I'm all for going against traditions and everyday cultural norms. Stay weird, people. I do however, keep my self expression reserved for when I'm in charge. Time and place, ya know? If it's my party, event or just my life - I'll do whatever I want. BUT when I'm not in charge, I like to follow societal rules for behavior. I don't want my free sprit actions to affect someone else's good time. I'm cool like that. Are you?
I was a wedding guest last night and I was a good one, damn good. (If I don't say so myself.) JKJKJK We were all good. Fellow Wedding Chicks team member Tina (who's definitely going to be my FDIL!!!) and I were guests at our very own Davina's beautiful wedding. Tina and I followed all the rules of being good wedding guests. I practice what I preach, people.
Though not addressed in this post, Jocey makes some good points about the hot topic of social media at weddings for guests.
Here's some advice from avid wedding goers:
Be present and avoid distractions and devices. Smile at the officiant. 😂 LOL
- Rev. Michael J. Calderin
Be in the moment!! Enjoy your friends!! Watch their love and remember why people get married!! To me it’s the first best moment of their life and you get to witness it!! What a blessing!! Love is expressed that day to its fullest and it goes by so fast!! So enjoy the couple and dance your butt off!! Xoxo !!
- Nicole Helle from The Wildflower AZ
Don't get too drunk. Tip the bartenders. Eat dinner. Dance.
- Nate from Garnish Bartending
Have fun and dance!
- Michelle from Wishing Well Barn
Respect the bride's wishes. I was one of those brides who swore I wouldn't have kids at my wedding. And it wasn't because I don't love kids. The children in my life are my world, and so so incredible. But when your venue is limited, and unfortunately children are counted as full guests, you have to find ways to cut back while still ensuring all then important people in your life are able to attend. But despite our wishes we had a few people who still showed up on our wedding day with their kids. Who last minute insisted we provide a seat and place setting for their baby. And as frustrating as it was, I had to just accept it for what it was because I didn't want to look like a "bridezilla". I think as a guest it's your duty to do as the bride wishes. It's not your day, it's not about you, you're a guest and you have the option to attend or not. Hope this helps! - - Shannon Bellisle
Be the one with your expertise who sees things from 30,000 feet and makes things happen. For all of the weddings we do, my husband and I rarely get to be a guest. On 9/9/17, our favorite babysitter of all time got married. I was so happy to be the one just there to smooth out all of the little hiccups that happen at weddings that she didn’t see coming. She was stressed before walking down the aisle and her family and bridal party was already down the aisle and no one was there to fix her dress or give her advice to stop and be in the moment. I am so happy that I was there to help her. Not enough people on the dance floor? Grab a couple of people and head there and stay there! Guests not eating the late night snacks or cake that they paid hundreds for? Deliver!
- Sue Doyle of Denon & Doyle
Part of being a good wedding guest is to submerse yourself in their story, the decor, the venue, and the food! If your happy couple have made any requests, follow them!! If they have made a special IG sign with their hashtag, be sure to post pictures and use them! Being an invited wedding guest is definitely a privilege. Help them carry out their vision with participating in all the activities. Fun notes to the couple with your photo booth pictures. The day will come and go, your well wishes in print and photographs will be in their memories forever. Eat the CAKE, dance to their favorite songs, and embrace them with the impact they have on your life.
- Sugar Branch Events
Honestly, put your phone away and enjoy the memories being made, also, keep an invite or program and cut it into pretty strips and turn it into an ornament for their first Christmas together! I loved the dress rule of at least two inches below the vag. 😂😂😂
- Kadi Spruill of Kadi Bakes
My thoughts are that more guests should embrace the Irish Exit. Wedding days are overwhelming enough with a couple center stage the entire time that when it’s finally that moment for them to get some together time on the dance floor, I genuinely feel bad watching them stop every two minutes to tell guests goodbye. If you aren’t going to stay to the end for the official exit of the couple, and your inner dialogue is telling you that you have to say a farewell, send them a funny Snap to wake up to the next day.
- Sara Lasher Weddings and Events
Arrive on time Put your phone away for the ceremony and be present Never get in the way of the photographer Buy the couple a drink (or two) ENJOY!!! And dance the night away!
- Alicia Lucia Photography
Feel the powerful moments of the ceremony by not taking pictures. If you must, limit them to the processional and recessional.
