Wedding Guest Etiquette


As a wedding planner, you will sometimes see some big no-no’s by guests at weddings and Fashionable Society Events thought it may be a good idea to put together some simple do’s and don’ts. A wedding is a momentous occasion for the bride and groom and you should consider it an honour to be among those that mean the most to the couple on their big day. No one wants to be dud wedding guest, so here’s our tips!

RSVP: Yes it may seem like a given but you must RSVP by the date that’s given on the invitation. Unless you’ve planned a wedding before, there’s nothing worse than receiving a positive RSVP after you’ve confirmed numbers with venues and caterers. The number of people at the wedding often determines how much it will cost, so failure to RSVP on time (or at all) can really affect the budget.

Stick to the dress code: Most invitations will stipulate the dress code and it’s important to abide by what they’ve said. You don’t want to be that person who turns up in jeans when everyone else is in suits. If the invitation doesn’t state a dress code, check with someone in the bridal party or the family – they’re sure to know what the couple has in mind.

Arrive on time: The bride is the only one who can be fashionably late. Leave a multitude of time to get there and don’t be that awkward person that tries to slip in unnoticed.

Always have a gift: Whether you RSVP to attend or not, it’s just the right thing to do to send a gift. If the invitation states there will be a wishing well, send what you would have put in there.

Shop from the gift registry: While a gift registry is more of an American notion, if someone has a registry, you’re best to choose something from here.

Take your seat: The seating plan at a wedding is a hard task for the bride and groom so make sure you sit where you’ve been allocated. There will be heaps of time to mingle and it’s not the end of the world if you can’t sit next to the person you wanted to. There are a lot of logistics that come into play with seating arrangements, don’t mess with them.

Drink responsibly: Yes it is a celebration, but that doesn’t mean you need to drink all the beer and champagne the bar stocks. Be civilised, enjoy a drink or two, but don’t be the drunken mess of a guest that everyone remembers for years to come. The day is about the bride and groom, not guests taking care of drunken idiots.

If your invite didn’t say “and guest”, don’t bring one: A pet peeve is when a guest adds their own guest to the RSVP card or calls the couple to ask if they can bring a partner. If it’s not stated on the invite, then you’re going on your own. The bride and groom will have put a lot of thought into the guest list and it often comes down to the budget. An extra person here and there can easily push the cost up.

Don’t compete with the bride: This is a pretty big one – don’t wear white as a guest and be respectful of the dress code. If it’s formal, it’s probably not the best time for a slinky, cleavage revealing dress.

Don’t use your phone: Unless the couple have a hashtag or Instragram feed especially for their guests, put the phone on silent and leave it in your bag. No one wants to be that person whose phone rings in the middle of the ceremony, first dance or speeches.

Don’t leave before the cake: It’s a traditional rule but it’s a good one. The cutting of the cake symbolises the evening is drawing to a close and it’s acceptable to depart once this has taken place.

As a wedding guest, you should feel honoured to share the day with the couple and help them make it a day to remember for all the right reasons. If you follow our do’s and don’ts (and use common courtesy), you’ll be a perfect guest.



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Wedding EtiquetteAmanda King