Weddings are the one event that can either bring out the best or the worst in people. From the months of preparation leading up to the day to the last-minute panic at the end, there is so much to consider when it comes to wedding etiquette and taboos. The holy grail of wedding taboos is to not wear white, unless of course your plan is to offend the bride and be the talk of the day, but what other wedding taboos do modern weddings face?
Do not upload a photo of the bride to social media before she walks down the aisle: The bride and her dress are painstakingly shrouded in secrecy till the very last moments when she emerges from behind closed church doors or down a garden path. To snap a photo of the bride before she appears and upload this to social media would truly shatter her entrance and spoil her moment.
Do not "live tweet" the event: Giving a play-by-play commentary of the event on social media is not only disrespectful; it can make the event seem more like a sports game than anything else. Especially as the celebrations draw towards the end and tweets are fuelled by alcohol and comedic spur, perhaps it is best to keep these tweets to yourself.
Keep "questionable" videos off social media: Every wedding has those moments that as soon as they happen, you immediately want to forget. The guest who gets embarrassingly drunk and the other guest living their dream to be a dirty dancing star on the dance floor. The last thing anyone wants to wake up to the next day is 78 comments and 12 shares on Facebook reminding them of how terribly they behaved. Keep videos of such incidents off social media.
It is not just about you: Weddings are the perfect opportunity to snap our very best selfies, after all we have our best face and our best dress on, but make sure that the photos you are uploading on the night are not only of you. Include a few Instagram or Facebook uploads of the bride, after all it is her special day, not yours.
If it is too much, then it is too much: The fashion etiquette of hem lines and décolletage may have relaxed over the years, but nobody wants a wardrobe malfunction ever, let alone at a wedding. So if your dress would make even a Playboy bunny blush, then perhaps wear something a little less revealing.
Do not walk away with the centrepieces: While the flowers may be stunning and the candles may look perfect at your place, they are simply not yours. Even though it may seem like the bride and groom have so many, that still doesn't make them yours. You really do not want to be that guest trying to smuggle a posy of flowers in a vase out the door at the end of the night.
It is not all black and white: Most weddings request a dress code, whether it is formal or not, some weddings have gone as far as requesting only a certain colour be worn. In this case, if the invitation has requested that you wear black – then wear black. At a Chinese wedding the bride traditionally wears red; this colour represents both joy and prosperity. Wearing red at a Chinese wedding is the same as wearing white to a Western wedding. If you do it can be seen as stealing the spotlight away from the bride. Crossing the lines of dress code is always a taboo at a wedding.
When all else fails: With so many customs and traditions that intertwine to be what modern weddings are today, the very worst taboo is to assume you know what is expected. If you are unsure you should always ask. A quick text message to the bride or groom before the day, or a trustworthy conversation with Google could save you a great deal of embarrassment.