The Wedding Guest: The Do's and Don'ts
Since wedding season is in full swing, I thought I’d prep you with just a few Do’s and Don’ts. A little new age wedding guest etiquette, mistakes you didn’t even know you were making and how to be the perfect guest …or pretty darn close.
1. DO NOT WEAR WHITE! Off white, cream ivory…..just don’t! Unless the bride and groom are having an all-white wedding, or if you’re close enough to the bride to ask her, or a bridesmaid where she stands on wedding guests wearing white to HER wedding. Although the times are changing, traditionally only one person and one person only wears white the BRIDE (and in some cases the groom too). If you’re not sure….DO NOT WEAR WHITE!
The next one I hold very near and dear to my heart…
2. DO RSVP…RSVP…..RSVP!!! RSVP- Répondez s'il vous plaît, translates to “please respond”…….basically ”you coming or nah?” If you received an invitation/evite/text …. a response is expected from you regardless of where you fall on the family tree or in the circle of friends. A simple Yes or No. Never assume that the couple should know you’re coming. No response equates to a NO, and 9 times out of 10 if you show up without RSVP’ing, you’ll have no seat or a plate….or you’ve taken the seat and plate of someone who so graciously rsvp’d and did so in a timely manner. Either way it creates quite an embarrassing situation for all parties involved. If you’re unsure if you’re able to attend let them know. Respond!!! Got it? Cool, let’s move on shall we?
3. Plus 1 Don’t assume you can bring a guest unless it’s indicated so on your invite ( either on the envelope or rsvp card. ) Generally how the invite is addressed is the number one way to tell who is invited.
Example: "Ms. Jane Doe" (Only Jane is invited, the rsvp card will indicate if you are welcome to add 1 guest) "Mr. & Mrs. John Doe" or " John & Jane Doe" (John and Jane are invited) "Mr. & Mrs. Doe and Family" (John Jane and the kids are invited)
"Mr. Doe and guest" ( You and a guest of your choice)
If your husband can’t make it, don’t bring your sister in his place without discussing it with the couple. They may prefer to give that seat to someone else who they may have” waitlisted”
4. Gifts If it is within your means…purchase a gift. You don’t have to go all out and spend tons of money. If the couple has a registry, purchase the gift from their registry. Most registries have the option to send gifts to the couple’s home, if they do choose that option, to help cut down on how many gifts they have to worry about lugging back home after the reception. If the items left on the registry are a little above your budget, then a monetary gift they can use while on their honeymoon, or put towards a purchase for an item in their new home will do.
5. Pictures 1. Try to stay out of the photographer’s way. We all want to get that great shot, but think about it, the couple most likely spent a few thousand on a great photographer, they don’t want half of their ceremony shots filled with people leaning into the aisle also snapping away, or pics filled with aunties with their humongous iPads or cell phones out taking pictures as well. Unplug during the wedding ceremony, no cell phones or cameras… the couple will thank you later, once they see their amazing ceremony pics.
2. Posting to Social Media Although hashtags are great, and it’s hard to find a wedding without one these days, there are still a few couples who may prefer to be the first to post pictures from their wedding day. It’s safe to say if they have a #hashtag post away, if they don’t confirm if it’s ok to post.
6. Don’t communicate problems to the couple. If there’s something wrong as far as seating, food, can’t find the gift table or the bathroom, or there’s another wedding guest passed out in bathroom. Locate the wedding planner or coordinators (they’re usually in all black) a server, or venue attendant. The last thing a Bride or Groom wants to deal with is pulling their drunken uncle from out of a bathroom stall or you telling them your steak was cold. That’s what the planner is there for.
7. Don’t comment on the bride’s weight loss, ask if her hair is real, how many bundles are in her hair and how much she paid for it. Tell her she looks stunning and ask those questions at a later date. The wedding is just not the place for it.
8. Follow the rules Whatever rules the couple communicate whether it be on the wedding website, program, invitation or announced by the DJ or MC. FOLLOW THEM The average wedding costs about $30,000…. Moral of the story, weddings aren’t cheap. So if you’ve been invited (bear in mind the guest list goes hand in hand with the cost of the wedding) be courteous and make an effort. RSVP on time, dress accordingly, don’t turn up too much at the bar and purchase a gift.
Share some of your, "don'ts" or what you wish your guests knew before coming to your wedding in the comments below.