Wedding Etiquette: When to Clap, When to Cry — and When to Use Your Cell Phone (Hint: Never)

Getting emotional is OK at a wedding, so long as you’re tasteful. Cell phones, on the other hand, are never acceptable!

Dear readers: Sharing a couples’ special day is an honor and a privilege. Few events compare to weddings with regards to emotional reactions, so it’s not unusual for guests to be carried away in the moment. Just remember to contain yourself — and bring plenty of tissues!

A Hudson Valley wedding guest asks: “I’m attending my cousin’s wedding this summer. I get very emotional and I know I’ll be crying the whole time. (I assume that’s okay as long as I do it quietly.) Here’s something I don’t know: I’ve been to weddings where the guests clap when the officiant pronounces the couple man and wife. What’s the correct etiquette? Is it okay to clap?”

(Our answer on next page)

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The Wedding Guru says: There’s no reason to control a spontaneous outburst of joy! It has become routine at many weddings, and at this point in the ceremony, go for it. (Tastefully, of course.)

While we’re on the topic of noise, here’s something that should never be heard: your cell phone ringtone. That’s one sound during a ceremony that’s not acceptable and very disturbing. Sometimes, you’ll even see a sign at the entry asking guests to silence or turn off their cell phones. Since many couples are still married in places of worship, silencing your phone is just common sense anyway.

Have you ever experience an unfortunate ringtone or disruption at a wedding? Share your stories in the comments box below!

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