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Wedding Guest Rules and Tips

Wedding Guest Rules and Tips

Be the MVP of guests

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A wedding is supposed to mark one of the happiest days of the couple’s lives, so the last thing the happy pair wants is for one of their guests to ruin the big day. Be the best wedding guest you can be by following these tips.

Respect the invitation

Respect the invitation

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When you receive a wedding invitation, make sure to read it carefully to know exactly who is invited. If the invitation says you may bring a guest, then feel free to bring one. If it does not, then don’t. The same applies to kids. If something on the invitation isn’t clear, it’s probably best to ask the bride or groom directly so that everyone is on the same page.

RSVP

RSVP

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One of the most important obligations as a guest is to respond to the wedding invitation quickly, especially if you are unable to attend. Proper etiquette says you have 24 hours to send back the RSVP even though the couple likely put a deadline on the invite. Waiting to respond can cause unnecessary stress for brides and grooms, while a prompt response allows your hosts enough time to give an accurate count to the caterer. This is just one of the many easy things you can do to be more polite.

Send a gift

Send a gift

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If you are invited to a wedding ceremony, you should send a gift. Take a look at the couple’s wedding registry to get an idea of their style and needs. Think of your budget and relationship to the couple to decide what you will give as a gift. What you spend on a work colleague may be different than what you spend on a family member. If you’re the crafty or artistic type, consider making something special. You may even be able to turn your craft hobby into a small business.

Be on time

Be on time

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Nobody should walk down the aisle after the bride. To make sure you are not that guest, get there ahead of time so you can enjoy the wedding ceremony. If you end up being late, sit in the rear and do not cause a scene. Not so great at being on time? Plan ahead and have an idea of what the commute time will look like when you are making your trip.

Avoid wearing white

Avoid wearing white

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White is always reserved for the bride. Unless the invitation specifically says to wear white as part of a theme, you should assume that the only person wearing white at the wedding is the bride. This is one of the fashion rules you need to follow at a wedding. However, there are other outdated fashion rules you no longer have to observe.

Drink responsibly

Drink responsibly

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Not only is it selfish, but it can also be embarrassing to overdrink. Remember to imbibe responsibly, even if it’s a self-serve bar situation. This is not your own personal bar cart.

Don’t change your assigned seat

Don’t change your assigned seat

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If you were assigned a specific seat for the reception, then stay in that seat. Respect the couple’s request and try to socialize with the group you are sharing a table with. If you don’t know anyone at your table, then introduce yourself. Failing to do so is one of the worst etiquette mistakes you can make.

Respect the photographer

Respect the photographer

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There will most likely be a professional photographer or someone there to take pictures and capture the day’s special memories. If a photographer asks to take a picture of you, just go along with it for the sake of the couple. On the flip side, don’t steal the photographer’s shot. That is one of the worst things a guest can do at a wedding. Stay out of the photographer’s way. 

Be social

Be social

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Make sure to mingle with the wedding party and other guests at the reception. Catch up with old friends or say hello to the family of the newlyweds. Enjoy yourself and engage with other guests. Try giving some considerate compliments.

Be respectful

Be respectful

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Watch what you say to the couple. It’s best to leave out comments about the couple’s past or remind them of past relationships. Just wish the couple well. And if you’re the one getting married, here’s an etiquette guide just for you.

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