Easy Etiquette Tips for Guests


This summer while interning at a wedding & special events venue I had the opportunity to work tons of events and interact with tons of guests. Some of these guests were the nicest most considerate people and others were not. I was surprised to see how many people didn’t understand the common etiquettes of being a guest at someone’s wedding. Here are some helpful tips for anyone whose recently sent in that response card.

  • Don’t wear white. This is pretty obvious but still some people just don’t get it.
  • Don’t assume you can bring a plus one. If the invitation doesn’t state your name and “guest”, but you feel uncomfortable attending the wedding alone, reach out to the couple and ask if you can bring someone. This is a better alternative than just showing up with someone the bride and groom did not invite.
  • Don’t assume kids are invited. Unless the invitation has the children’s names or says “and family” hire a babysitter and enjoy your night out alone.
  • Don’t bring a large gift. The last thing the couple wants to be doing after the wedding reception is wrangling a bunch of gifts into the back of their car to deal with before the honeymoon. Save yourself and them the trouble, ship the gift directly to their home.
  • Do be on time. Plan ahead. The couple invited you to their wedding so you could witness their ceremony. If some unforeseeable incident occurs that causes you to be late, don’t interrupt. Wait until they’re done and then join in for the rest of the party.
  • Do turn off your cell phone. Nobody wants to be that person who ruins the most memorable moment of someone’s life. Just turn it off.
  • Do congratulate the family. Even if you’ve never met them or don’t know them very well, introduce yourself. A simple congratulations, a thank you and compliment about the day can go a long way in the eyes of a parent.
  • Do keep conversations short. You want to say hello and talk to the bride and groom on their special day, but don’t talk forever. There will be lots of people they need to get around to as well.
  • Do take your favor. The bridal party and family put a lot of time and thought into those parting gifts so make sure you don’t leave yours behind.
  • Don’t get wasted. Once again, don’t be that person. Just because there’s an open bar does not mean that you need to drink the whole bar.

In addition to these ceremony and reception do’s and don’t’s, there are etiquette rules for social media.

  • Don’t post a photo of bride until she’s officially married
  • Don’t use your cellphone during the ceremony, leave these photos to the professional photographer they hired. Cellphones and photos can be distracting to the couple as well as other guests
  • Don’t congratulate the couple on social media until they’ve personally announced their marriage on that social media platform

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