Wedding Reception Etiquette: What Not to Do on Your Big Day

Wedding Planning Tips


Your wedding reception is a time for celebration, not only for you and your partner but also for your guests. Ensuring that everyone has a great time is key to creating lasting memories of your special day. However, there are certain things you should avoid doing at your wedding reception to ensure that the event runs smoothly and that everyone has a fantastic time. Here are some important “don’ts” to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t Have a Cash Bar: While it may be tempting to cut costs by having a cash bar, it’s considered tacky and can be a disappointment to your guests. After all the effort they’ve put into attending your wedding, asking them to pay for their drinks can leave a sour taste in their mouths. Instead, consider budget-friendly alternatives such as offering a limited selection of beer and wine or serving a signature cocktail.
  2. Don’t Disappear for Too Long: Your wedding reception is a time to celebrate with your guests, so it’s essential to stay visible and engaged throughout the event. Avoid disappearing for extended periods, whether it’s to the bathroom or elsewhere. Your guests have come to celebrate with you, and they’ll want to see you enjoying yourself and sharing in the joy of the occasion.
  3. Don’t Yell at Vendors: While it’s natural to feel stressed or frustrated if things aren’t going according to plan, yelling at vendors or other staff members is never appropriate. Remember that you have a support system in place, including your wedding planner, who can handle any issues that arise. Stay calm and focused on enjoying your day, and let your team handle any challenges that may come up.
  4. Don’t Check or Open Presents: Your wedding reception is not the time or place to check or open presents. Doing so can come across as tacky and greedy, detracting from the celebratory atmosphere of the event. Save the gift-giving for later, in the privacy of your own home, where you can properly appreciate each thoughtful gesture.
  5. Don’t Get There Late or Leave Early: As the guests of honor, it’s essential that you arrive on time and stay until the end of the reception. Arriving late or leaving early can disrupt the flow of the event and leave your guests feeling disappointed. Plan your schedule accordingly to ensure that you can be present for the entire celebration, from start to finish.

photographs Rachel Liz Photography

Your wedding reception is a time for celebration, love, and joy. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your special day is memorable for all the right reasons. Remember to stay present, gracious, and focused on enjoying every moment with your loved ones. Cheers to a fabulous wedding reception!