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Wedding Etiquette for Guests

Categories : Wedding Tips

As the wedding day is all about the bride, the groom, and their special ceremony, let us not forget the importance of the wedding guests. They are the relatives of the bride and groom, the co-workers, classmates, uni buddies, and even neighbours and closest friends of the couple. 

Hand-picked by the groom and bride, being a wedding guest is a great privilege on the part of the invited as you are asked to take part in a special life milestone at the start of a family’s journey. The bonus part for the guests is the great food, awesome party, and unforgettable memories with the newlyweds.

Do’s and Don’ts for Wedding Guests

To be able to do your fair share of being the best wedding guest ever, here are a couple of rules about wedding etiquette for guests. Learn what to do and what not to do when invited to a wedding or any wedding-related gathering, read on!


Do reply to the RSVP.

If you have received a save-the-date or a wedding invite with an RSVP, you should send a reply and answer the couple back as early as you could. If you are sure to go because the couple are your best friends and you would not miss it for the world, then check yes and send the RSVP back right away. If you are unable to go due to a prior appointment or a work thing that you cannot get out of, politely say no and reply quickly as well so the couple can still invite the other guests from their B-list. No need for long explanations and leave out the drama, sincerely wish the couple well and avoid elaborate explanations of why you cannot come or, much worse, holding up the seats with only to find out you cannot make the big day.

Don’t arrive late.

The bride is traditionally the last person to enter the wedding venue for the ceremony so don’t ruin her shining moment by arriving after her and missing her immaculate walk to the aisle. Of course, you’d think no one will notice that you have arrived late but then there is a chance of a creaking door ruining the vows or a slamming pew interrupting the proclamation and you would not want to be the cause of that.


Do follow the couple’s rules when it comes to social media posting.

Read the wedding invitations or check out the wedding venue for any signs of the wedding hashtags or if they are having an unplugged wedding. Use the couple’s chosen hashtag whenever possible and also try to not be too immersed with the online world that you have forgotten to have fun at the wedding party. Always remember to turn off your camera’s flash and stay out of the photo and video crew’s way.

Don’t bring an uninvited guest.

It is the bride and the groom’s worst nightmare and it will totally wreck everything that they have planned for months - with just one extra person. Make sure you are allowed to bring a plus one from the get go and if you are invited as a solo guest, don’t place the couple on the spot by asking if you could have a plus one with you. Unless the couple is a close family member or besties with you, asking them for an extra person is a huge deal and it is a basic wedding etiquette no-no.


Do interact with other guests and families of the bride and groom.

Especially if you are invited alone and the couple is the only people you know in the entire hall, take time to chat with the other guests. Congratulate their respective families and introduce yourself to the table you are assigned to. Who knows? You might meet a new friend or get a great gym recommendation from other wedding guests so put on your friendly smile and get ready to mingle.

Don’t wear white.

As a traditional rule when it comes to weddings, only the bride is to wear white on her wedding day. Unless the invitation has specified for all guests to strictly wear white, guests are expected to steer clear of wearing white and all its other shades, such as eggshell, cream, ecru, and ivory. Take the hint from the wedding invite if it is going to be a formal dinner, a semi-formal afternoon cocktail party, or a more laid-back lunch reception. It is always better to be overdressed than to underdress so men should leave those denim jeans at home and the ladies better switch to dresses which are more appropriate for the church.


Do sign the wedding guest book.

The line might be too long at the lobby or the couple chose to have fingerprints rather than signatures - it doesn’t matter. As a great wedding guest, you’ll have to follow as what the couple requests and do your part in completing their wedding guest book, no matter how crazy or time-consuming it may sound. Video messages, Instax snapshots, or leaving funny wedding jokes, take time to fill and sign the guest book for the newlyweds’ to remember you by.

Don’t forget the wedding favours.

We know you might have a lot of candles already and you might not need another shot glass but make sure to get a wedding favour. It is a way for the couple to thank you for your presence and for partying with them and it would not be polite to pass on a gift. At the same time, if you wish to take more than one, wait for everyone else to finish taking their favours before asking for extras. Subtly ask the bride if there are any more and also thank the couple for such lovely wedding favours, too.


Do party hard.

Join in the festivities and get ready to party! Head to the front if you wish to join in on the bouquet or garter toss but don’t be too competitive in diving over heads just to win. Have loads of fun while dancing with the bridesmaids and get to enjoy the feast that the couple has prepared because after all, a wedding always ends with a huge party!

Don’t get too wasted.

Oh, the hazards of open bars and long cocktail hours! Don’t get drunk especially if it is the wedding of a colleague or if you are the plus one, that is a big no-no. You would not want to cause a scene in a room full of strangers or at a party with your higher bosses either. Get to have fun minus getting rowdy or getting too intoxicated that you end up messing the fancy dancefloor or the lovely table centrepieces. Worse comes to worst, the couple might have to find a way to take you home or get you a place to crash overnight and you would not want to ruin their first night together just because you drank one too many shots.


Do bring a wedding gift.

Wedding gifts don’t have to be too expensive so don’t pressure yourself on getting the newlyweds an extravagant present on top of all your wedding day expenses. A simple card might be enough but if you would want to go the extra mile, an affordable personalised wedding gift is the way to go. At Giftware Direct, get to pick from our extensive line of custom wedding gifts and personalised engraved giftware for any occasion.

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