Guest Etiquette: Tips for Properly Attending a Wedding

Show your gratitude for the couple with these tips

The spotlight is on the bride and groom on their wedding day and rightly so; nobody wants to see wild guests crash the party. We've put together some healthy guest tips to help you properly navigate this wedding season. For anyone new to the wedding scene, or someone who is looking to impress their soon-to-be married friends, these tips may come in handy when acknowledging the couple, giving a suitable gift and dressing appropriately.

1. RSVP – When you receive your invitation, make sure you respond as soon as possible and read the fine print, are kids allowed? Do you get a plus one? Are there any gift requirements or limitations? What is the theme of the wedding? All these details are important in the planning of the wedding and for your own preparation.

Beck & Billy Photo

Photo by Michael Segal Photography

2. Gifts– Kitchen appliances, linens, registry gift cards and spa packages are always safe bets. If you're thinking outsdie the box, stay away from gag gifts, even if you're the prankster. Wedding gifts are meant to support and encourage the couple’s new life together, not make fun of it. If you can't come up with a unique gift, get in touch with extended family members for ideas.

Hayley Anne Photography

Photos by Hayley Anne Photography

3. Clothing – Pay attention to the theme of the wedding and the level of formality. A guest should look put together and clean, you never know if you’ll be photographed (and put into that wedding album forever!). A few no-no’s: Don't wear white or red so not to disrespect the bride, don’t show too much skin and no t-shirts or jeans. Stay away from anything that takes attention away from the bride and groom, they should shine the brightest.

Michelle Moose Photography

Photo by Jennifer Emerling Photography

4. Congratulations – At some point during the reception, or after the ceremony, find a time to briefly speak with the newlyweds and congratulate and thank them for inviting you to their union. It’s a busy day for them, they'll appreciate your hello and gratitude. Just don't linger too long, you're not the only guest in line!

Erica Ann Photography

Photo by Erica Ann Photography

5. Over-Indulging – Everyone knows that a wedding is a time to celebrate, but for your own reputation, monitor your intake of libations and don't embarrass the bride and groom’s family with erratic behavior. 

Floataway Studios

Photos by Floataway Studios

6. Participate – New couples want happy guests who will join in the festivities! Jump for the bouquet, leap for the garter, dance the night away, gloat about the food and help the new bride and groom celebrate their first night as one by respectively enjoying yourself and the beautiful wedding they've put together.

Participate Kelly Stonelake Photography

Photos by Kelly Stonelake Photography