I’ve been to several weddings in the last few months, including my own, where I have cringed at people’s behavior and lack of knowledge to wedding guest etiquette. Weddings can be a lot of fun, but can be quickly ruined when people do not know proper etiquette. To save you from looking like a fool at your next wedding, I have pulled together by top 6 do’s and don’ts of wedding guests.
- RSVP – RSVP-ing can be a pain as a guest, it slips your mind or you misplaced your card, but I promise the stress of the bride not knowing how many people are coming can causes lots of tears and potentially a disaster. I did not understand this stress until I started planning my own wedding. So many people did not RSVP, so when it came time to plan table assignments I was calling and texting people desperately trying to get a response. Secondly, if you RSVP yes and don’t come it is down right rude and disrespectful, the family is planning on your being their and paying for your meal, so when you don’t show up your wasting their money.
- Sign the Guest Book – This should be the first thing you do when you walk into the venue. If for some reason, you aren’t able to speak to the couple directly, they will still be able to see you were there.
- Follow the Lead of the Mother of the Bride – I recently went to a wedding where half of the audience was sitting and half was standing when the bride walked down the aisle. An easy way to tell what to do is to follow the lead of the Mother of the Bride. If the mother stands you stand and when she sits everyone else is allowed to sit. If for some reason, she wants to stand during the whole ceremony than you should stand the whole time.
- Know Your Limit – I think everyone’s favorite part of weddings is the open bar, but do NOT get trashed. Know your limit! I recommend a 2-3 drink maximum, so you don’t look like trash in the photos or so you aren’t that annoying friend that everyone is talking about.
- Follow the Dress Code – During my early years of college I went to a wedding that was “formal” attire. I opted for a cocktail dress, much to my surprise everyone was in ball gowns. Not only did I feel uncomfortable but I looked out of place in photos. When in doubt being overdressed is always better than underdressed.
- Remember to Take Your Favor – At my wedding, we had so many people not take their favors. Not only was this a waste of money but then a burden of what do we do with all of these left over favors?
- Wear White – EVERYONE knows this rule, but just to reiterate, do not wear white to a wedding. Don’t wear ivory. Don’t wear cream. Don’t wear anything even close to white.
- Be Late – There are two events you should never be late to, weddings and funerals. Just don’t do it!
- Use Your Cell Phone During the Ceremony – Nothing ruins the bride walking down the aisle more than someone taking snapchats over her or grandpa on the front row with his Razor taking pictures. There is a 99% chance the bride will post pictures once she gets them, if not she wants to keep it private and you need to respect that.
- Talk to the Couple Too Long – The couple has a lot of people to talk to, so don’t hog their time. Grab a quick picture, compliment the bride, congratulate them and thank them for inviting you and let them move on.
- Assume a Plus One is Allowed – Wedding budgets are tight, if the plus one is not indicated on the invitation, it is safe to assume a plus one is not allowed. NEVER call the bride to ask. Just go solo and enjoy yourself!
- Don’t Leave Until the Cake is Cut – This is something I learned when planning my wedding. After the cake has been cut it is perfectly acceptable to leave, but before that is just rude.