- Fr. Jack Kearney
To be a great wedding guest, BE PRESENT.....snap a few reception selfies and then put your phone DOWN and don't use electronics during the ceremony period. Even if the band sucks, the food isn't the best or any other elements aren't stellar, don't let the couple (or anyone else....remember, everyone there knows the couple well!) see your dissatisfaction or critiques. Don't wear white (Bride only, please! Shocking how many guests break this rule) and don't have too many cocktails and get sloppy. The couple and their family have spent untold dollars and months planning this event, the last thing they want to see is drunk guests, bored expressions, people texting during toasts, guests refusing to dance, or beloved friends or family leaving early before big moments. Do what you can to make the night fun and memorable!
- Jennifer Trotter from Lip Service Makeup
Dear Aspiring Wedding Guest: Leave your camera, your iPad, your iPhone off, ideally, at home. Resist the impulse to capture rather than experience. Should you be honored and asked to deliver a toast, keep it short (under 3 minutes) and sweet. Know your tolerance for alcohol, and keep your consumption well under your limit. Clean up after yourself in the bathroom. Leaving towels on the floor and hair in the sink is not nice.
- Naomi Raiselle from Generation Cinemastories
Keep in mind that this isn't your day, you are here to celebrate the love of two important people in your life. Don't complain if the food isn't what you are used to, the music isn't your style, or the cake is something you cant eat. These are the aspects that they chose together to represent them as a couple on their big day. Embrace every detail of the day and know that enjoying those small details is the best way to celebrate their love and life together. And most importantly HAVE FUN!
- Emilee from Flour Child
I have two tips! One: No cell phone (or worse - iPad - photos during the ceremony) and Two: if they have a band or are having dancing, get on that dance floor! :)
- Nicole Mower Weddings & Events
1.Guest should respect the invite. If it's an adults only wedding or reception don't bring your kids.
2.If you RSVP as only one, don't bring two or three people with you assuming it will be fine.
3. Don't be the last ones that don't want to leave as the venue owners are trying to close things down.
4. Respect the venue and rental items. The bride and groom or their family have probably signed something that makes them responsible for damages.
5. It is a loser move to drink until you get sick at a reception.
6. If you don't get along with another guest, call a truce during the ceremony and reception. (ie. Exes)
You would think these things would be obvious, however, many brides, grooms and wedding pros could tell stories that show otherwise.
- Kirsten Smith from Delicate Dishes
EJ say’s a good wedding guest brings their flask and shares with others=) Ha!!!! SALUD' Have a Great Time!! Love & Cheers,
- Theresa John from Sundrop Vintage
A great guests puts their phone down for most of the night and doesn't trying to be a photographer, and is present enjoying and celebrating the couple!
- Christina Burghart Events
Rule: Don’t take the flower unless they are being passed out at END of night or if it has been announced that you CAN take the centerpieces. Most of the time the vases are rented and the bride/groom will have to cover those costs for what was taken (not cool) And sometimes couples choose to have the centerpieces donated to a charity. Remember you are there to support the couple not for the free flowers. 😜
- Corie from Foxtail Florals
These days a good wedding guest has gifts shipped to the bride and grooms home instead of taking them to the reception. Guarding gifts from theft is a huge undertaking for a planner who is already so busy and for the family who has to lug gifts home after the party!
- Debbie Jensen I Do's by Deb
Good wedding guests leave their cameras at home, and at minimum, they step back and let the professionals do the awesome job the couple paid them to do! Also, if your outfit is 40% or more white, you should probably leave it at home! Be present. Get out on the dance floor. Enjoy the food. Don’t drink to the point of public humiliation, and have a wonderful time!!
- Lindsay Eileen Photography
Smile and dance.
- Mr. Austin DJ
Arrive at ceremony site 15 - 30 minutes before time on invitation. Please don't invade aisle or areas to take your own pictures.
- Lourdes Estrada
Don’t use your cellphone during ceremony and don’t look prettier than the bride😉😘 Have an amazing time!
- Gabriella Katalin Photography
Never ever, ever wear a white or ivory dress as a wedding guest. Try to stay until the end of the reception. The wedding couple and their families have spent a lot of money for the reception and it would be nice to have all the guest stay until it is over.
- Laurie of Southwick Linens
1. Don’t bring your iPad. Don’t take photos in the middle of the aisle, 2’ away from the couple during their first dance, etc. They paid a ton of $$ for a professional!
2. Don’t wear white.
3. Don’t bring extra guests along that weren’t invited or included in a plus one.
4. Don’t chat during toasts and the first dance. Be in the moment with the couple.
5. For the love of God, don’t ask about when they’ll be having kids.
- Bronwyn Spain marketing + branding
1. Be punctual!
2. Bring a camera and take lots of photos to send to bride or groom! It will be months before the happy couple receives their professional shots.
3. Bring a large Safety pin (s) or emergency sewing kit if you sew, someone will inevitably rip one of the bustles on bride’s wedding gown. You can solve this!
