It is an honor to be invited to a wedding because it means that you have been selected by the bride and groom to attend one of the greatest moments of their lives. It will make you feel important especially when they have a tight wedding guest list. But there is more to attending a wedding than getting dressed and joining the party because you also have some important responsibilities as a guest.
The couple entrusted their guests to not ruin their special day, meaning, it’s your responsibility to not let them down. If it’s your first time to attend a wedding, here are some tips for wedding guest etiquette.
1. Do RSVP on Time
For weddings, invitations are usually sent around six weeks before the special day and the bride and groom typically ask that you RSVP four weeks before the red-letter date. Once you receive the invitation, immediately respond if you can attend or not.
Doing RSVP on time is important because when couples draw up a guest list, they usually create another list which is the second wave invites. If someone responds that they will not make it on the wedding day, then the couple can fill the place by inviting someone else. If you wait around, then you might be denying the bride and groom the opportunity to do this.
It is also important in hiring tables and chairs because if you respond after the RSVP deadline, then you might be forcing the couple and as well as their vendors to make a last-minute accommodation for you, which is a lot of hassle.
2. Don’t Assume that You Can Bring a Date
Unless the invitation says “and guest” then you can bring a date, but if it doesn’t, then only you should be attending. You shouldn’t also call the bride or groom to ask if you can bring someone with you either because if that is in their budget, they would’ve extended the extra invitation.
It is a worse scenario for the bride and groom to see random people turning up at their wedding. There are certain practicalities that have to be taken into consideration such as photographers, tables and chairs rental and more. And the couple usually have already given their final headcount to their vendors a few weeks before the wedding.
3. Buy a Wedding Gift Early
The bride and groom have spent their time choosing the items included on their registry. They chose those items because they plan on using them. Therefore, if you’re thinking about what gift to give them, do them and as well as yourself a favor and buy from their registry. Buying one early will make your gift seem more personal and there is more selection to choose from.
4. Pay Attention to the Dress Code
Make sure to check the dress code that the bride and groom have set for their wedding. It is also usually found on the wedding invitation. Even if it’s casual, you should at least wear a dress, skirt, or suit. Remember to dress for the venue and follow the instructions from the bride and groom.
5. Arrive on Time
Weddings usually start late but that doesn’t mean arriving late is also fine. It’s because the grand entrance of the bride is an important moment and everyone seeing you chasing behind her to grab a set is an embarrassing and disrespectful move.
When attending a wedding, it’s advisable to arrive at least half an hour before the event. If you live far, you can find a nearby place to stay in for the night to avoid being late.
6. Turn Off Your Phones
In any event, not just in weddings, a loud ringing can distract everyone. You don’t want your phone to create a noise just before the groom says “I do” right? Then even before you get out of your car, make sure to turn off your phone so you won’t forget.
7. Avoid Bringing Kids with You
This one can be tricky because the bride and groom cannot put on their invitations that kids are not allowed to join the ceremony. It means that you have to work out whether they are welcome.
If the invitation states, “To you and family” or if each family member is specified on the invite, then it means their included. But if not, maybe it’s best to leave them at home and just hire a babysitter.
8. Do Not Block the Photographers
The bride and groom hired photographers to capture the special moments in their wedding day and these photographers are doing their best to capture these moments. Therefore, you need to be aware and keep out of the way of any shots.
9. Enjoy the Party but Don’t Get Wasted
Some brides and grooms are afraid that their guests are not having a good time at their wedding reception. To give them some peace of mind, show them that you’re enjoying, mingling with friends, dancing and smiling. You can also drink but don’t abuse it.
10. Sign the Guestbook
This may seem cheesy but signing the guestbook will help the couple remember everyone who attended their wedding.
When it comes to attending weddings, you just have to be accommodating of the couple’s wishes as possible. We hope these tips will help you become a responsible wedding guest.