How to Be The Best Wedding Guest

June 5, 2018

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1. RSVP on time:

For anyone who has ever planned an event, whether it be a birthday party or a full size wedding, you know the struggle.  People just don’t respond to RSVP’s anymore.  As our culture moves toward more casual interactions, RSVPs are being caught in the crossfire. 

If you receive an invitation you should send your response, a yes or a no, within a week.

*Not responding because you aren’t able to make it is not the default. Couples need a clear yes or no.

What happens when you don’t RSVP to a Wedding:

  • The Couple’s feelings are hurt.  They have spent so many hours preparing for this special day, and they invited you because you are important to them.
  • They will have to give you that very awkward “are you coming” phone call.
  • The caterer doesn’t know how much food to order.  This can either result in not enough food, or food that is wasted, that the couple still needs to pay for.
  • There aren’t enough tables set, or there are empty tables.

Situation One: You may not have a seat available.  If the rental items were brought in, there may not be a way to get an extra table and chair on such short notice. 

Situation Two: Each set table at a wedding can cost a few hundred or even thousands of dollars.  The table, linens, dinnerware, decor, centerpieces, etc, these are all wasted if no one shows.  

  • If the couple made a venue change based on their confirmed guest list, they may not even have room for you despite all best efforts.

2.  Do Not Write In a Plus One:

If your invitation does not explicitly state that you get a plus one, do not write one in.  The couple more than likely has agonized over the guest list.  This was not a small oversight. The venue may not hold all of their guests and their plus ones.  Their budget may not allow for extra guests. Or, they may prefer to share their special moment with only their very close friends and family.  Please do not make it awkward, or make the couple feel bad, by writing in a plus one. 

3.  Dress Appropriately:

There are several different dress codes for weddings.  We have white tie, black tie, black tie optional, cocktail attire, beach attire, and the more casual day time attire.  

When all is said and done just remember that you are at a wedding. You are there supporting and celebrating friends and loved ones.  Do not wear white, do not wear shorts or anything overly revealing, do not wear something that could possibly overshadow the couple, and just keep it classy.  There are ways to be trendy and add personality to your ensemble without being inappropriate. 

See here for links on images to proper dress code and their descriptions.

Wedding Dress Code Deciphered

4.  Do Not Bring Gifts to The Wedding:

With so many online resources and free shipping, there is no reason to haul a gift to the wedding.  Many couples prefer to have their gifts sent to either their house or a family members home.  If the couple is coming in from out of town, they now have to ship everything back.  If they are leaving the next day for their honeymoon they need to ask someone to hold on to their gifts while they are away.  In any event at the end of the night someone has to pack up all of those gifts and make sure they make it either home with the couple, or are safe with a family member.  Things get lost, broken, and go missing at events.  Save everyone the added stress and just mail it ahead.  

*Cards are still ok.  Most couples do like to take them back to their hotel and read the notes after their wedding. 

5.  Be Mindful Of the Open Bar:

We all love to have a good time.  The couple is celebrating and the alcohol is flowing.  Be mindful of the open bar.   Remember, that this is still a wedding and you are surrounded by friends and family.  It may be hot, you may not have eaten enough, and your adrenaline may be pumping, all which lead to getting drunk faster.  Just be aware of your tolerance levels.

The second thing to consider is that even if you didn’t pay for that drink, it doesn’t make it free.  Many times guests will take a sip of wine, or drink half of their cocktail and then head out on the dance floor.  The catering staff will come around and pick up the abandoned glasses.  Of course when you notice your drink is gone you head up to the bar for another one.  These wasted drinks add up pretty quickly.  Try and finish your drink before setting it down, keep your eye on it if you can, or even put a napkin or a cute coaster over it signaling to the catering staff that you are coming back. 


As always, I would love to chat.







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