The Gentlemen’s Guide to Weddings

I’m so excited! The literary genius behind recent Sunday blog features – Mark from – has written an exclusive article for English Wedding Blog today. Never let it be said that wedding blogs are for girls – in fact today’s feature is Just For Men. Boys – enjoy. (I did.) Claire xxx

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Weddings

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:

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

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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