4. Never bring an extra guest to event unless authorized.
5. Sit at your assigned table- the couple put a lot of thought into this.
6. Be there to support the bride or groom, but do not hog their time. They have to greet all their guests.
7. Dance! Even if you don’t feel like it. This is your night/day to celebrate and support the couple. No better way to share their joy!
- Liz Sellassie, Designer Loft Bridal
First and foremost, make sure you RSVP! And if your plans change, be sure to let your bride and groom know. Keep in mind that they are paying for many amenities per person so be sure to be respectful of their budget. Secondly, be kind and gracious to the staff members. They are going to be working their tails off for 6, 8 or 12 hours to make sure that you have a great time. And finally, don't over drink and remember to thank your hosts. Cheers!
- Stephanie from Twist Cocktail Catering Co.
As a recently married person myself, I not only have gotten the joy of attending weddings I work but also enjoyed my personal guests.
The best guest:
- interacts with other guests
- participates in the wedding festivities
- stays for the duration of the wedding and the reception (just as much planning and money goes into the dj, favors, decor etc.)
- follows any requests or rules by the wedding couple
- Kim Hicks from Creative Beauty Seattle
Reply to the invitation.. so many don’t.
- Michelle Shannon Byron Bay Celebrant
A good wedding guest is authentic and whole heartedly celebrates the bride and groom's special day with them. This means giving a heart felt toast, giving the happy couple their undivided attention during welcoming toast and last dancing with them or along side them with energy and enthusiasm! Cheers!
- DJ John Piazza
Leave your Phone in your car! I'm sure they hired a professional photographer and there’s nothing worse than seeing people on their phones in photos and walking down the aisle!
- Nicole Hershman-Daniels
You keep the party bumpin - Take it upon yourself to initiate dancing, conversations, laughter, etc. Especially through the lulls if there are any!!
- Brittney Furtado Creative Director & Owner Inspire Event Rental
Double up on thank yous. First, by letting her know when you leave. On your way out (With great love and excitement) let her know how much you enjoyed your time celebrating the start of her and her husbands new journey together...and second...in a couple of weeks..send her a hand written note telling her again and make sure you mention an attention to detail that really stood out to you. Lastly...leave your phone in the car...this day is about her...not about anything else. Hope this helps. Have fun!
- Holly @ Gigi & LaClede
Don't get sloppy drunk, make a pass at the groom or trade tequila shots with his best friend or with anyone for that matter. No dirty dancing please unless you're in the band. Basically behave, be gracious, and show some class, after all it's the bride and groom's day, not yours. And never forget it's all gonna be there on Facebook....forever.
- Steve Denison from McCalls Catering
1. Arrive on time, and that means 15-30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony time. That way you'll have plenty of time to mingle, grab a refreshment and find your seat.
2. Respect the ceremony and keep cellphone pictures to an absolute minimum. The photographer will get plenty of beautiful photos that will be much better than any iPhone pic.
3. Make sure to sign the guest book, take a picture in the photo booth, play the lawn games and participate in the day. The couple spent a lot of time planning, and they want their guests to enjoy every aspect of their wedding.
4. Be aware of the couple's time. While the couple would love to chat with everyone for half an hour, there's just not enough time in the day. Say "hello" and "congratulations" and leave the rest for another day.
5. Dance and have fun! A wedding is the time to let loose and dance like no one's watching. The couple will thank you for it!
6. Don't drink too much. This is pretty explanatory, don't be sloppy.
7. Don't take anything from the wedding unless the couple offers it. A disappearing rental vase means the couple has to foot that bill.
- Bree Denman from The Indigo Bride
As a wedding DJ, I would say a good guest will listen to directions given by the MC and have consideration for the bride and groom along with other wedding guest. Also, a good guest should always remember to be an interactive guest. The couple didn't invite you to sit in the corner and be a loaner. A good guest should attempt to interact with other guest in a positive manor. If the crowd is playing wedding games, a good guest should attempt to play along.
This should go without saying but know your limit when it comes to adult beverages and do NOT exceed those limits. There is nothing worse than being that person who inadvertently ruined a wedding because of excessive drinking.
A good guest should wait until the bride and groom greet them instead of bombarding them during the reception with kisses and hugs, unless its welcomed. Realize you are one of many people who came to celebrate that special day with the bride and groom so give them some space and time to come to you and greet you with hugs and kisses.
A good guest will stay for the entire event. Weddings cost a considerable amount of time and money to put together so if you can, please stay because it means a lot to the bride and groom and extended family.
