Wediquette Wednesday: Should guests congratulate the couple’s parents if they’ve never met?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)

Question: My friends are getting married in a few weeks. They have a big family and are having a big wedding with hundreds of guests and a large wedding party, so they’ve decided not to do a receiving line. I’m not in the wedding (it’s all siblings and cousins), but am good friends with both halves of the couple. However, because we all live in a different city than their families, I’ve never met their parents. I intended to introduce myself during the receiving line, but now that’s off the table and I’m unsure of the appropriate etiquette. Should guests congratulate the couple’s parents if they’ve never met?

Answer: It’s thoughtful of you to think ahead. Yes, it’s absolutely appropriate (and encouraged), to seek out and congratulate the couple’s parents at the wedding. This is especially important if there isn’t a receiving line. The couple will certainly appreciate your consideration and will be happy that you and their parents finally met. 

Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email

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