Guest etiquette: Do’s & don’ts

As the wedding invitations begin to flow in, it is important to know the proper etiquette as a guest. Brittany Tankersley | Photo Editor

By Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

As we get older, it’s fairly common for the wedding invitations to start accumulating on our fridge. In this day and age it’s an honor to get invited to a wedding because it means that the bride and groom want to include you in their celebration. However, accepting that invitation means you have a responsibility to uphold as well.

You are the guest to the bride and groom’s special day, so no matter how much you like to be the center of attention, you need to refrain from stealing the spotlight from them. Here are some tips and tricks for you to be able to enjoy yourself while still respecting the couple.

First, upon receiving your invitation you should plan accordingly if you will be able to attend or not. If you can, great. You need to RSVP as soon as you can to respect the couple’s time, energy and money in planning the celebration. They need to know how many people are coming so they can best prepare for you to have an enjoyable experience too. With that being said, you shouldn’t bring an uninvited plus-one unless the invite says you can. Unwanted guests aren’t going to look good on your part.

If you want and are able to attend, it’s kindest to also bring a gift. Most couples spend hours making a registry wish list filled with things that they genuinely need and already know they like because they personally picked it out. As much as you want to go out and get the couple a special or homemade gift, they will really appreciate that you got them something they wanted. You should honor the wish list and, when in doubt, cash is always a good option for newlyweds.

It’s important that you dress appropriately and wear nothing that is going to outshine the bride or groom. Unless the bride says so, don’t wear white. Make sure you know the venue and the plans for the night. You probably aren’t going to have a great time if you are trying to break in a new pair of sparkly heels or fit into your suit from high school prom. If there isn’t a dress code, make sure you keep your inner fashionista under control for the evening.

Respect the seating plan and sit where you are supposed to. The plan is there for a reason, so enjoy dinner even if you aren’t sitting next to your favorite family member.

Get off your phone and let the photographer do their job. Couples pay thousands of dollars to have their special day documented in their desired aesthetic. Having your iPhone get in the way definitely isn’t a part of it.

Leave your drama and comments at the door. Even if the venue, dress, food or cake isn’t your style, that’s OK — you’re just there to celebrate the couple. Don’t bring up old stories and issues of the past because it’s not the time for you to try to bring down the mood. You also shouldn’t make huge announcements like pregnancy, engagements or — most importantly — get down on one knee at someone else’s wedding to take the spotlight off the couple.

Weddings are a big deal and it’s important that you are a great guest when attending one. It’s important that you follow these guidelines to make sure the couple remembers you for all the right reasons.