The Perfect Wedding Guest Etiquette
Written by Julianne Cuomo, Director of Celebrations.
Planning and preparing to attend a wedding as a guest can be very stressful. Many people do not know the proper protocol when it comes to attending a wedding and we are here to help! From knowing what time to show up for the ceremony to whether or not you should bring a date, we outline the dos and don’ts to perfect wedding guest etiquette!
Do: RSVP before the deadline given on the invitation.
There is so much that goes into planning a wedding and sending in your RSVP in a timely manner will take some of that extra stress off the bride and groom. This will help give them a proper head count, as well as a better idea of where they stand with their budget. Remember to RSVP if you are not planning to attend rather than not sending in anything at all.
Don’t: RSVP for more guests than listed on the invitation.
If the invitation is made out to only you, then you were the only one invited to attend. If it says your name plus a guest, then you are allowed to RSVP for a guest. If your children are not listed on the invitation, they are not invited. Do not bring your kids unless the invitation says children are allowed.
Do: Come to the ceremony prepared.
Show up to the ceremony early and dress respectfully. If you have any questions about what to wear, see our “What Not to Wear to a Wedding” blog. Also, if you say you are coming, show up! Attend both the wedding ceremony and the reception. The bride and groom want you to enjoy their special day with them – and that means attending all the events you are invited to.
Don’t: Let children run around or be disrespectful.
If children are allowed to attend the ceremony, make sure you have control over them. If they begin to act up, respectfully take them away to deter any distractions. If there is a chance your child will get antsy or begin to fuss, try to sit in a spot close to the exit to make things easier for you. The bride and groom want to share their day with you and your family, but they want the focus to stay on them.
Do: Make sure you and your guest are respectful at the reception.
Sit at your assigned table and do not try to trade seats to sit by “your friends”. The bride and groom put a lot of time into the seating plan – so follow it. You can meet your friends out on the dance floor. Also, make sure you and your guest avoid excessive alcohol. The reception is supposed to be fun, but do control yourself and your guest.
Don’t: Have your cell phone out at all!
You were invited to celebrate the bride and groom’s wedding with them and their guests, nobody else. Do not call, text or email others during the ceremony or reception. A common trend now is people sharing photos of themselves at the wedding with a hashtag. This is fine but we recommend you hold off on sharing photos of the bride and groom on social media. Wait for the couple to do this when they are ready. It’s their day, let them be the first to share their wedding memories of one another then you can add to the fun.
Share these tips on the perfect wedding guest etiquette with everyone so there are no questions when attending a wedding or special event! For more wedding tips and tricks, take a look back at our blog.