10 tips for wedding guests

As a guest, wedding etiquette is important to make sure that you leave the right impression on the big day. No-one wants to be remembered as the guest that had no manners, or the unruly guest that got out of hand. There are a couple of common sense guidelines to follow to ensure that your wedding experience is a positive one, for you and everyone else.

While modern weddings have lost a lot of their archaic tradition that our grandparents were used to, the expectation on you to behave and be polite is still an unseen expectation that you need to adhere to. Here’s some do’s and don’ts to help you in your wedding etiquette and will make you the perfect guest on the wedding day.



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RSVP – it’s important

Traditionally, from the time that you receive the elegant wedding invitation, you have three weeks to reply confirming your attendance. However, don’t leave it till the last minute, do it as quickly as you can. The wedding planner or the bride will be super agitated with you from the start if you are late to RSVP, it’s disrespectful and we are sure that you wouldn’t want them to turn up late or uninvited to an event that you were hosting. Return the same common courtesy by extending your RSVP in a timeous and courteous manner.


Are you sure you can bring a partner?

If the wedding invitation doesn’t ask you to bring a partner, don’t just assume that you can bring your better half or a friend to keep you company. The couple may be trying to save costs and they just managed to squeeze you into the budget, bringing someone with you could mean that there isn’t enough food and beverage for everyone and can mess up the wedding planning totally, so make sure you check in with the planner or the bride before just bringing someone along.


Be on time

This one is just plain common sense. Make sure that you leave for the venue with plenty of time to spare, it’s better to be a little early than being a little late. Weddings are timeous affairs that run on a schedule and hanging everyone up because you didn’t expect the traffic to be this intense is not an excuse you want to have to tell the bride when they are waiting for you to start the ceremony.


Note the dress code

The invitation will tell you the kind of dress code for the day. Don’t go against it, make sure that you have the right attire for the event, rent a tuxedo if it’s a black tie, or get your suit dry cleaned if the invitation says it’s a formal reception and ceremony.

There are times when the dress code may be casual and the last thing you want to do is be the idiot that arrives in an elegant ballgown while everyone else is dressed semi-casually in summer dresses.



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White isn’t for you

This is a critical point to note. White is reserved for the bride alone. Don’t detract from her visual experience by wearing a white ensemble on her wedding day. Everyone wants to know where the bride is and her white visual cue is important as she works the room and captures people attention. Don’t make this mistake, rather look towards more neutral colours such as creams, tans or light colours that do not attract so much attention.


Remember to congratulate the family

The family is the backbone of any wedding, make sure that you offer you congratulations to everyone and start with the parents, the father and then the mother, followed by any siblings and then the extended family. If you do not know them well, then keep your comments short and sweet, with plenty of praise and congratulations, but don’t overdo it.



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The final thought

Being the perfect wedding guest isn’t as difficult as you think, just follow the guidelines and keep your wits about you, as the last tip, we recommend that you don’t overdo it with the alcohol. One or two drinks is fine, but over-doing it can be embarrassing or land you in the drunk tank for the evening on your drive home.

Take this advice and enjoy the big day, it’s about celebration and you are a big part of that, so enjoy it!

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