Wedding Guest Etiquette

You just received your first wedding invitation in the mail. Great! But now what? It truly is an honor to be invited to someone’s big day and with that honor comes some responsibility. While common courtesy still applies, there are some extra considerations to make for weddings in particular. We’re here to break down some of the big dos and don'ts of wedding etiquette.

After receiving your invitation, return your RSVP card at your earliest opportunity. This will help the bride and groom to get organized as quickly as possible. Planning a wedding is stressful enough without having to hound people down to determine if they’re coming or not.

image source: love and lavender

image source: love and lavender

After sending your RSVP, don’t expect to be able to change your response. If you RSVP and end up having an emergency, notify the couple as soon as possible. There are deadlines on when you have to pay for food and if they cannot get their money back, they’ll want to try to fill your seat with another guest. On the same note, under no circumstances is it acceptable to be a no-show with no response or show up to a wedding after sending a “no” for your RSVP.

Most people are familiar with the cliché “don’t wear white to a wedding.” It’s a cliché for a reason! Unless the dress code specifically calls for it, do not wear white to a wedding. If there is no dress code listed on an invitation, that does not mean that the dress code is open ended. Most of the time, an appropriate dress code can be determined based off of location or time of day. At a minimum, you should assume semi-formal attire. When in doubt, reach out to a friend you know who is also attending, or as a last resort, ask the bride’s opinion!

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image source: the doodle coop

image source: the doodle coop

The big day is here and you’ve arrived at the wedding! Everything is gorgeous and your first thought is to grab your phone and start snapping photos and videos. Well, don’t! Snapping a few photos before the ceremony begins can be okay, but once things begin, be sure to silence and store your electronics and be present for the duration. Unless the couple has signage with their hashtag or something similar, avoid posting any photos of the ceremony and stick to only posting images from the reception.

image source: primitive weddings

image source: primitive weddings

Alcohol is a factor in most weddings. It’s extremely important to know your limits and to avoid causing a scene. Just because there is an open bar doesn’t mean that you should continue to drink endlessly all evening. Drink responsibly!

 

If you choose to attend a wedding, it is expected that you bring or send the couple a gift. There is a huge variety of options for any budget. Everything on their registry out of your budget? Opt for a gift card or cash with a small DIY to commemorate the day. Many couples are opting for alternative registries where guests can donate to their honeymoon fund or a charity instead of a physical gift, which gives you another great option!