Being invited to a wedding is such an honor. Just think about it for a second, you’ve been specially chosen by the bride and groom to share one of the biggest days of their lives!
You probably know this already, but creating a wedding guest list can be a painstaking process, so receiving a wedding invitation is a pretty big deal. This is why wedding guest etiquette is so important.
The happy couple has entrusted you not to ruin their special day, so try not to let them down! Although most of the below advice may seem obvious, sadly, these rules are broken time and again.
In light of this, we thought we’d create a list of things wedding guests shouldn’t do.
With all that in mind, let’s dive on in!
1.) DON’T ASSUME YOU CAN BRING A DATE.
There’s nothing worse for the bride and groom than having a parade of random people turn up at their wedding, and no, this isn’t the bride being pedantic. Certain practicalities have to be taken into consideration. For example, catering, photographers, furniture rental, etc. (this list goes on).
The happy couple usually has to give a final headcount to their vendors a few weeks before the big day. Typically, you can get away with one or two extras. However, you can see how embarrassing this could become if every guest broke this rule!
On that same note, chairs for the wedding breakfast are often hired as per the seating plan. So, if you lump a load of unexpected guests into the mix chaos descends!
Therefore, unless the invitation explicitly mentions that you’re allowed to bring a guest, don’t- it’s as simple as that.
On that same note, don’t call the bride just to ‘clarify.’ Trust us, she’ll have a million other things to deal with, and if it were within their budget, they’d have extended the invitation. By making a fuss, you’re putting them in an awkward situation- so just don’t!
2.) DON’T FORGET TO RSVP.
This really gets my goat.
How difficult is it for people to RSVP, by the deadline specified on the invitation?! If you know what your plans are, let the couple know as soon as you can.
When couples draw up a guest list, they often create another list referred to as: ‘second wave invites.’ This means as soon as someone isn’t able to make it, the bride and groom can fill that place by inviting someone else. By needlessly waiting around you might be denying them the opportunity to do this.
In addition to this, vendors require a final headcount (as previously discussed). This is especially important for table and chair hire and catering. If you decide to respond after the RSVP deadline, then there’s a good chance you’re forcing the bride and groom, and their vendors to make a ton of last-minute accommodations to suit you. So, don’t be that person!
On a separate and somewhat unrelated note, if you’re on the hunt for beautiful wedding invitations and RSVP cards, check out MINTED’S RANGE!
3.) BE ON TIME
Typically, weddings run late. However, that doesn’t mean you should! The bride’s grand entrance just before she walks down the aisle is a pivotal moment. The last thing anyone wants to see, is you chasing behind her to grab a seat! It’s incredibly disrespectful.
We recommend arriving at least half an hour early, to avoid this from happening!
If you struggle with timekeeping heed the following advice:
- If you live far away and you think traffic might delay you, then stay the night before somewhere close by.
- Set at least three alarms the morning of the wedding
- Stay with an organized friend who’ll ensure you get there on time!
If you do all of the above, you shouldn’t go too far wrong!
4.) TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE
Before you even get out of your car, turn off your cell phone, that way there’s no way you’ll forget. There’s nothing worse than a gaudy ringtone blaring out just before the groom says ‘I do’!
5.) GET OUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WAY
Yes, photobombing’s fun. However, there’s a time and place, and your friend’s wedding certainly isn’t one of them. The photographer will be doing their very best to capture candid life-changing moments for the bride and groom. So, try to be spacially aware, and keep out of the way of any shots. The happy couple won’t want to see your head bobbing around in their gorgeous wedding photos!
6.) NO, YOU CAN’T RANDOMLY BRING YOUR CHILDREN
This is a tricky one!
Couples often feel they can’t plaster ‘NO CHILDREN’ or, ‘ADULTS ONLY’ all over their wedding invitations. This means you have to work out whether your kids are welcome.
Typically, the bride and groom will write: To [insert name] and family, or, individually specify each child on the invite, if they’re included.
If not, hire a babysitter, and respect the couple’s wishes.
7.) NO, YOU CAN’T BRING YOUR PETS!
This one always makes me laugh because it’s so ridiculous. Just no.
I was at a wedding a couple of years ago, and the aunt of the bride genuinely turned to me and said:
‘I’ve kept my dog in the boot of the car, do you think I can bring her inside for a bit?!’
To which I responded ‘Er, no’.
Who even does that?!
I understand that having a dog is a responsibility. However, your pets aren’t the bride and grooms problem. Even keeping them in the trunk of your car and taking them for a walk close to the venue is fraught with difficulties.
What if your dog gets muddy, you lose control of it, and then it jumps up at the wedding guests?! This would undoubtedly ruin all of their expensive clothes! Or, even worse- the bride’s dress?!
Think ahead people, and book a dog sitter!
We hope this article helped you out! When it comes to it, wedding guest etiquette isn’t tricky, just try to be as accommodating of the couple’s wishes as possible. If in doubt just refer back to this article!
If you enjoyed this blog post then we’re confident you’ll love this feature we published a few months ago; HOW TO DEAL WITH DIVORCED PARENTS AT YOUR WEDDING- WITH MINIMAL DRAMA. Enjoy!
Please feel free to let us know in the comments if you have any further advice on this subject; we’d love to hear from you!
Rosie Greaves- Freelance writer, and wedding and relationships expert.
* Please note, our affiliate links are used throughout this post. However, we only feature brands with whom we have a good working relationship with, and can provide excellent quality products. Happy planning!