How To Be A Great Wedding Guest
This year, I attended seven weddings all before my own. It was actually a wonderful experience for me because 1) I love dressing up; see evidence below and 2) I was able to learn a lot in preparation for my own wedding, which is right around the corner! In going to these parties, I paid attention to so many little details, including food, decor, preferred dance moves, etc. I also noticed the behavior of many guests, both in a positive and negative light. Some things made me pause and try to avoid a major eye roll, other things made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I've made a list below of do's and don't's at a wedding that I personally live by. As always, the opinions are only my own, and you can choose to take them or leave them. I hope that if nothing else, they spark your curiosity about what kind of guest you are, and what kind of guest you want to be!
RSVP On Time
Send your RSVP card back to the bride + groom within 5 days of receiving it. Trust me, they're waiting for it.
Don't Assume You Can Bring A Guest
Unless you were explicitly told by the hosts that you can bring a date, and your invitation says "and guest," you should assume that you cannot bring a +1.
Arrive On Time
As someone who is always late, I know the struggle is real. For weddings, it is so important to be on time because you don't want to miss the ceremony, or have to creep on the grass midway through. I know this because I've been late to weddings before, and felt horrible about it after.
Respect The Dress Code
If the couple says casual, don't show up in a ball gown. If their invitation says black-tie, slacks are not okay. Just be conscious of the role you play in photos, the vibe, etc. You are important to them! So act like it.
Don't Wear White
Ladies, gentleman, this is old news. The only person wearing white at a wedding is the bride, and MAYBE the groom if it's an ultra-swanky affair.
Gifts Should Only Be Cash/Check Or From Their Registry
While it may be tempting to sway from these options and get ultra creative, save that thought for a birthday present. I always recommend giving a check as a wedding gift, but if you really want to personalize, go with something from their registry, or ask the bride and groom what they want/need. Also on that note, if you're ordering something from the registry, have it mailed to their home rather than lugging it to the venue.
Put Your Damn iPhone Away During The Ceremony
This is my #1 pet peeve at weddings because the couple certainly would prefer to look out at their loved ones instead of a sea of iPhones. The couple has also probably hired a professional photographer to snap photos of this precious moment, or if not, they've delegated the task to a friend. Just put your phone away and be present for the part of a wedding that really makes it a wedding vs. a regular party! Also, make sure your phone is on silent for the ceremony, or completely turned off. Vibrate can be heard too.
Don't Talk Or Eat During Speeches
I know that it can be hard to sit still through a speech, but consider the amount of time the speaker spent putting together said composition. They are standing in front of hundreds of people, likely nervous, likely buzzed, pouring their hearts out. Hearing noise, or people cut food, clink glasses, and chat behind them is discouraging, and can be embarrassing. Just wait a few minutes to slice into your steak and give them the full attention that they deserve.
Keep Chit-Chat With The Bride & Groom Brief
Say congratulations, a few warm wishes, and send them on their way. There are a lot of people the bride and groom have to say hello to, not to mention they also probably want to have a sip of champagne and a bite of food before getting out on the dance floor.
Get Out On The Dance Floor
There is no family better at this than Brandon's family, who is ALWAYS the first crew out on the dance floor. Talk about #squadgoals. But seriously, the bride and groom have paid a lot of money to have a DJ or a band so that they can dance and party with their friends, not so that you can sit in the corner on Facebook. Be a team player. Show the couple that you're there to have a good time with them.
Don't Get TOO Drunk
This one is self-explanatory. It's usually an open bar but no one wants to deal with a sloppy drunk on their wedding night. Keep it classy.
Don't Leave Before The Cake Is Cut
Emergencies and extenuating circumstances aside, try to stay at the party with the couple for all of the major moments: their first dance, the dinner course, some dancing, and the cutting of the cake. After that, it's fair game to head out if you've got an early morning or are just partied out!
Take Your Favor Off The Table
Even if it's something you'll never use, it's impolite to decline a gift, so just take it home and then do whatever you'd like with it.