Wedding Guest Etiquette

May 5, 2015

It's wedding season, and if you haven't already gotten an invitation to a ceremony, you can probably expect one soon. Here are ten tips for being an exceptional wedding guest.

1. Always send your reply card.

Even if the bride or groom is your sibling, send the card back or hand it to them in person. When it's time to tally up the headcount, they shouldn't have to make any phone calls to double check that you'll be there.

2. Never wear white. 

Not even cream, ivory, or ecru. The only exception is if the bride and groom specifically requests that their guests wear white (which is becoming a trend). Otherwise, it's actually better to wear black to a wedding than white, lest you receive the death stare from the bride's mother.

3. Don't wear anything too sexy.

This should go without saying, but you'd be surprised. If you're unsure, wear a classic piece, like a sheath dress, and punctuate it with great jewelry.

4. Bring your intended "plus one."

If you have to make a change, notify the bride in advance, as she may be having place cards printed.

5. Stay out of the photographer's way.

You may be tempted to pull out your phone or camera to capture the bride coming down the aisle or the happy couple's first kiss, but you might end up blocking the perfect shot for the photographer. Instead, just be in the moment and look at the pro's pics when the couple gets them back.

6. Always send a gift.

Even if you can't make it to the ceremony, wedding etiquette dictates that you send a gift anyway. 

7. Stick to the registry.

This is kind of a no-brainer, especially for the wedding (not so much for the shower, especially if you're close to the bride and want to get her something meaningful). Do the bride and groom a favor and have the gift shipped rather than bringing it to the ceremony.

8. Sit where you're told at the reception. 

If you've ever planned a wedding or big event, you know what a pain in the butt putting together a seating chart can be. Respect the bride's wishes and sit at whatever table she places you.

9. Don't drink too much.

A wedding is not the place to relive those glory days of college. Have fun, drink champagne, but know your limit.

10. Stay until the cake cutting.

It's always hard to gauge when it's the right time to call it a night, but a good rule of thumb is to wait until after the bride and groom have cut the cake. And when you do leave, make sure you thank the bride and groom, or a member of their immediate family.

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  1. Death stare from the brides mother...ha ha ha!!! Dang, I'll never wear white, cream or ecru for sure now !

    1. Ha! Don't be messing with her baby, now!


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