The do’s and don’ts of matrimonial ceremonies


There inevitably comes a time in every woman’s summer when, regardless of her early-spring due diligence (pre-emptive save-the-dates, developing carpel tunnel, etc.) she finds herself at the wedding she swore she wouldn’t attend.

Nine times out of ten, it will be on a holiday weekend. Eight times out of ten, plus-ones won’t be permitted. Seven times out of ten it will involve a confusing dress code, and ten times out of ten, guests will have to pretend that there is nowhere in the world they would rather be than sweating on a rented chair while watching bridesmaids hike up their strapless chiffon dresses and clapping as two people change their official Facebook status IRL.

But with adulthood comes great responsibility, i.e., acting polite in social settings. In layman terms this is known as “sucking it up.” In lay-man repeller terms, it’s also known as “sucking it up,” but comes packed with a guide of do’s, don’ts, and survival how-to’s:

Do: Practice your fake-cry beforehand

Learning to gently cry on command will help you to appear emotionally invested in your twice-removed-family-member’s happiness and will cause guests to make such comments as, “She is just the most empathetic and kind human being I have ever known,” and “Wow, I’ve never seen such a pretty crier before.” The day isn’t about you, but little moments can be.

Do not: Wear waterproof mascara

Streaks equal drama. (But snot means you’ve gone overboard, calm down.)

Do: Pack an adult Lunchable 

There is nothing worse than realizing you are hungry at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. Actually, realizing you have to pee is worse, but potential hunger is easier to take a preemptive strike on. Choose a clutch that is large enough to fit a granola bar, a flask (although these can be strapped to your prosthetic or real leg), and a to-go slice of cake post-reception.

Do not: Forget there is a slice of post-reception cake in your clutch.

It’s fun when you make a cake discovery at 4 AM. It is not so fun two weeks later.

Do: Creatively eschew the plus-zero rule

Being denied a plus one can be devastating to those with separation anxiety or anti-new-friendship policies (see: Drake). To get around this, wear a skirt long enough to host at least one friend. I’d suggest cotton, so that they can breathe.

Do not: Subject your hidden guest to the actual ceremony

Or the boring “cocktail hour” (which is wedding-code for “what the fuck are the bride and groom doing that takes an hour for them to arrive at the reception?”). ONLY bring your guest to the party. A dance floor is typically the less awkward scenario for a human to crawl out of your skirt.

Do: Find alternates to throwing rice

I like glitter. Or sand.

Do not: abide by the “one year to get a gift” rule

You will never, ever, remember to get the couple a gift if you don’t bring it to the wedding, and mark my word, they are keeping track. “John, that’s so strange. We got everything on our list except the paella pan.” “That’s because Amelia is a life ruiner.”

Note: this is a creative and cheap (though not fail-proof) way to not get invited to other weddings. If you’re avoiding one on Labor Day, DO abide by the above rule and then start a rumor about yourself and your lack of gift giving.

Do: Dance with a family member of the bride or groom

It’s undeniably charming and a surefire way to get in the wedding album.

Do not: Publicly dance-floor-make-out with a family member of the bride or groom

Even though it’s also undeniably charming and a surefire way to get in the wedding album…it’s just not good etiquette.

Get more Humor ?
  • GapToothedGirl

    I come from a 13 wedding-as-a-guest year…now I’m tired…

    XOX, Gap.

  • Margaret


  • Hahaha!! And if the invitation doesn’t have your child’s name, don’t ask if you can bring him/her (this might be more of an issue in certain cultures where kids are “expected” to be there or if an invitation addressed to a family means that minor children are automatically invited). I had the unpleasant experience of a relative asking if his (non-minor) son could come. Dude was waaaaaayyyyy over 18. We’re talking about late 20s, and no, he was not invited because I don’t even know the guy (and we had a numbers issue, so his parents were more “important”). This is not proper, even in my culture.

  • Amelia you knock my socks off, girl. You a gem. A Diamond, as they say.

  • Andres Poiche
  • I’m a huge fan of the “bring a snack and flask” part – you can never be too prepared! I was once caught hungry after a Catholic wedding (that took almost 2 hours) and a 3 hour gap between that and the reception. I drove to the nearest friend’s house and ordered pizza for myself and a few other starving guests. 🙂

    When I got married, I planned that shit right – ceremony was 20 minutes, food showed up not even an hour later. I’d like to say I did it for the guests, but I mostly did it for me – I wasn’t going to go hungry at my own wedding!

  • Diane

    My maid of honor (my younger sister) and the best man (my brother in law) hooked up at our wedding and then snuck away from the reception before the cake was served, leaving their respective dates in the lurch.

  • Francisc

    This is so funny!

  • Hana Roo

    Hi there, wonderful post! Would you be interested in exhibiting your handbag collection in the form of a tower? This will tell you more about this challenge: Other bloggers are also involved.

  • ee_by_cc

    I vote that this post should become a instant wedding etiquette classic. Way more useful than the traditional rules 😉

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    How about some etiquette for the bride too like: Do Not ask guests to wear black tie to your f*king OUTDOOR wedding in FLORIDA in JULY. Most disgusting, sweat streaked, drenched, miserable experience ever.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Love it 🙂

  • Debanjana Haldar

    can’t stop laughing lmfao….loved it XD

  • Victoria

    i publicly dance-floor-make-out with a family member at every wedding i’m invited to. i still can’t figure out why i keep getting invited to these weddings. but, seriously, is it ok to wear white to a wedding? i feel like i see more and more people doing it and i want to too. BUT every time i think about it i hear my mother telling me it isn’t ok…

    • Amelia Diamond

      yes to DFMO, always. so re: wearing white, i think that MAY be something that started with catholic weddings (please do not quote me on that) and then sort of trickled down to a general rule wherein people decided it was kind of rude because that’s the bride’s color. Me personally, I think only the bride should wear white. However! Leandra told me that in Syrian weddings, female guests wearing white is encouraged. So basically we’re all fucked.

      • Esther

        I think it’s up to the bride. In my community, it’s common for bridesmaids and guests to wear white and so I had to explicitly request that nobody wear white, like a true ‘ZILLA. My cousin got all passive aggressive and wore “cream” but that is neither here nor there.

        • Passive aggressive cousins wearing cream to weddings should be settled with passive aggressive glasses of “omg how did it just fly out of my hands and onto your dress” red wine! I went to a traditional southern belle wedding where the mother of the groom wore stark white. The bride had to convince the photographer to Photoshop it lilac for the wedding album.

      • Victoria

        You might be right about that, it’d explain why my straight-edge Catholic mother is so insistent on sticking with that rule! And I agree with you, as much as I want to wear white I think if someone did that on my wedding day I’d want to cut a bitch. I guess I’ll wait until I’m invited to a Syrian wedding to wear all these hella cute white dresses, thanks!!

  • Hahaha this is amazing! We are a bridal design studio, and we have to share this post with all of our brides. They’ll get a kick out of it! Love love love…

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Hahaha This is hilarious! We are a bridal design studio, so we will have to share this post with our clients. Thy’ll get such a kick out of it! Love love love…

  • As someone who waited one month after the wedding to deliver a gift only to hear that the bride had already received THREE identical crock pots, I’m wondering if Target is heavily conspiring against accurate registry displays…

  • Love this post, well done!!

  • RicardoCutler

    Its very good and happiness moment for the wedding season .

  • love this. lol at life ruiner. She ruins peoples lives.

  • Cartnay

    Umm clicked on the fish flask and under info & care it says “avoid contact with liquids”

    • Amelia Diamond

      shh. in more important news, how did you make this little dude?

  • jaklin hammam