Wedding Etiquette for Guests
It’s your friend or family member’s big day, and let’s face it: you don’t want to make a gaff—or as the French say, faire un couac! Here are a few tips to make navigating the nuptials a piece of (wedding) cake and keeping the focus on the bride and groom.
1. RSVP, and don’t assume there’s an automatic +1
Weddings are intricately planned events, so RSVP on time to give the bride an accurate guest count so that she and the venue can be prepared. And, don’t spring a guest on her- if the invitation is addressed to you, then it’s only you. If it’s addressed to your whole family or specifically lists out others’ names, feel free to go as a gaggle.
2. Be on time and turn off your phone
Nothing could be worse than arriving after the bride has walked down the aisle. And, you’re going to be a major distraction. Err on the side of caution and show up 20-30 minutes before the ceremony starts, but wait to be seated. And before the music starts, don’t forget to silence your phone. As awesome as your ringtone is, the bride does not want to walk down the aisle as a 10-second clip of the latest pop hit attempts to duet with Pachelbel’s Canon.
3. Don’t take photos
And, speaking of phones, don’t take pictures! That’s why the bride has hired a professional photographer. So, as much as you may want to ‘gram and tweet the festivities, don’t. Instead, focus on spending time with the bride and groom and your fellow guests! Some things are better enjoyed when you’re living in the moment, and chances are that the bride will share the wedding gallery, where you can relive the evening.
4. Go with the flow
Chat with your tablemates, boogie with everyone during the first dance, and participate in all the activities planned! This day is about celebrating some important people in your life, so do it all with a smile.
5. Say THANKS!
While you may not be able to spend much time with the bride and groom, your thanks and goodbye to both them and their families is not only a polite touch, but a way to express your appreciation for being included in the fun.