Wedding Guest Etiquette
Posted: Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014
Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!
The dos and donts of being a wedding guest seem pretty clear cut until you see a guest rounding up all the flowers from the tables and walking out of the wedding at 7:30 with a bouquet of three-dozen pink roses, subsequently leaving empty vases on all of the tables. Follow the golden rule of weddings and dont do anything you wouldnt want done on your own wedding day:1. RSVP by the requested date. If you werent invited to bring a guest, dont (including your children). If something changes, let the bride and groom know instead of just showing up or not showing up.
2. Showing up early isnt polite and neither is showing up late. If you show up too early, you can interrupt the wedding party getting ready or taking pictures. Slipping in behind the bride is also not acceptable, wait until after the processional and sit in the back if youre late.
3. If youre invited and RSVP yes, dont just show up to the reception. The bride and groom invited you to their wedding ceremony, not just the dinner and drinks afterwards. Celebrate the whole day with them unless you make them aware upfront why you cant.
4. Dont wear a dress that you think will compete with the bride or make you stand out. White, ivory and off-white are off limits unless requested by the bride; the same goes for matching the wedding party.
5. Dont take items that arent meant as favors. This means dont snatch any decorations or mugs. The bride and groom can incur charges for rented items that go missing. Also, dont take the flowers.
6. Dont take from the dessert table until the bride and groom cut the cake. Lots of pictures are taken when the bride and groom cut the cake and they wont want their table to look bare.
7. The photographer is a professional and will make sure to get all the posed shots, so theres no need to follow them around with a smartphone taking photos. Save your shots for the reception and grab a couple candid pictures and then have some fun!
8. If the couple has requested an unplugged wedding, respect it. Put your phone down and be present on their special day.
9. Get a gift, even if you cant go. If youre going with a physical gift, get it from the registry. Dont want to carry a gift to the wedding? Give a card with cash or have the gift sent to the couple prior to the wedding.
10. Dont leave before the cake is cut. While it may be an old rule, it still stands. Its usually done right after dinner, and earlier in the evening, giving those who wish to cut out early a cue when its acceptable to head out.Weddings are a time for celebration. Sticking to these simple guidelines can help you be a courteous and fun guest, and make the bride and groom happy as clams.
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