Wedding Guest Etiquette: The Five Do’s of being a Wedding Guest

You have received the invitation and it tells you the save a particular date. You are quite excited about the prospect of being all dolled up for this occasion and could not help but feel a little giddy as you are certain you are to be stringing along your date. In your anticipation about the prospect of being surrounded in well-dressed guests and your excitement in frolicking about in the bar sipping on cocktails while perusing the fashion choice of the bride, you neglect to RSVP to the wedding invitation.

With that alone you have committed and are about to commit quite a number of wedding guest faux pas. The wedding day might be all about the bride and her big day, but that does not necessarily connote that all proper means of demeanor, conduct and etiquette are centered on her. As a guest, there is a certain set of rules that you should abide by should you want to bride and groom feel at ease that they have invited you to commemorate their happiest day.

Some rules are pretty straightforward and are pretty much expected of a wedding guest (do not get embarrassingly inebriated, do not ask the couple for any favors, etc.) but there are some rules that are often overlooked and disregarded. This article shall be your purveyor to the wedding guest DO’s, so that come wedding day, you will be a stellar guest of the affianced couple.

DO’s

1.)    RSVP

Pretty straightforward but very much overlooked. There is a reason why guests need to RSVP before the wedding this is so the couple can estimate how much the wedding catering would cost. Much planning goes into how many people the couple will invite and they will be paying for every single guest attending which means, that if you could not attend their wedding, it is best to tell them you cannot so they can allocate the spot saved for you to someone else. Guests that RSVP months prior the wedding is a boon to the couple’s guesting preferences as it shows that they have enough courtesy to respond when invited. Invited guests that do not RSVP and fail to show up, however, are in bad taste.

2.)    DRESS ACCORDINGLY

Some invitations would explicitly state how their guests should be attired for the ceremony, however, there are also invitations that would make a subtle insinuation as to how their guests should be dressed (seashells and sand on the invitation suggests a casual ceremony whereas an embossed and embroidered one would mean a formal affair). The wedding reception may also be a great indication as to how a guest should be garbed (Ballrooms and function rooms require formal attires while garden weddings can be considered casual)

If you are still unsure how you should be clothed for the wedding, ask someone who is familiar to the wedding preparations such as the wedding coordinators or a member of the couple’s family.

3.)    DO SHOW UP TO THE CEREMONY

Some guests would skip the ceremony altogether and just show up to the reception. This is a big wedding guest faux pas as the ceremony is the most important part of the affair and the couple obviously wanted you to be a witness to their exchange of vows. Neglecting to show up to the ceremony and going straight to the reception would be doing the couple not only a discourtesy but a disservice as well. Be a considerate guest by being present in the ceremony and the reception as well.

4.)    DO SIT AT YOUR ASSIGNED TABLE

Do not make a fuss as to where you are seated. This has all been strategically planned by the bridge and groom as well as the coordinators. Generally, you would be seated with your family if you are coming as a bunch, otherwise, if you came alone then the couple might have you seated next to a stranger they want you to get acquainted with. Do not begrudge them this, smile, mingle and make friends.

5.)    DO BRING A GIFT

It is the least you can do to tell the couple that you were happy to have been invited to witness their wedding. Besides, if the bride and groom have obviously spent for you to be there, would it not be nice to reciprocate the gesture by giving them a simple token they can use for their life as a couple?

Though we have extensively discussed all that you should do as a wedding guest, there are also a certain number of don’ts that you should be aware of should you want to conduct yourself appropriately as a wedding guest which will be thoroughly discussed in another article. For now, this is the set of do’s you can acquaint yourself with as a wedding guest to make yourself worthy of that wedding invitation.

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