Wedding Guest Etiquette: How to Be a Great Wedding Guest
There's a lot of pressure on brides and grooms-to-be (and their families!) to host a fun wedding celebration while still maintaining proper wedding etiquette. But what about guests? It's just as important for guests to follow a few unspoken wedding guest etiquette rules, too, to ensure everyone - the couple, hosts, and guests - has a fun, memorable experience!
Here are 5 ways to be a stellar wedding guest:
Respond honestly (and timely).
The bride and groom-to-be request a response by a very specific date for a reason. Often times it's because the caterer and/or venue needs a headcount, so it's important to make sure you respond by the date requested. It's also important to check your schedule carefully before responding to make sure you are, in fact, available to attend if you say you will. The hosts have hand-picked you to be at their event and have put a lot of time, attention, and expense into having each guest present, so if you cannot attend and don't let the host know, they could end up spending upwards of $100-200 unnecessarily.
Are you given a +1 to invite?
It's really important to be aware of whether or not the bride and groom have given you a +1 to invite. The best way to know if you are or aren't able to bring a guest of your own is to check the outer envelope of your invitation. If the invitation is addressed to only you, the couple is inviting you and only you - not another guest. If the invitation is addressed to you "and Guest", than you are welcome to invite someone to come to the event with you. It's very important that you're aware of this, because it puts the couple of honor in an awkward situation if you respond saying you are bringing a guest and they haven't allotted space for you to bring someone else! Note: see "Respond honestly" above - this applies to your guest as well!
Be aware of the time.
This applies to several different aspects of the event. You certainly want to be well aware of this for the ceremony - the last thing you want to do is come into the ceremony once it's already started! It's always better to be much earlier than to arrive late. It's also important to be aware of the time as the event winds down. Most times, the hosts have reserved the space for a very specific amount of time and are likely to get charged if guests aren't gone by the end of the timeframe. Be aware of the timing as the event winds down and you and your friends can continue the celebration elsewhere.
Don't inundate the bride and groom with last minute questions.
The last thing the bride or groom-to-be has time to do is answer questions that they likely already provided you the information for. If your question is about time or location of the event, check your invitation before asking someone close to the family. If you can't find the answer to your question, try to get the answer from another gust who may be a friend of yours before asking anyone close to the family. As a last resort, ask a family member of the bride or groom, but do not ask the bride or groom if at all possible! They will be really busy, you know, getting ready to get hitched!