Wedding Guest Etiquette: Basic Tips You Need to Know

Being invited to a wedding is an honor, and you should treat it as such. So, if you’re not sure about the proper etiquette, we’re here to help! Below is a quick rundown of wedding ceremony do’s and don’ts for the clueless wedding guest.

RSVP on Time

Proper etiquette begins before the big day by RSVPing on time–actually, the sooner the better. Guest count is imperative to the wedding planning process so giving your hosts plenty of notice will be greatly appreciated.

No Guest Guessing

Unless the invitation specifically states “and guest” or “and family” you can presume only the people named on the invitation are invited. Never bring an unexpected guest!

Dress the Part

Be sure and read the invitation carefully and double check the wedding website to see what the dress code entails. Dress codes will likely vary by formality, location, culture and local custom, so do your research and dress accordingly.

Arrive on Time

Don’t be THAT person, the late person sneaking in and disturbing the ceremony. Arrive at least 15 minutes early, as a rule of thumb. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the wedding location beforehand.

Silence your Phone

This should be a no-brainer. Turning it off during the ceremony is even better! Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it will nix the need to check it, at least for a while.

Follow your Protocol

Don’t snap photos during the ceremony and other poignant moments. Leave that to the professional the happy couple hired. Also, it is super important not to post any photos or live streams during the wedding unless the couple specifically asks guests to do so. You want them to have that chance first! Also, make sure to follow any other social media guidelines (likely found on the wedding website), such as using a specific hashtag, tagging the bride and groom, or not posting the location.

Give a Gift

If the couple has a registry, it’s best to choose something from there. Also, wedding gifts should be sent to the couple in advance. Do not bring them to the actual wedding, it will just add unnecessary stress for the coordinator.

Stick to a Seating Chart

Making a seating chart takes time and is often well thought out, so sit where you are assigned, not where you feel like. There will be plenty of time to mingle throughout the day or night.

Mind the Booze

Have a good time at the wedding, but don’t go overboard. If you drink, do so responsibly. Nobody wants to see a drunken guest make a spectacle of themselves. Also, it is SO IMPORTANT to make arrangements for safe transportation to and from the wedding if you’ve had any alcohol at all, whether you live nearby or have other accommodations.

Don’t skip out too Early

Hopefully, you are able to relax and enjoy all the wedding festivities. If you accepted the celebration invitation, it is in good taste for you to stay at the party at least until the wedding cake has been cut. Once the cake cutting has begun, if you must leave, do so.

Gracious Good-byes

Before you leave, be sure to wish the happy couple well, congratulate the families, and thank the wedding hosts. This small gesture will mean lots to all involved.