There’s a lot you should avoid doing during your friends’ wedding — trip the bride as she walks down the aisle, cut in during the couple’s ceremonial cake-cutting — but your job as a good guest doesn’t end after “Last Dance” (or if you live in New Jersey, “Living on a Prayer”) plays. If you’d prefer not to make the newlyweds regret inviting you, eschew these post-wedding faux pas.
Ask the bride or groom for help getting home from the reception.
Just as you have no business bothering the guests of honor with planning your trip to the wedding — that info’s likely on their wedding website or at least a quick text to the maid-of-honor away — you should refrain from making requests of them as they’re saying goodbye to you and 100 other people. Sure, they may know the area and its transportation options better than you, but they’ve done their part for the day by showing you a good time. And even if their limo is extra-roomy, there’s no way they want you in it if they haven’t offered. Instead, get help from a wedding-party member or better yet, a venue staffer.
Plan an impromptu trip to the newlyweds’ honeymoon destination.
Yes, Capri does sound lovely right now, but the newlyweds probably don’t want to see a single other soul they know during their honeymoon (and do you really want to see them? you know what they’ll be doing most of the time, right?). Even if they’re going to an extremely populous place where you’re more likely to be elected mayor of said city than run into the couple, it’s simply bad form to copy their getaway plans.
Request every single person you met at the party as Facebook friends.
Your table mates sure were good fun at the wedding. And the folks at the next table seemed pretty great, too. So did the whole wedding party, come to think of it. That doesn’t mean that any of these people care to keep in touch with you — or rather, care to allow you to view every photo they’ve ever posted to Facebook in exchange for the right to view all of yours. If you genuinely hit it off with another guest or two and they seem as excited as you are to stay pals post-party, by all means, send the request. If you doubt you’ll ever see them again, though, keep your Facebook friend number steady.
Talk to the newlyweds about the best wedding you ever attended if it’s not their wedding.
Obviously, not every wedding can be your favorite one. To talk about another wedding as the best-ever is admitting that your friends’ event was subpar in your book. If you must bring up other celebrations to a recently married couple, compliment specific parts of the day: “I loved the calypso band at Joanie and Chachi’s cocktail hour” and leave the words “best” and “favorite” out of it.
Ask the couple when they’re having kids.
It’s so exciting that your friends are hitched. Kids may very well be the next step! Still, it’s not a topic that anyone but the makers of dem babies should bring up first. There are oodles of reasons for this, namely, it’s extremely personal and they may not even know the answer. Stick to questions like “Are you taking a honeymoon? Where are you headed?” and they’ll share their child-making plans if they feel like it.
Request a thank-you card.
You spent $100, and all you got was boxed wine, “chicken,” and a picture frame with your friends’ names engraved in it. “I damn well better get a thank-you card!” you’re thinking. Rightly so. Odds are, it’ll arrive in the mail sometime in the next year. No matter how long it takes, don’t call out the couple on their presumed lack of proper wedding etiquette. Some newlyweds’ post-wedding periods are tumultuous, considering there may be new homes to move to and new family issues to address. Give them a chance. And if it never arrives, well, you now have a free pass to skip the card the next time they give you a gift.
Meredith Bodgas is the blogger behind the wedding, marriage, and baby blog MeritalBliss.com. She’s written about weddings for Glamour.com, pregnancy and kids for WhatToExpect.com, and other sexy subjects for women’s publications like Redbook and WomansDay.com. She’s married to her junior high school sweetheart and lives in her native New York. Follow her on Twitter @mereditor.