Wedding Guest Etiquette: DO’s and DON’Ts

Chances are, you’ve seen a guest behave poorly at a wedding where that’s being totally wasted or just telling dirty jokes, or just being a jerk. It’s just that kind of time when all the relatives are down, everybody’s there and happy and there is that one bad guest that everyone remembers for the rest of their lifetime and you don’t want to be that terrible guest that everybody thinks of not so fondly and actually resents.

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

You are invited to support the bride and groom

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. Nothing is more disappointing to a bride and groom to have guests be disrespectful by either not RSVPing or RSVPing and not showing up. If you pull that on them, they will not invite you to any other event again.

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. It can be hard for them to say no but you should respect their wishes and if you can’t make it work, simply say no and regretfully decline but don’t show up with more people or ask for more. The reason is, every wedding couple has to make hard decisions about their guest list and you just make it even harder on them when you bring those requests.

You are invited to support the bride and groom

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, of course, you know them, and you kind of have an idea of what they want and how they dress normally. But weddings are different and so you should always make an effort to reach out so you know in advance.


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