Today I’m sharing a few friendly suggestions you should and should NOT do when you’re a guest at a wedding. These are things I have noticed as a bride, guest, and now planner that are great and not so great to do. As soon as you RSVP, you’ve accepted your role as guest to your friend or coworkers wedding. It’s easy to treat a wedding like any other party you would attend, however, that is a facade. With emotions higher than normal plus the amount of money spent per guest is much greater than your average party, there are some social rules to be mindful while attending a wedding. Let’s jump on in!
-Don’t add extra people to the invitation. Please don’t assume you have a plus one unless the invitation specifically says “and guest” or the bride/groom have told you that you can bring your significant other. Typically, a plus one is expected only when you’ve been with your boyfriend/girlfriend for a long period of time, you’re engaged/married, or have children. Each extra guest costs the bride and groom extra money and space in possibly a limited seating venue. If your invite doesn’t say “and family” assume they aren’t invited. If the invitation includes only your name and doesn’t say “and guest”, don’t show up with a date. If you are unsure, as someone in the wedding party or a parent of the couple.
-This should be obvious by now, but ladies should simply not wear white to a wedding. This includes the various shades of white such as ivory, champagne, off-white, and even blush. Speaking from personal experience, this slipped my eyes during my wedding but I definitely noticed in the pictures! Dress appropriately for the time and season. In general, anything after 7 or 8 p.m. is considered black tie. As always, if you’re unsure about something, ask a wedding party member or family member of the bride.
-RSVP, RSVP, RSVP! This may seem like a minor detail, but let me assure you that no couple feels that RSVPs are a minor detail (neither does the caterer!). As soon as you receive a formal invitation, please respond with a yes or no in a promptly manner! It’s not only rude to the couple for not responding but they need to give vendors head counts. So again, confirm with them no less than a month before the wedding. Along with the RSVP, arrive on time. Don’t be that person that walks in as the bride and groom are saying their vows!
-You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a gift for the couple. Most couples provide plenty of gift ideas at many different price points on their registry. (side note, if they have taken the time to complete a gift registry, stick to it. Try not to deviate from it) A nice gesture is to mail your gift. Plenty of stores provide this service for free or a nominal charge. The couple, and their families, will be grateful because no one wants to carry around a bunch of gifts after a tiring day.
-This should possibly be the first item on my list…leave the bride alone. Don’t try to pop into the bridal suite to say “hi” while she’s getting ready, unless you were invited. Don’t call her that morning with any wedding day related questions because whatever the question is, there is at least one (or two or three) other person who can answer it. The bride has enough to worry about that day! If you notice a problem, find someone else like the coordinator, venue manager, or catering manager to inform before causing unwanted stress for the couple, wedding party, or the parents.
-Do not get in the photographers way. The couple has paid a lot of money for the photographer and by standing in the aisle to get a picture of the first kiss, cake cutting, first dance, etc. you’re only getting in the photographer’s way. Don’t be that person taking photos during the ceremony. I’ve witnessed countless people taking pictures with their phones and tablets. While a photographer can make some edits, it is too costly to remove an entire electronic device. Let the photographer capture the memories, and keep your device stored so that the image of you holding up your iPhone is not obstructing or washing out the photographer’s professional shot of the bride walking down the aisle.