Hopefully, going to a wedding is fun and not a chore! However, whatever your feelings toward the wedding you’ve been invited to, it’s important to be the best guest you can be, after all, it’s a lot of people put a lot of work into make the day special for the bride and groom. Here’s a little guest etiquette refresher, but most importantly, just remember to be polite!
Sure, the invitation says you can wait a few weeks, even months, before letting them know your attendance status, but if you already know, tell them! Like, now! Making a seating chart, planning meals…there are plenty of things the couple needs to do once you RSVP so help them out and do it as soon as you know whether or not you can attend.
No Plus One? No Kids? Don’t Bring Them
If you’re RSVPing and you don’t see anyone else’s name on the invite, or you don’t see “and guest,” do not bring a guest. Don’t write in someone’s name, or put that two will be attending unless they’ve specifically stated you can bring someone. If there is no “and family” or your children’s names specifically written on the invite, find a babysitter. Unfortunately for some, not all weddings are family affairs. But that’s ok! You can have a night off! If you can’t get a babysitter and have no other options, you still can’t bring your kids if they’ve asked you not to, you’ll have to sit the wedding out.
Usually, the invitation will note what the attire is for the day; dress accordingly. If it doesn’t say for some reason, see if there is anyone from the wedding party you can ask, but if not, assume business casual at the least. Ladies: no white! Even if the bride isn’t wearing a white dress, it’s best to avoid an all white dress yourself. Also, make sure you don’t match the bridal party!
If you sent in your RSVP as “attending,” attend the wedding! If you’ve been invited to both the ceremony and the reception, do your best to attend both! Sure the ceremony isn’t as fun, but they invited you for a reason.
Arrive on Time
Nothing is worse than guests sneaking in right before, or after, the bride walks down the aisle! Give yourself plenty of time so you can find parking and take your seat well before the ceremony starts. Always assume it will start on time!
Send a Gift
Even if you aren’t attending the wedding, check out the couple’s registry (stick to the registry) and send a gift to their house. If you don’t know them as well, or if you’re young and broke, try to find something small from their registry, but do your best to still send them something.
Put the Phone Down
Even if the ceremony isn’t “unplugged,” it’s best to keep the phone away during the ceremony. Just like any service, it’s rude to be on your phone throughout the ceremony. Also, try to keep the pictures to a minimum, if at all during the ceremony. Holding your phone up to snap a pic can block other guests views, or worse, block the actual professional photographer. Unless otherwise stated, you should be fine getting some selfies in at the reception! Be sure to use the couples hashtag if they have one, or if they ask that you wait to post photos, respect their wishes.
No Unplanned Speeches
Even if you’ve known the bride for years, unless you were asked, do not stand up to give a speech! Speeches are almost always coordinated ahead of time, so don’t take the spotlight away from anyone else.
It’s a wedding, so if there is an open bar, go for it. That being said, it is someone’s special day, so if you know you get a little crazy when you spend a little too much time at the bar, try to avoid it. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or the couple of honor! But, as long as you can keep things generally controlled (and you have transportation plans) do take advantage of the open bar! It’s supposed to be a fun night for everyone!