A well mannered guest should be thoughtful and go with the flow of events. Its the bride and grooms special day so keep that in mind. Ive seen people get so bent or even mean to staff, other vendors, and even other guest because they felt like they didn't get what they wanted versus what the bride and groom wanted. The events during a wedding have been rehearsed and planned to the minute, so if something is happening and you don't necessarily agree with it or if a type of music is being played, just realize that the bride and groom chose it to be that way for their special day.
If you have kids and are unsure if you should bring them, don't. It may seem harsh but its considered rude in some cases to bring kids unless explicitly stated that you can. Typically, the wedding is for adults and kids can quickly become a liability especially if the venue is super nice or around big body's of water. Plus, most weddings go past the kids bed times which will force you to leave early but I guess its ultimately at the discretion of the bride, groom and parents of the kids but if you can get a sitter, do it.
Lastly, enjoy the wedding and smile. You were invited to come and have fun, so do it. Hope this helps a little and my sincerest apologies for the length of these opinions but as a wedding Dj I feel I have a unique and validated perspective of what an ideal guest should be.
P.S. Don't forget to sign the guest book.
Universe Networks LLC
Be grateful to the help! Be quiet during speeches it’s super rude to talk when people are nervous as hell and trying to Speak. Also it’s awkward for others. Don’t wear stilletos to a backyard wedding, you will ruin them. When a server comes over to Poor you wine or ask you a question, please listen don’t ignore them it’s awkward for them and others that see your ignoring them.
Alison Rinderknecht from Alison Events
My best advice is, arrive on time, keep your smile on, bring your dancing shoes, and compliment the bride and groom on their special day! Have a magical time!
Melissa Fitoria-Figueroa Epoch Design
Mi metto nei panni dell'invitato/a e penso cosa mi piacerebbe trovare se vado ad un matrimonio, da quel momento iniziano i miei preparativi.
I put myself in the shoes of the invited person and I think what I would like to find if I go to a wedding, from that moment my preparations begin.
Hello from Athens, Greece! You have pointed some very important advices there Amy! We would also like to add, DO NOT forget to turn off your mobile phone during the ceremony… All the best to Davina!! Kisses, Angeliki Avdikou
POSHUM Events Creative Team
Put phones away during the ceremony and be in the moment. It's extremely rude to have your phone up during ceremony. Then in all of the professional pictures, all you see is everyone's phone.
Jaime Cake artist - Autumn Nomad
The best guest, without a doubt, is the one who spends the day with the couple and enjoys the wedding, leaving his mobile phone aside and letting the photographers doing their job, he does not give his opinion if he is not asked and he does not complain all the time. And above all enjoy!!!
Wishes, Alba Wedding Planner & Designer
My advice is forget every things which is going in your mind and try to be present at the party from your heart not from physically mentally too. Give the best gift so in every anniversary they will remember you. Party Hard
Harish from BeautynBridal
Have fun! Enjoy the bride and groom and their families. Basically be present! To you it’s a wedding but to the couple, it’s their one in a lifetime, “best day ever”!
Crystal Corbin from The Crystal Collection
Be the first person on the dance floor!
Tifani Lyn Lifestyle Photography
Have fun....I believe that is what all brides wants their guests to take home. Share in their excitement! Enjoy the destination event and remember how great you felt during the special day. Let her know now and for years to come. Love is grand!
Lori @ Cupcake Sushi
I have one advice that we always love to share with the most close friends of the bride and groom. When your friends don’t have a wedding planner, make sure you and all of your closest friends (bridesmaid, groomsmen and close family) take care of all the last details of the wedding, so the bride and groom are not under stress at all on the wedding day. We always feel sorry for our couples that just hire us for decoration or graphic design and are stressed until the wedding day (inclusive) to make sure everything are on place and on time. Another big advice is that is not only the bride and groom that can turn out the party a very special day. Nothing is best than have close friends and family doing some surprises for the couple. That are the most genuine and emotional moments, when couples realizes that their friends and family truly appreciate them and their effort and feel loved. After all, the wedding is also a gift to ourselves (the couple) and we wanna feel special and spoiled. We hope we were able to help out in any way! Love to read your articles!!!
