30 Jul How To Be a Good Wedding Guest

Are you up-to-date on your wedding guest etiquette? As a wedding guest, you have responsibilities, too! Celebrate the special couple’s big day while minding your manners with these tips.

Getting There
Always RSVP promptly even if you’re not going to attend. “RSVP” is short for the French phrase, répondez, s’il vous plaît, which translates to “please respond.” A lot goes into planning a wedding and your hosts need to know if you plan to attend or not. If you’re not attending the wedding, send a gift to the couple or give them a call of congratulations.

Unless the invitation states you can bring one, do not bring along a plus one.

Make sure you know where you’re going before leaving for the wedding or reception. Recon the area beforehand so you’re not late or hopelessly lost.

The Dress Code
Even if your invitation doesn’t explicitly state the dress code, it can still clue you in on how to dress appropriately. A pretty pant suit or floral dress is perfect for an outdoor spring wedding, for example, while men can wear a light-colored suit.

Black is fine for formal evening weddings, but women should not wear white, ivory, or off-white — it detracts from the bride’s special color.

The Gift
As a general rule of thumb, your gift investment should mirror your relationship with the bride and/or groom. Plan to spend about $50-$75 on a gift for a coworker, $100 for a friend or family member, and up to $150 on a gift for a close friend.

Don’t bring gifts to the wedding — cards are ok. Send gifts to the address on the couple’s wedding registry. Gifts at the reception mean something else for the happy couple to worry about.

You have up to a year to give the couple a wedding gift, but the sooner the better.

The Ceremony
A wedding is not a time to be fashionably late! In fact, it’s wise to arrive a little early to the ceremony, ideally 30 minutes before the start time printed on the invitation. If you arrive after the wedding has begun, quietly seat yourself in the back, but make sure the bride has made it down the aisle first.

Respect the bride’s room and know that it is off limits. Resist the urge to pop in for a quick minute just to say hello. She is preparing for her big walk down the aisle and will probably need the time for reflection before the ceremony begins.

While weddings are certainly social media-worthy, this is not the time to Facebook Live the proceedings. Put your phone away and enjoy the beautiful ceremony!

The Reception
It’s time to mingle! Introduce yourself to the people at your table. 

If the couple has a receiving line, don’t skip it. It’s important to them.

Follow the couple’s lead on when to start dancing.

Wedding toasts are not open mic night. If you feel moved to say a few words, keep it brief and family appropriate. Don’t embarrass the happy couple!

Be mindful of the wedding photographer. Stay out of their way during group photographs and when the cake is being cut.

When to leave? Stay until the cake has been cut, at least. When you’re ready to leave, give the couple a hug or find a member of the bride’s family to thank them for your invitation.

Featured Image: Be Light Photography | Stationery: Fine Paperwork

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