Etiquette: How To Be A Great Wedding Guest

Wedding Guest Etiquette
“The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him- or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts.”
— Emily Post
Real Guests at an ACE Wedding (image Trivium Studio)
There are several etiquette guidelines to follow at a wedding. There are the obvious rules such as don’t wear white and RSVP in a timely manner, but there are a lot of important rules that are often overlooked. Below are 10 basic rules to live by...we'd like to ensure that you are an exceptional wedding guest at all the weddings you attend.
1. Arrive at the wedding 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. There is nothing worse than sneaking in after a bride has walked down the aisle to get to your seat. This is a pet peeve of many brides. If you are running behind and you don’t want to make a scene wait outside of the ceremony rather than going in.

 2. RSVP in a timely manner…even if you aren’t able to attend.

 3. If you are invited to a wedding, you should send a wedding gift even if you can’t make it to the wedding. Or, if you do attend the wedding, why don’t you just ship the gift to the couple’s new home. Less for you to carry to the wedding and easier for the bride and groom.

 4. There is a common misconception that you have a year from the wedding date to send a gift. It should be sent no later than three months after the date.

 5. Put your phone on silent during the ceremony. This is an obvious rule that is easily forgotten. Also, refrain from texting and talking to long lost friends sharing a pew with you.

 6. Flash photography is a “no go.” Professional photographers aren’t allowed to flash and neither should you.  Your flash could ruin the professional pictures. Also, don’t make a habit of taking pictures that the photographer has posed…this can confuse the bride and groom (and which camera to look at)…and can also add additional time to photos. Try your best to stay out of the way of the wedding photographer while taking pictures of the bride and groom.

7. Do not bring a guest who was not invited to the wedding. If “and date or children” is not included on the invitation, do not bring them.  Do not substitute a guest if your “invited date” is not able to attend.  Don’t just bring a seat filler, weddings are intimate affairs…and most couples want to be surrounded by loved ones, not by meals so that you don’t feel “lonely”.

8. Do not switch seats or move chairs at the reception. The couple spent a lot of time figuring out the seating arrangements and you should be respectful of where they decided to place you. Besides! Who cares where you sit…you should be on the dance floor all night anyways!

 9. Have fun at the reception but be sure you have a designated driver if you plan on drinking, or don't be too cool to call a taxi. 
             10.Just live by this rule: Do not do anything at someone else’s wedding that you           would not want done at your own.

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