Wedding Guest Ettiquette

Wedding Guest Ettiquette

As a guest, you are there to support and celebrate the bride and groom. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind at any wedding.

Do RSVP in a timely manner. The wedding couple and the entire team has spent a lot of time, money, and effort to plan this whole event and they want to know as soon as possible who they can expect at their event. If it turns out that you RSVP’d with yes and you have a major life event and can’t come, let them know as soon as possible so they can make arrangements and maybe invite someone else or get their money back.

Don’t ask to add guests to an invitation. If the invitation says plus one, you can bring another person, not three others. If it says plus family, it means you can bring your family. If it says no children and you have children, you have to find a babysitter or someone who takes care of your kids and you can’t ask to bring your kids because they specifically don’t want that.

Do respect the dress code. If the invitation has a dress code, follow it. Popular dress codes for weddings include cocktail attire, black tie or black tie optional. If the invitation does not state a dress code, you should definitely ask the wedding couple.

Do buy a gift from the registry or give them cash. If you can’t run anything on the registry anymore that you actually want to give or you think is out of your budget, give cash. As a newly married couple, you need to make lots of decisions, choices, and purchases, and cash will always help.

Don’t be greedy at an open bar. In most cultures, if you’re invited to a wedding, that means you’re not expected to pay for anything and everything is included. In the US, however, it’s not uncommon to have a cash bar where guests are expected to pay for alcoholic beverages. Now sometimes, you’ll find an open bar and that’s because the wedding couple wants to be very generous and just wants you to have a good time.

Don’t embarrass the wedding couple by trying to be the center of attention. That means as a woman, do not wear a white dress, that’s reserved for the bride. Same as the men, don’t wear shiny dinner jackets, or big boutonnieres, or top hats as the guest because that’s not about you, it’s about them.

Don’t arrive late or leave the event early. If you have major other conflicts with your schedule and you can’t make it work, simply don’t attend. it’s just very disrespectful to show up late when they are in the middle of the ceremony or to just leave early because it just tells the wedding couple you don’t care enough to stay.

Do say goodbye to the bride and groom in person. It is their day and yes, they don’t have time to spend an hour and talking to all their guests. The least you can do is say goodbye personally with a handshake, with a hug, and thank them personally that they invited you.

Do plan a safe ride home if you had a few drinks. Do not drive yourself. Get a lift or an Uber or even an old school cab or have someone drive who didn’t drink. That way, you get home safely and everybody is happy.

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