23 Things No Self-Respecting Person Does at a Wedding

Gross Guy at a Wedding
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Weddings! Done right, they're a chance to celebrate true love and drink mid-shelf liquor with your closest friends… all while enjoying passed trays of bacon-wrapped scallops and some of Stevie Wonder's more celebrated early works.

Done wrong? Everyone will remember you FOREVER as that guy (or gal!) who completely ruined everything and became a harbinger of a near-certain early divorce. Or, you know, they'll all just privately kind of think you're the worst.

But fear not: you can navigate the day-long minefield of faux pas with this guide to everything you shouldn't be doing. Print it out, laminate it, and bring it to the wedding with you.

Wait no! That was a joke! You seriously thought about it. Oh man, this is worse than we thought.

Here it goes:

Showing up late to the ceremony

There is no such thing as fashionably late to a wedding. You should be seated at least 10 minutes before the posted go time. Yes, this even goes for unfathomably long Catholic weddings -- wait… now it's the unity candle?! Will this thing ever end?

Bringing a flask

If it's a boozy wedding, you most assuredly are not going to need it. And if it's a dry wedding... well, that sucks. But you still have to kind of suck it up and respect the wishes of the couple in question, up until the time you sprint to a bar the second the ceremony's over.

Making the bride or groom drink too much too early

A drink or two while getting ready is fairly common practice, especially because there's generally a bunch of waiting around before the show starts (especially on the groom side). But again, there is likely to be no shortage of drinks on this day. You don't want them to be fire-breathing whiskey in the minister's face during vows.

Checking your phone during the wedding ceremony

Slate's most recent thoughts on body shaming can wait 30 minutes.

Speaking now rather than forever holding your peace

Note: this does not apply if you are in a romantic comedy and/or Justin Long.  

Wedding Photo

Acting like you're the wedding photographer

No one needs to move out of your line of sight, because you're not the damn -- wait, are you just READING SLATE AGAIN?!!?

Bringing an unexpected plus-one

If you were important enough to get a date, they would have told you.

Bringing an unexpected plus-three children

If kids aren't invited, kids aren't invited. And don't try that "babysitter fell through" stuff. There was never any babysitter! Everyone sees through your game.

Getting over-aggressive with the passed apps

There's nothing wrong with strategically positioning yourself around prime server routes. BUT! If you're following the catering staff around and snapping up all the pigs in a blanket for yourself, you've gone too far. Proper passed-app etiquette is a delicate dance. You have to act surprised every time they show up and be all, "Oh, I really shouldn't have another, but they're so good!"

Asking for non-essential meal modifications

No one cares that you don't really like arborio rice.

Complaining about the bar situation

Look, no one likes a cash bar, but weddings are crazy expensive and some people have to do what they have to do. At least have the decency to complain about it behind their backs after the wedding is over.

Stiffing the bartenders

If you had to make your increasingly loud and wobbly self whiskey and Cokes all night, wouldn't you want a few extra dollars for the trouble?

Wedding Shot Glasses


They are both unnecessary and a really bad idea, even if the DJ happens to play that damn LMFAO song.

Dressing inappropriately

This is very simple. The invitation will specify attire. If you don't know what "Formal" or "Beach Formal" or "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Ranger Casual" means, just ask. Then follow said directions. If you're the only one wearing jeans and one of those old Western-style vests, you're going to feel bad about yourself even if you do admittedly look pretty cool.

Giving an uninvited toast

You are not Vince Vaughn and this is not Wedding Crashers. Speaking of...

Quoting any part of Wedding Crashers

OK, fine -- if someone is making balloon animals for some odd reason, it's permissible to scream, "Make me a bicycle, clown!" End of exceptions.

Making obnoxious song requests

There is a special place in hell for the person who badgers a wedding DJ into playing the "Cha Cha Slide." Or "The Chicken Dance." Or "Macarena."

Note: the request thing goes out the window if the DJ is doing a demonstrably bad job and the couple is actually imploring guests to please do something about it, which has been known to happen!

President Reagan Wants to Dance with his Wife

Grinding with the bride's mom. Or dad.

There's nothing a bride/groom wants to see less during the happiest day of their life than the people who brought them into this world thrusting to Next's "Too Close."


The exception here, of course, is if you're at the wedding for the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine. In 1997.

Flash mobs of any kind

What's your endgame here, feeling like it's 2009 again, or landing a guest spot on Ellen during a particularly slow summer week?



Starting a political argument

This is not the place for everyone to hear your incisive thoughts on Bernie Sanders. Also, you've been posting them every day on Facebook for the last five months so everyone kinda gets it already.

That dumb necktie-around-the-head thing

"Yeah, the wedding was kinda underwhelming for a while, until motherfucking Chet took off his necktie and tied it around his head when 'Brick House' came on. After that, it was ON." Said no one ever.

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Matt Lynch is Thrillist's executive editor and is no longer friends with Chet because of a necktie incident. Creepily follow him around Chicago: @MLynchChi

Kevin Alexander is Thrillist's national writer-at-large and is still friends with Chet because he's not a dick like Matt. Follow him and Chet: @KAlexander03