Wed­ding tips

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

DON’T give the Queen a friendly hug and don’t tweet from the church.

That’s just the start of the ad­vice be­ing of­fered to those at­tend­ing Bri­tain’s April 29 royal wed­ding.

St James’s Palace says the guest list is an eclec­tic mix of Euro­pean roy­alty, mil­i­tary per­son­nel, char­ity work­ers, diplo­mats and friends of Prince Wil­liam and fi­ancee Kate Mid­dle­ton. Some in­vi­tees will have been born into fam­i­lies that teach chil­dren to curt­sey as soon as they can walk, but oth­ers may need a bit of help nav­i­gat­ing the eti­quette and pro­to­col that such an im­por­tant day de­mands.

Any­one who is in­vited to the royal wed­ding will be given de­tailed in­struc­tions on how and when to ar­rive at West­min­ster Abbey, where the wed­ding is be­ing held. The first rule: Don’t be late. ‘‘ The Queen should be the very last per­son to ar­rive at the church be­fore the bride and her at­ten­dants,’’ said wed­ding plan­ner and eti­quette ad­viser Sarah Hay­ward.

‘‘ At most wed­dings, guests are asked to ar­rive around twenty min­utes be­fore the cer­e­mony but the royal wed­ding will ob­vi­ously have sev­eral im­por­tant guests and very high lev­els of se­cu­rity so give your­self plenty of time to get there.’’

Next, choose an out­fit that blends in.

Women should wear a dress – not too short, not too skimpy and cer­tainly not white. Most Bri­tish women will com­plete the look with a hat or a fas­ci­na­tor – a small feath­ered or jew­elled hair­piece at­tached to a clip or a comb.

‘‘ Never ever ever do any­thing to draw too much at­ten­tion to your­self,’’ says Hay­ward. ‘‘ It’s the day the bride shines.’’

Men in the armed forces should wear a mil­i­tary uni­form. Male civil­ians are asked to wear ei­ther

The ultimate faux pas would be to have your mo­bile phone go off in the Abbey, even if you had God Save the Queen as your ring­tone

– Sarah Hay­ward

lounge suits – busi­ness suits by an­other name – or a morn­ing suit, for­mal at­tire that in­cludes a long jacket and a vest. A top hat should be car­ried, not worn, in­side the church.

Couples should re­mem­ber they will be seen to­gether.

‘‘ Of­ten you see a hus­band and wife who look like they are go­ing to two dif­fer­ent events,’’ says Wil­liam Han­son, an ex­pert on pro­to­col who gives lessons around the world on proper be­hav­iour.

‘‘ One per­son will be in some­thing that looks like py­ja­mas and the other is in black tie. You don’t need to be colour co­or­di­nated but do think about how your out­fits look to­gether.’’

Guests may be asked by se­cu­rity to leave their mo­bile phones out­side the Abbey, but if they aren’t, they need to make sure a ring­ing phone is not heard by mil­lions dur­ing a ser­vice broad­cast live around the world.

‘‘ The ultimate faux pas would be to have your mo­bile phone go off in the Abbey, even if you had God Save the Queen as your ring­tone,’’ Hay­ward said.

Tweet­ing or up­dat­ing your Face­book sta­tus dur­ing the day is also bad man­ners.

‘‘ It’s a pri­vate oc­ca­sion and it would cer­tainly be an abuse of the in­vi­ta­tion to take pho­tos or tweet dur­ing the cer­e­mony or any point in the day,’’ said Han­son.

Af­ter the morn­ing cer­e­mony at the Abbey, some 600 guests are in­vited to a re­cep­tion at Buck­ing­ham Palace, where the food and drinks are sure to be amaz­ing. Han­son ad­vises guests to ac­cept the of­fer­ings po­litely – but don’t gob­ble, don’t gulp – and for good­ness sakes don’t get drunk. ‘‘ Sip your drink, don’t gulp it,’’ he said. ‘‘ Don’t em­bar­rass your­self ( other­wise) for you can guar­an­tee you will never be in­vited to this kind of wed­ding again.’’ Guests should also watch their body lan­guage. Michelle Obama put a friendly hand on Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s back dur­ing a visit in 2009. The Queen didn’t seem to mind – she even put her own arm around Mrs Obama’s waist – but guests at the royal wed­ding should be more dis­tant.

Photo: GETTY

SPIT AND POL­ISH: Car­riage Re­storer Dave Evans cleans the 1902 State Lan­dau car­riage to be used, if the weather is fine, for the royal wed­ding at West­min­ster Abbey on April 29

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