Inspired by our last post on etiquette for the summer barbecue, and in honour of wedding season, here are a few tips and tricks to get you through you’re increasingly expanding list of impending weddings.
Weddings are no doubt a fun, joyous and exciting experience for not only the bride and groom, but also for the guests. The nuptials, followed by cocktail hour and then (hopefully) the formal sit-down dinner usually lend themselves to a good time, and a romantic one at that. As much as the bride and the groom are the focus of this special day (as they should be), many people also see weddings as an opportunity to network, as they have the chance to meet many people they wouldn’t normally come into contact with. This can be a great opportunity for the eager networker, however there are definitely some guidelines to follow.
Handing out business cards.
As always, it is a good idea to carry business cards with you wherever you go, and a wedding is no exception. Weddings can be a goldmine when it comes to meeting people that could add significant value to your life, personally and professionally. It is always a good idea to have business cards handy (bring lots!) in the event that someone asks you for your information.
It is imperative, however, that you wait to be asked for your business card as opposed to simply offering it. Remember, this is a wedding, not simply an opportunity for you to network and meet potential new clients.
In addition, when someone asks you for your information, that does not mean everyone at the table has asked as well – simply give the interested party your card, and ask for theirs in return.
Easy on the alcohol.
Yes, weddings are, more often than not, a fabulously good time with lots of food, cocktails and dancing. However, for any professional, it is important to recognize that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, your behavior is a direct reflection upon you as a person and as a professional.
Taking this into consideration, it is important to limit your alcohol intake at weddings. Yes, the open bar can be extremely tempting, but remember, this day is about the bride and groom and you do not want to take attention away from them by acting obnoxiously. In addition, consuming too much alcohol will likely impede your ability to network effectively, possibly letting some really great contacts slip by.
Remember your manners.
It is usually a good idea to review your table manners before attending an event that includes a formal dinner. Eating with proper table manners is respectful, and is also a really great way to show those around you that you are aware and professional in all settings. For more information on formal dining etiquette, you may review our post entitled: “Formal Dining Etiquette Rule You MUST Know.”
The music, the dancing, the romance. Weddings can be a magical experience for all those involved, and although your first thought may not be “oh, I should brush up on my etiquette/networking skills before they tie the knot”, you may find that it was well worth it in the end.