Weddings are a minefield.
From bridesmaid dress shopping to bridezilla antics and how much to put in the goddamn wishing well – they’re a headache. A flowery, pretty, frosted headache – sure – but a headache nonetheless.
Despite how much money and time weddings suck out of our lives, despite how much we read and research, we don’t know all the answers.
For example, these are the wedding etiquette rules we had no bloody idea existed…
1. The person walking you down the aisle must stand on the right side
We would say that said person needs to be “the father, brother or uncle” – but that’s total bullshit. And, you know, very sexist. Take whoever you damn well want down the aisle with you, we can report that fallopian tubes are in fact permitted.
“The bride always walks on the left side of her escort so that his right hand is free to draw his sword to protect her. As she walks towards the altar, she will be on her family’s side of the church for support, and as she returns on her new hubby’s arm, she will be on his side of the church, symbolically being introduced into his family.”
So make sure your aisle chaperone brings their favourite sword, okay? Okay.
2. No engagement party gifts are necessary
This was a surprising one.
According to the wedding experts at Brides.com, giving your girlfriend a present at her engagement party is absolutely not mandatory.
“The good news is, engagement gifts are not required, no matter how fancy the celebration… Nowadays, it’s common for guests to bring a gift to an engagement party, but it’s usually something small and sentimental. Don’t feel pressured to give an elaborate or expensive gift. If you wish to bring a gift, you can, but bring it to the gathering itself.”
No complaints here.
Listen: Jessie Stephens thinks the Royal Wedding is going to be a waste of money. (Post continues…)
3. If you know someone can’t attend, don’t send them an invitation ‘just to be polite’
Actually, trying to make the person feel involved is the worst thing you can do – because sending the formal invite stipulates that you expect a gift.
“You don’t want people to think they have to give a gift even though they cannot attend,” the etiquette aficionados at Real Simple said.
“If someone lets you know that they have a conflict, don’t follow up with an invitation. In the case of very close friends and family, you may want to send an invitation anyway with a note that explains you are sending it as a keepsake.”
4. It’s inappropriate to divulge the nitty-gritty details about your engagement ring
“No one needs to know about cost and carat,” Simone Hill from TheKnot.com said.
Alluding to the value of your wedding jewellery is a bad look, Hill argued, even if your friends and social media followers are dying to know.
“It’s not bragging to share a pic with the exciting news. Leave out the other details, because how much it cost isn’t anyone else’s business—the point is that it symbolises the commitment you’re making.”
5. Your phone should stay in your bag unless you're taking a photo
Simone Hill said there's another etiquette rule that many don't follow in the social media age: Staying off technology.
"The couple spent a lot of time planning an event for you to enjoy, so don't spend the entire time on your phone documenting the wedding... go have some fun," she wrote.
"Plus, having a phone or tablet out all the time can get in the way of photos, and no one wants to look back on their wedding day to see a guest more engaged with a device than their reception."
6. During the ceremony, place your engagement ring on your right hand
Not everyone agrees on this one, but generally, brides are expected to move their engagement ring off their ring finger to ensure the wedding band is slid on "closest to the heart".
As Mamamia reported in 2016, the correct way to wear your rings is as follows:
The wedding ring should be the first on third finger of the left hand. It should be closest to the heart.
The engagement ring should come next. But, traditionally, it doesn’t have to be worn all the time after the couple is married. It might be put on for special occasions or to “dress the hand up”.
Finally, the eternity ring can go on the outside of the engagement ring. Or, if your poor finger is getting a little crowded, the eternity band can be worn on the third finger of the right hand.
7. If you're giving a gift, don't bring it to the wedding
Having a bunch of heavy, large gifts is more of an inconvenience to the happy couple and their family. Generally, founder of wedding company Davis Row Allison Davis says you should have things shipped to the bride and groom's address.
"Generally, most couples register with stores that allow you to shop online and easily have the gift and its gift receipt shipped directly to their home," Davis told Insider.
"... Etiquette says you have a full year after the wedding to get your gift to them. They'll be happy to have one less thing to keep track of and transport home from the reception."
What did we miss? Are there any etiquette rules you think most people break?