9 Etiquette Tips for Wedding Guests from a Wedding Planner
As an event and wedding planner who has been planning events for over 12 years, it is safe to say that I've planned and attended more than 150 weddings. In fact, I'm tightening up last-minute details for one as I write. In my many years as a professional event and wedding-planner, I’ve not only imparted lots of wedding advice but also learned a lot as well. So, consider this VIP advice. Weddings are really important to the people getting married, and they put themselves through a lot to ensure they can share their day with you. And, while I’ve learned to accept that something will always go wrong, wedding guest etiquette fails always annoy me. So here are a few expert tips for wedding guests to help make the bride and groom’s day one to truly remember.
1. Return the RSVP card: There is a reason they call it an RSVP (Respond, Seriously, Very Promptly) card! It is not just for show. Your RSVP card is very important in determining the number of people to cater for. And, since a catering halls charge per person, please show some respect, check a box, and mail the pre-stamped envelope.
2. If your invite does not say “and guest,” you do NOT have a plus one: High on the list with not returning RSVP cards, is bringing uninvited guests. Unless your invitation says "plus one", you are the only one invited. And no, DON'T ask for one!
3. Don't volunteer to help, unless you really mean it: Weddings give us such beautiful moments but the steps leading up to that day can be really frustrating and stressful. Though it might be a great gesture, don't volunteer to help unless you intend to follow through. Yes, that includes financially! So, if you offered to pay for an item, or help complete a task. Be sure to show up.
4. Don’t ask to switch your place card: Do you know how many hours it takes to arrange the seating chart, in order to prepare the place cards? How much stress it was for the couple to decide where to place everyone? Especially, if it's a seated dinner with meal options.
5. Dress appropriately: If it's one event you don't want to be under-dressed for, it is a wedding. Take your cue from the invitations, as it is an indication of the formality of the event. If you are unsure, it's always safe to wear a suit, dress or skirt.
6. Unless requested, No, do not wear white: If the couple didn't request the dress code to be white; it is still not acceptable to wear white to a wedding. So, that fancy white dress you just bought, save it for the all-white party. Unless you want to be the subject of the "I can't believe she really wore white” conversations. And, there will be many.
7. The guest book is not just for your signature: Write the newlyweds an actual message, and then sign your name. Think about it. What is the bride and groom suppose to do with a book filled with signatures? Write them a heartfelt message, for God's sake!
8. If you're single, get in line for the bouquet or garter toss: Weddings are supposed to be fun and nothing is more entertaining than the bouquet and garter toss. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, as long as you're not married, please play along.
9. Want it or not, take your wedding favor: The favors may not be the most expensive, but it is a token of the couple's appreciation. Hours were spent deciding what to give, and sometimes putting them together. So, don't insult the couple by leaving and not taking them with you.
What are your best tips for wedding guests?