The Do’s and Don’ts of being a Wedding Guest


Well, it is that time of the year! Wedding season is upon us and many of you probably have a few weddings to attend this year. Being a guest seems like a no brainier, but there are a few things that you should know about the proper etiquette! 

The Do’s

  • RSVP ON TIME (better yet, early!)

    • Those planning a wedding go through a lot of hassle for the big day and the sooner that a final number attending is known, the easier it is to make final preparations with the venue, caterer etc – which means less stress and more enjoyment of the final days!


    • If you have a dietary restriction such as vegetarian, celiac, lactose intolerant, allergies etc, make sure to let the bride and groom know ahead of time so that the caterers can take the necessary precautions.


    • It is ok for the bride to be fashionably late to the ceremony but NEVER is it ok for anyone else to be late. It is always embarrassing for the person arriving to a ceremony late! Trust me; you do not want to be that person! Better yet, arrive early!


    • Not only do you not want to be the person who arrives late to the ceremony, but you also do not want to be the one person slurring the words during the speeches or falling over at the reception. Have a good time, but be respectful, have fun, and for the love of all that is holy, do not spill a drink on the bride!


    • The decorations at a wedding are not for you to take home, the bathroom stalls are not for you to write on, the tables are not for you to dance on etc. In most cases, the bride and groom have signed a contract stating that they will be responsible for all damages the day of the event. You do not want to be responsible for starting off their married life with a huge bill!


    • A lot of registries have the option of mailing your gift straight to the bride and grooms house! This saves someone from having to haul every gift from the venue to the gift opening. Also, if you are giving cash and there is a gift opening, bring the card to that. Cards do, and have, gone missing somewhere in between dropping it in the card box and transportation to the gift opening location!


The Don’ts


    • Your phone can be a major distraction to you throughout the day; but I can assure you it will also be a distraction for the bride and groom. They are going to want to look out at their guests and see your smiling faces – not the backs of your phones or ipads. My personal advice, go to the wedding and put your phone ON SILENT and away in your pocket or purse and be present. Take in every moment and every word and after the ceremony is over, take that phone out and snap away. My Photographer’s opinion – Put the phones away and stay out of the isle because a little piece of me crumbles when all of the ceremony shots have guests with their phones in the air!


    • White is for the bride, Black is for the groom and jeans/sweat pants/lululemon leggings etc are for casual days and have no place on guests at a wedding! Yes, I have seen guests with jeans on at a wedding and it looks tacky (unless the guests are requested to go casual, then have at ‘er).


    • If your invitation does not say one of the following, most likely the bride and groom have only invited you and no one else:

      • Your Name + 1

      • Your Name + Guest

      • Your Name + Family

      • Your Last Name Family

      • Your Name + Spouse’s Name 

This would most likely also imply that it is an adult only wedding and the children have not been invited either. If there is any confusion, please contact the bride and groom; do not assume that you can bring anyone other than who is on that invitation because the bride and groom have probably only budgeted for the name(s) on the invite!

The Final Do!


    • Have a good time. Share in the laughter, dance your feet off, eat until you have to unbutton those pants and relish in the love that surrounds everyone on that day!  The bride and groom have invited you out of everyone they know in their lives to share in their special day with them; they want you to have a good time! So let your inner child out and whip out those shopping cart and sprinkler dance moves!