Allie and I have been to so many weddings as guests and coordinators, but we have all experienced that one guest who crashes the wedding, doesn't follow the dress code, or simply drinks too much. We do not envy those who have to experience those obnoxious guests and their behavior (believe me, we have been there.) But think for a second...have you ever been that guest at a wedding? We hope you haven't! And to be sure that you are not in the future, we have prepared some tips for you!
These tips will help help you attend your next wedding with grace and style!
Follow the dress code:
We know first hand from working with couples, that they have worked so hard and put a lot of effort into planning this very special day. The dress code that they have specified is what sets the tone for their overall day. By following this dress code, not only are you being respectful of the couples wishes, but you won't feel out of place as a guest.
But what happens if there is not a specified dress code? We suggest asking the host what is most appropriate. It is much better to ask and know, then to assume and be over/under dressed.
Be mindful of the space that you are in:
Allie and I work closely with a few venues in our area, and we understand that each venue has its own specific set of rules and regulations. The couples agree to these rules and regulations when they choose their specific venue. Some include noise regulations, rooms designated only for vendors, restricted areas, parking parameters, and others that many guests are not aware of. At the end of the day the couple is held responsible for any damages to the property or the consequences of any broken rules. So please, be respectful of the venues rules and regulations, and be mindful of the space that you are in.
Do arrive early (just not too early):
Arriving 5 to 10 minutes early is considered on time, arriving right on time is considered late, and arriving an hour early is considered disrespectful. Don't be the person that walks into the ceremony late. It is a HUGE distraction for everyone. The ceremony (while not the most fun) is the most important portion of the evening, and you don't want to be the reason that the photographer misses a romantic moment. Also, don't be the guest that just skips the ceremony all together, and shows up for the reception with free food and drinks. That's just rude.
Do RSVP by the requested date:
It is courteous to let the host know if you do or don't plan on attending their event. Most people believe that they don't have to RSVP if they do not plan on attending the event, but this is not true. The lack of response leaves the host questioning if the invitation was received. There is a great amount of pressure on the host to order (and pay for) enough food and drink, as well as make sure their are enough tables, linens, flatware, chairs, centerpieces, etc. Having a final guest count is crucial to the success of any event, no matter how big or small. So do your host a favor and let them know if you are (or are not) planning to attend the event!
Do respect the seating chart:
The couple put a lot of thought and time into the placement of their guests and there's likely a reason you're seated where you are. For instance, if you were asked to make a meal selection prior to attending the wedding, your choice and seat have most likely been communicated to the catering staff so they can ensure you are served exactly what you requested on your RSVP card. If you really want to chat with that cute guy at table 2, make it a goal for cocktail hour or the dance party.
Do avoid getting wasted:
While the bride and groom want you to enjoy their open bar, don't abuse it. A wedding is not another Saturday night out at your favorite bar. Be mindful of your limit and intake, and consider the reception's location. Drink water between drinks and be responsible. You don't want to take the focus off the bride and groom on their day.
Do have fun:
If there’s a dance floor, get your groove on. If the bride and groom start a conga line, jump in. They want to do the Macarena? You do the Macarena! This is their day. Join in the fun and help them shine! At the end of the day, that is what you were all invited there to do!