When a loved one “requests the honor of your presence” at their wedding, they hope to have a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends, and that none of their guests do anything to spoil the opportunity.
To avoid being that nightmare guest who takes the spotlight on the bride and groom with their bad behavior, follow these expert tips from wedding planners.
Do not be late
Christina Baxter, a wedding planner from Charleston, South Carolina, thinks the first rule of wedding etiquette is to be on time — early, in fact.
If you arrive 20-30 minutes before the ceremony starts, you will help the day run smoothly and avoid an unpleasant scene where you push the bride out of the way as you try to sneak past.
“One of the most annoying things is when someone comes in late, the bride is getting ready to walk down the aisle and they try to come over and sit down,” Baxter said. Newsweek.
Pay attention to your manners
Good manners are suitable for all occasions, but especially for a formal celebration which should be one of the best days of the couple’s life. The bridal party has probably been planning this event for months, spending thousands of dollars that day. As a guest, you should be pleasant and polite throughout the ceremony and reception. Avoid drinking too much and causing any kind of altercation with other guests or staff.
Prepare a gift
Whether you’re bringing it there the same day or sending it home ahead of time, a gift for the newlyweds is appropriate.
Andrew Roby, an event planner in Washington, DC, said guests should always have a gift, even if it’s just a card. “In DC, couples spend about $250 per guest on food and drink. I believe a gift is the perfect token of appreciation for the experience.”
Baxter recommends choosing something from the registry, if the couple has one, as it will likely be an item they need and can be delivered to the couple at a convenient time before or after the wedding. She also pointed out that knives can be considered bad luck, so you might want to avoid that option.
If the bride and groom have made a specific request, such as money for their honeymoon or donations to charity, it’s best to follow their instructions.
Give the couple your full attention
It’s their day, so give your full attention to the couple’s needs and help make it as joyful as possible, Roby said.
Putting the couple first on their special day also means thinking twice before doing anything that might spoil the celebration. “Ask a simple question: Will my decision positively or negatively impact the couple’s wedding planning process or the wedding day? If your decision negatively impacts them, I don’t recommend you.”
If you’re not sure what the bride and groom might think of your idea, “contact the couple and ask them first.”
RSVP in time with all required information
It is essential to respond in time so that the couple can finalize their reservations and planning.
You must also provide any requested information about food allergies or meal choices. “I believe this is rule number 1 as I have seen so many guests either forget to identify the meal selection or wait until the last minute to decide if they will attend which is extremely stressful for the couple. “, said Roby.
Respect the Plus-One etiquette
“Don’t bring a date if your wedding invitation didn’t say you had one,” warned Alexa Farese, a Los Angeles wedding planner.
You might think you won’t have fun going to the wedding solo and that might put you off, but you have to stick to what’s written on the invitation.
Maybe the couple doesn’t have the budget to invite plus-ones or just want to keep the party intimate. Whatever their reason, you don’t want to upset them.
Avoid the drama
Weddings are great opportunities to reconnect with friends and family members you haven’t spoken to in years. It can be fun, but it can also lead to drama.
If you’re sitting next to an uncle you haven’t spoken to in 10 years and he starts teasing or arguing with you, don’t make a scene. Try to ignore it and have fun anyway and get away from the table as soon as you can. If the situation gets worse, talk to the wedding planner.
Follow the dress code
Some weddings have a dress code, either for cultural reasons or to match the couple’s colors or theme. This is usually stated in the invitation. If you don’t know what “semi-formal” or “Gatsby theme” looks like, Farese just said, “Google!”
You should stick to the couple’s request and wear the (reasonable) outfit or style they have chosen.
“We recently had a wedding in Arkansas and the couple said it was an all-black affair,” Roby said. “I was extremely nervous about it, but every guest wore black and looked amazing.”
dance dance dance
Newlyweds want you to have fun. So take part in the activities they have prepared for you. Farese said, “A lot of planning and effort went into the night, so make sure you use all the stations. Dance, dance, dance the night away.”