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How Teenagers Should Act & Dress at Weddings

by Samantha Kemp

Your teen has just received his first wedding invitation. You may be fearful that she will make a social faux pas that will embarrass you. With advance planning and careful shopping, however, you can prepare your teen so that she will be a welcome addition to the celebration, as well as a graceful guest.

Female Attire

Just like the older wedding guests, teens should dress according to the formality of the event and the time. For a formal wedding during the day, female teens should wear a cocktail dress or a dressy afternoon dress if the wedding. For an evening wedding, females should wear a cocktail dress or a long evening dress. For a semi-formal wedding, they should dress in a dressy afternoon dress or a pantsuit for an afternoon wedding or a cocktail dress for an evening wedding. An informal daytime wedding should consist of an afternoon dress or a skirt and blouse. For all events, teens should avoid wearing clothes that are skimpy or provocative. They should also avoid wearing white so as not to offend the bride.

Male Attire

If a formal wedding invitation states that the event is "black tie," male teens should wear a tuxedo. If the invitation did not state "black tie" and the wedding is an afternoon wedding, then your male teen should wear a dark suit, conservative shirt and neutral tie. The same type of attire is appropriate for a semi-formal event. For an informal wedding, males should wear a blazer, slacks and tie. Unless informed otherwise, male teens should not wear jeans to a wedding.

Ceremony Etiquette

Ensure that your teen is on time by driving him there yourself or telling him when to leave if he is driving himself. It is vital that he turn off all electronic devices during the ceremony. Teens will not want to make a spectacle of themselves if their phone rings or vibrates while the couple is declaring their love and commitment to each other in front of guests. Ask him to emulate others during the ceremony or to sit quietly if he is not familiar with the traditions at the wedding.

Interacting with Others

Do not let your teen become the sulking teenager in the corner who would rather chill with his friends than go to a wedding. Instead, advise him to congratulate the wedding couple and to speak with and engage with the other wedding guests. Instruct your teen to give the newly married couple a hug or a handshake as they come down the receiving line, and to congratulate the couple on their marriage. Teens should be happy to pose in pictures and to dance. Even if a wedding is not the teen's scene, your teen should convey happiness, because the married couple wants to see the guests happy.

Behave from Start to Finish

Before your teen goes to the wedding, make sure she follows all etiquette rules, such as responding with an RSVP and not asking friends or a date who were not invited to the wedding. If possible, have your teen get an appropriate gift from the registry that is within her budget. At the reception, make sure your teen does not drink any alcoholic beverages, and tell your teen she should stay until the reception is finished, or nearly finished. She should make her goodbyes by thanking the bride and groom and to wish them happiness.

Photo Credits

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