Growing up, your mother may have told you to “have some couth.” This was a way of reminding you that you need to mind your manners.
That phrase may ring true if you are attending a wedding these days. It is not uncommon to see a person on Facebook during the entire ceremony, unable to put down his or her phone long enough to watch the bride walk down the aisle. It is a prime example of poor wedding etiquette.
In a recent article on mobile phone wedding etiquette in Glamour magazine, weddings and lifestyle expert Kim Fusaro wrote, “…I think that cell phones at weddings have gotten out of hand — and I'm not alone.”
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The common rules of courtesy that you use for public mobile phone use, such as turning off your phone or switching it to silent and placing it face down on the table, also apply to weddings. After the ceremony, being on your phone sparingly is acceptable, but unless you’re the “tweeter of honor,” you should simply experience the main event first-hand. You don’t need to post the occasion on Instagram.
Some couples choose wedding apps or dedicated hashtags on social media to collect guests’ pictures. But this doesn’t mean wedding guests should turn into paparazzi! Take time away from your phone and give your full attention to the bride and groom during key moments.
Other couples are taking the plunge and planning unplugged weddings. If you are planning a technology-free wedding, Offbeat Bride recommends letting your guests know before they RSVP, as well as offering a gentle reminder on the big day. This way, people can update their status before your wedding and leave their cellphones at home.
And finally, keep online commentary to yourself. If you don’t love the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses or you think the DJ is playing too many slow songs, avoid publishing these opinions online.
By following common sense wedding etiquette tips and exercising couth, as your mom would say, you can avoid being “that guest” – the one who pays more attention to his or her phone then the festivities.