever gift you like, such as a toaster you found in a dumpster near your house. Be polite and clean it first.

How much should you tip vendors at your wedding?

Wedding vendors, like caterers and DJs, don't generally expect tips. But if you receive exceptional service, you can definitely tip them if you want to.

Do you have to invite all of your co-workers to your wedding?

Some people are pressured to invite co-workers to the wedding. The fact is, you don't have to invite anyone you work with unless you really want to.

If you plan to drink at a wedding reception, what should you do?

Alcoholic beverages are common at weddings, and so are post-party arrests for intoxicated driving. Don't risk your life or anyone else's, because it's a really good way to put a damper on the couple's honeymoon -- call a cab.

True or false, is it OK to wear black to a wedding?

In olden times, black was reserved for funerals only, so it was an insulting choice for weddings. These days, black is back, and you can wear it just about anywhere, including a wedding.

How should you invite guests to a wedding?

Yeah, we know you have a Facebook account. No one cares. Your wedding is important, right? Send a paper invitation and ask people to kindly RSVP.

If you're impoverished and a bride asks you to be a bridesmaid, what should you do?

In many cases, bridesmaids and groomsmen must pay for all of their clothing (and other costs) during weddings … and this can be hundreds of dollars. If you're broke, ask the couple how much you'll have to spend, and if it's too much, be smart and don't make the commitment.

Can you invite someone to a pre-wedding bash and then NOT invite them to the wedding?

A lot of couples have big celebratory parties before the wedding. If you invite someone to this fiesta, well, you do have to invite them to the actual wedding, too. Really.

True or false, during the big day, should you post images of the wedding on social media?

The social media overload is becoming too much for a lot people. At most weddings, no one even notices when social media pictures of the event are posted almost in real-time. At some "unplugged" weddings, however, doing so may draw the ire of the couple.

If you're in someone else's wedding, do you have to ask them to be a part of yours?

You were just pretending to like them when you agreed to be a part of their big day. You don't have to reciprocate and ask them to be a part of yours.

If you have children and the invitation says "no kids," what should you do?

"No kids" means no kids, because kids -- particularly those born to rude parents who don't care about the concept of etiquette -- often ruin weddings. Asking for an exception, or bringing your kids anyway, is a surefire way to end your relationship with the couple. Which, if they are insufferable, might be a great thing.

If you're a bridesmaid, you can expect that you'll have to help with what?

If you agree to be a bridesmaid, you'll almost certainly have to help with all sorts of planning and logistical issues during the day. You may also have to sop up the bride's tears after she catches the groom kissing his new mother-in-law on the dance floor.

When it comes to dinner, how should you treat your wedding vendors?

If you can't be bothered to feed your photographer during a long day of hard work, don’t be surprised when it takes six months or a year to receive your wedding pictures. Wedding vendors are actual human beings and they typically need to eat, just like your guests.

How much should you spend on a wedding gift?

You don't have a spend a lot on a wedding gift. Just get the couple a rubber chicken and call it good.

Once the wedding is over, how long do you have to send thank-you notes?

Yes, you really do need to send thank-yous to people who gave you gifts, and it's nice to thank exceptional vendors, too. Try to complete this (admittedly arduous) task within three months.

If you agree to attend the reception, do you really need to go to the actual wedding ceremony, too?

Many wedding ceremonies are boring and time-consuming -- receptions are often fun. But if you're taking the time to chow down on free food at the reception, you probably should actually show up to the wedding, too.

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About This Quiz

Remember that wedding you went to years ago, when a horde of demonic spirits disguised as human children screamed through the ceremony. Then at the reception, they overturned the cake table and tripped the bride on the dance floor? Ah, those were the good old days, before basic human decency had to go and ruin the fun times of weddings and subsequent ceremonies. All kidding aside, in this quiz, do you think you can really identify proper wedding etiquette?

Wedding are an elaborate social display that begins with an engagement. From there, many people have a sense of how planning and execution of the ceremonial events should transpire. That means the couple – and their friends and families – are expected to adhere to certain manners and procedures, too. Do you really think you’re polite enough to survive the rigors of these tough wedding questions?

Every family is different. But there are some rules you just can’t break, lest you look like an ingrate and bring down the wrath of the bride on your head. If you’re a bridesmaid, for example, you probably shouldn’t skip the dress that the bride chose and opt instead for a little black dress, unless, of course, you didn’t want any part of the wedding (or her friendship) to begin with.

And if you’re a guest, it’s best to actually read the invitation instead of throwing the whole thing into the trash along with a pile of junk mail. Otherwise, you’ll undoubtedly bring about karma of the worst kind.

Pull up that garter and toss the bouquet! Take this nearly impossible wedding etiquette quiz now!

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