Wedding Etiquette 101

February 7, 2024


Here’s just a few things that I have noticed/ picked up on/ heard the couples complain about over the years at weddings. Please take note if you are either a guest at a wedding, or a couple planning one.

For the guests:

Don’t share any of the photos from the day before they have. Let the couple be the first to announce their big day. I know that it’s exciting to share photos of your friends/ family finally tying the knot, but it’s not your day, it’s theirs. Let them have their moment and let them share it when they want.

On the subject of phones, please please please, from a photographer to every single wedding guest in the world, PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY DURING THE CEREMONY!! The countless times I’ve either had to edit out multiple phones or not been able to edit them out and had a bride say how much that person and their phone has ruined the photo. I’m honestly sick of it. Unless the couple have asked you personally to either film or grab a few photos of the ceremony, there is absolutely no reason for you to have your phone/ iPad/ computer/ multiple cameras (yes you Uncle Bob!) out during the ceremony. Couples either have a sign made stating or the registrar will ask for phones to be put away, but even if those don’t happen, just keep them out of sight. It’s 30 minutes of your life and I can guarantee you, your photos will be no where near as good as the photographers! Not even in the same league. Just stop it. PLEASE!!

See how many phones you can spot in this photo!

The obvious, don’t wear white! Unless you’ve been told to by the couple (perhaps it’s B&W theme) just don’t even bother with anything white. There’s hundreds of other colours to pick from. You’ll just forever be known as “that guest” and you probably won’t be invited to anymore weddings after pulling a stunt like that.

If the invitation says no kids, then it means NO KIDS! This is one that I will fully back till I’m blue in the face. I’ve had weddings where a guest has shown up with their kids on the wedding day as they didn’t want to pay for childcare. Okay, that’s fine, childcare can be expensive. But just don’t come to the wedding. Kids at weddings are either really good, or really bad. In my opinion, there’s no in-between. I’ve captured some photos of kids and they’re having fun, interacting with everyone and really making it be a joy to be around them. Then I’ve had the other kids. The kids who stick their fingers in the cake, who think the first dance is about them so they stand right in the middle of the dance floor and block the view of the couple, and there’s the kids that are filled with sugar then left to run a muck and cause chaos. These are the kids that can stress the couple out and annoy the other guests. So if the couple have requested for the kids to be kept at home, please respect that. Either leave the kids at home, or stay at home with them. Simple as! 

Prime example of how kids are the cutest!

For the couple:

Don’t expect your guests to splash out on your wedding. By this, I’m talking more location than anything. If you’re having a large wedding, have it somewhere that’s close to civilisation. One where to stay the night won’t cost them a small mortgage. Some guests just simply can’t afford it. Times are hard, and it’s kind of embarrassing to admit that your purse strings can’t stretch for a two night stay at a country manor for a wedding that isn’t theirs. Also, if you’re a guest that is included in the celebrations quite a bit (either part of the wedding party or the next best thing) where you’re invited to the bridal shower, hen do, rehearsal dinner, second hen do and then the wedding, then it’s going to cost money. I’ve been in that situation where you’re invited to all the celebrations (before the wedding’s even happened) but you’ve looked at how much it’s going to cost, but you want to be able to celebrate with your friends. I totalled it up once, and for one friends wedding, I spent nearly £1000! I wasn’t even part of the wedding party! It was one hen do, then a second, the hotel stay, outfits for every occasion, gift for the couple. It all mounts up and to be honest, it’s ridiculous! Obviously I chose to pay that, no one forced me, Luckily most of my friends are married now so when it’s my turn, I can get pay back! (Only kidding!) Seriously though, think before you book. Because if no one can afford to do it, then no one will be showing up! 

Please don’t treat your wedding day as a way to “one up” someone else. Your wedding is supposed to be about you and your partner starting life as a couple, your new chapter in life! It is not a reason to try and outdo someone else or show off that you can afford something that others can’t. Now I’m not saying that you can’t spend big on your wedding day. But spend your money on the things that matter. No one needs a 5 tier cake for a wedding of 80 guests. You don’t need to spend over £1k on a pair of Manolo Blahniks that you’d wear just once, that no one will even see because your dress is covering them.

Choose vendors that you can trust. When you wake up the morning of the wedding, you should wake up care free knowing that the wedding vendors you have hired for your wedding day will be there on time, doing their job and not causing you any worry. This is where I have heard horror stories from some couples. Now I’m going to start off by saying, because a vendor is cheaper, doesn’t mean that they’re not good at their job. But the reason other vendors cost more, is because of the experience and customer service skills they have gained over the years. These vendors are always prepared, for any situation. They know where to be and when and how to handle any situation. Sometimes paying a bit more is worth it.

There’s tons more of these will I will be sharing in Part 2 soon…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


ABOUT helen

At home nearest good company. Ever-focused on the experiences my job brings me. 

I know that this will sound so clichè to say, but I really do love my job. I live for it!! They say you should do things that make you happy, and honestly, knowing that the photos I capture can bring others such joy, that makes me complete.
If you're still here, continue reading to see how much we have in common!




© helen jane photography 2023