Lifestyle Magazine

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Weddings

By Claire

In an aver­age year, the gen­tle­man may find him­self invited to two wed­dings or more, usu­ally as a friend or a fam­ily mem­ber of one of the involved parties.

The ques­tion of cor­rect behav­iour and eti­quette on these occa­sions is there­fore impor­tant as it may impact rela­tion­ships for many years to come. Start­ing a brawl at the wed­ding break­fast may see you removed from Christ­mas card lists, a social death that can­not eas­ily be undone.

Our rule of thumb is this: Don’t behave like a jack­ass at a wed­ding. That is why they have stag nights, so that all the heavy drink­ing, run­ning about in-lime green mank­i­nis and post­ing of police bail is out of the way before the actual wed­ding cel­e­bra­tions commence.

How­ever, if the Father of the Bride gets out­ra­geously drunk and tells a string of ques­tion­able jokes dur­ing his speech before falling face-first into the cake, you may take this as a sig­nal that this is one of those wed­dings where anti-social behav­iour may not only be tol­er­ated, but also encouraged.

We have been present at “one of those wed­dings” and it is not a pretty sight to behold. The bride’s father did indeed fall face-first into the cake, an elderly aunt boxed a younger guest to the ground over unac­cept­ably for­ward and lewd com­ments, and the DJ called time at 7.30pm after both fam­i­lies came together like an uglier ver­sion of the bat­tle scene in Lord of the Rings, the bar already hav­ing been drunk dry. That being the case, it might be wise to make alter­na­tive plans for your evening.

Our advice to the poten­tial wed­ding guest, there­fore, is a sim­ple case of “Behave your­self”. Small gifts to those involved – even if it’s just a pair of socks for the grooms­men — leaves a mem­o­rable impres­sion on the day.

  1. If you are lucky enough to be invited to the cer­e­mony, stand­ing up and shout­ing “Yes!… Only jok­ing” dur­ing the “Does any­body know any rea­son why this cou­ple can­not…” bit does not con­tribute to the occa­sion, unless you wish to be referred to as “Idiot” for the rest of the day.
  2. Don’t go “off piste” with the wed­ding present list. Tra­di­tion­ally, wed­ding gifts are for a cou­ple set­ting up their first home together. They prob­a­bly won’t appre­ci­ate that inflat­able sheep, unless “inflat­able sheep” is on the present list.
  3. Don’t get drunk. Dif­fi­cult at an event where even a pass­ing waiter gets toasted, but drunken behav­iour may lead to future regrets, get­ting boxed to the ground by elderly aunts
  4. Observe the accepted norms of buf­fet eti­quette. Don’t go back for sec­onds until everybody’s had firsts, and pil­ing your plate to the height of Mount Ever­est and say­ing “I’m a grow­ing lad” is frowned upon. You’re not a grow­ing lad. You’re a guts.
  5. The only accept­able shenani­gans at a recep­tion — if you are over the age of eight — is the dec­o­ra­tion of the bride and groom’s going-away car. If you must take part in this tra­di­tion, stay within the realms of good taste.

Most impor­tantly, just remem­ber that it’s not your day. Dress soberly, act soberly, and be a per­fect gen­tle­man toward the peo­ple you meet. Bad behav­iour from one guest spoils pre­cious mem­o­ries for the bride, groom and their fam­i­lies, and you won’t be asked back.

socked uk blog

Today’s author on Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog is Mark Hall from — a sock sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that starts at just £5.99. Read more of Mark’s enlight­en­ing life advice for gentlemen:

  • Valen­tine sur­vey reveals odd things men wear dur­ing sex (notably Prince Harry face masks)
  • Have men for­got­ten how to act like gentlemen?

and of course the clas­sics: duelling tips, how to hold a gun and how to hold a gnu (it’s dif­fer­ent). Enjoy!

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