Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the wedding celebration! However, being a guest at such a meaningful event is not only about having fun and socializing. In fact, it puts a lot of responsibility onto your shoulders, so be ready. As a guest, it’s essential to be familiar with wedding etiquette to not ruin the mood of the celebration and cause unnecessary drama. That’s why we are here! We’ve made a helpful guide to the wedding guest rules that you need to know before heading to the celebration. Here they are...
RSVP on time
RSVP is derived from the French phrase “Répondez s'il vous plaît”, which means “Please respond”. Once you get the wedding invitation, let the to-be-weds know whether you can make it to the celebration or not. Usually, an RSVP card is included in the invitation suite, but nowadays, it’s more common for couples to request a digital response. Regardless, you have to act fast and respond beforehand. So be mindful! Don’t ignore the deadline stated in the invitation — it’s there for a reason. Without all the RSVPs, it will be hard for the couple to work through the seating plan and other important planning-related details.
No extra guests
Sometimes there’s confusion around whether you are invited to the wedding alone or with your partner. That’s why being attentive is a must. Read every word written on the wedding invitation card thoughtfully. Don’t assume you can bring a date unless stated otherwise. There are instances when guests believe they can add a partner to the list without notifying the to-be-weds, which is the wrong move. However, if there’s a phrase “and guest” near your name, it's safe to ask your other half to join you. Remember: this is one of the most important wedding etiquette rules to date, and you have to follow it.
Follow the dress code
Traditionally, invitations include all the necessary information about the upcoming celebration, including the dress code. From white-tie and black-tie to cocktail and casual — the options are countless, with each hinting at a specific type of attire. Still, when choosing your outfit, be mindful of general rules: avoid wearing white from head to toe (unless stated otherwise), and don’t put on something flashy or provocative. Always follow instructions from the bride and groom to be 100% sure that you do everything right.
Be mindful of wedding gifts
This one is pretty obvious but no less tricky. Couples spend a lot of time selecting the items and compiling them into a handy wishlist. So consider looking through their wedding registry as soon as it’s available for all the guests. By doing so, you will have more selections to choose from. Otherwise, you might just end up with something not-so-exciting. If the gift is large, think of shipping it directly to the couple’s home. The last thing the bride and groom want to do during a big celebration is figuring out how to fit all the gifts into their car.
If being punctual is not your strong suit, head off to the ceremony earlier, especially if it is held in church. Arrive at the venue 20 to 30 minutes before the start. You will have more time to admire the beautiful setting the couple has been planning for months and take your seat without rushing. Plus, no one is safe from unexpected traffic or delays. Such situations can make your way to the venue more stressful and ruin all the happy excitement.
Nowadays, it is getting more popular among couples to host a special hour-long welcome party, before the actual celebration kicks off. This event is meant for greeting and gathering all the guests. So instead of arriving too early, just get there on time and don't worry too much if you are a bit late.
Turn off your devices
Imagine your phone ringing loudly right in the middle of the ceremony. Sounds like a nightmare! The best precaution is to switch off your electronic devices beforehand, be that a phone or something else. You will save yourself from feeling embarrassed if things go out of control. Indeed, who wants to be remembered as “the most disrespectful one”? Plus, don’t try to play the paparazzi during the ceremony. The couple most likely invested in a photographer, so leave this job to a professional. Being patient is the key. If you are desperate to capture some precious moments on camera, wait for the right time to come.
Avoid talking during the ceremony
Talking while the bride and groom are sharing their vows is absolutely not the best decision. Don’t try to comment on every single move the couple does, as it is regarded as rude and disrespectful. You have the whole day ahead of you, so there will be time for socializing with other guests and giving compliments to newlyweds. Just wait for it! Once the official part is over, you are free to greet the couple’s family and also to introduce yourself to the guests seated at your table. Oh, and remember to refrain from complaining and sharing negative thoughts!
Enjoy the party
You are here to have some fun, remember? Dance, chat with others, and enjoy the food and the bar. However, drink alcohol responsibly and try not to get completely wasted. One more shot — and it may lead to unwanted consequences. The bride and groom want you to have an incredible time and create new unforgettable memories, so grant their wish and make the most of such a meaningful day!