MUZA Weddings Concept
Seat at your assigned seat/table and do not make a fuss if you don’t like the table assigned to you.I have so many people complain about seating assignments to me, not realizing that it was their hosts who selected their table… In the same line, don’t ask the planners or venue managers if they can add an extra place setting at another table for you…. right as dinner is starting. :)
Barbara Broutin Creative Director Four Nineteen Weddings
As an owner of a bridal boutique I see the depth of emotion that most brides experience when talking about their wedding and purchasing their wedding gown. A wedding is the reflection of the heart and soul of the couple. If you are a guest, consider it an honor to be a part of this intimate beginning for the happy couple. Be respectful and show up on time. Be present. Leave the stress of the day behind you and immerse yourself in the experience. Stay in control. This day is about the bride and groom, not you. So, remember if you get sloppy drunk, the attention is no longer on the bride and groom as it should be. The attention is now on you and not in a good way. And, my last little tidbit... If you purchase a wedding gift, make sure it is relevant to the couple’s wants and needs (the purpose of a registry). Don’t buy something crazy just because you like it. The bride and groom will be stuck with it if it is not to their liking.
Heather Owner, White of Dublin bridal boutique
Arrive to the wedding on time!
Melissa Scrofani, Westchester Hair Stylist
1. Be on time for the ceremony, which means to be there and in your seat 15-20 minutes before ceremony to me!
2. Turn off your phone! No snapping photos of the ceremony AND never post a photo until the bride and groom have had a chance to post first!
Lauren Walloch Owner/Lead Designer Garden Gate Florals
Leanne's advice: "Don't upstage the bride at the wedding with your dress (unless you really hate her.) Recently we had a client purchase a stunning, head-turning wedding gown to wear to her brother and sister in law's upcoming wedding. Not sure how well that one went over.. "
Thanks and have a great weekend!
Leanne Marshall Team
1. Be on time! It’s rude and distracting when you show up in the middle of the ceremony and either the planner has to hold you outside or if they don’t have a planner, worse yet, you open the doors/ gate to the ceremony site (chapel, garden, banquet hall... whatever) and EVERYONE turns around. If you are late, wait outside.
2. Embrace the wedding couple’s choices. If they chose a Hawaiian themed party and you happen to hate everything to do with palm trees, Hawaiian shirts and pineapples, don’t let it be known to all the guests. The couple will eventually hear about how much you disliked their choices and it’s not about you. It’s about you celebrating them! Embrace the Hawaii (or whatever) and celebrate! (Or keep your mouth shut about it!) Vanessa Naumann Owner/ Planner Storybook Weddings & Events
Please do not ask the bride what she thinks about your hair style/makeup or ask her for her advice on what you should do! I know everyone wants to make the bride happy but making so many decisions can stress someone! Have fun!
Yessie Libby Makeup & Styling
As a guest, if you have RSVP’d that you will be attending, but later have a change of plans, BE SURE to let the bride know! Don’t feel bad about a change of plans, it happens. But DO feel bad if you don’t let her know about it!! Wedding receptions are typically billed by the guest count, so, a family of 4 for example, that says their coming but then doesn’t can easily cost a bride $400 or $500 depending on their cost per head count. Brides should at least have the opportunity to change their head count with the caterer if it’s not too late so that they’re not paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for guests that no-show!!! Sincerely, Heidi Shammas
A to Zinnias
Be in the moment, don't let your camera phone be your eyes for this beautiful day!!
Nikk Nguyen Photo
1. Arrive early, but not too early
2. Do not call or text the Bride with any questions the morning of her wedding, I’m pretty sure you/friend can figure whatever needs to be figured out!
3. Compliment her hair and makeup. 😃
4. No social media of the bride/groom/partner during the ceremony
5. Don’t over indulge with alcohol (if served)
Jen Lagers The Outer Edge Makeup
Aha this is awesome! As a Wedding Venue Owner - we sure get to see and hear it all! I think the best thing a guest can do above everything else is remember who/ what the wedding is about: the couple and THEIR love! Nobody wants to hear anything negative about anything - like... are you not a fan of the menu selection? Nobody cares- keep quiet and if you must make a statement, make sure it’s a complimentary one! Not a fan of the peach colored bridesmaids dresses the bride picked out? Nobody cares! Not a fan of how long the bar line is? Nobody cares! Not a fan of how long the speeches were? Nobody cares! Not a fan of who Aunt Nancy brought as a date? Nobody cares! Go find something to shove in your mouth to keep it shut if you feel any selfish complaints starting to spew out of that negative mouth! Ultimately, showering the couple with love and positivity is the absolute best thing you can do as a wedding guest. Keep the spotlight on them and be there as a supportive family and friend because showing love and celebrating love is What it’s all about. Can I get an Amen?! 😂🙌🏼
Xoxo Chari Wolf. Feather. Honey. Farm
Don’t use your iPhone during the ceremony, just take it in, experience it. Remember that the couple has spent a lot of money on professional photos and video, you don’t need to capture every minute. And the iPhones get in the way of the professionals.
Jade Turgel Photography
To be a great wedding guest- do not ask the bride and groom for a photo with them. As my husband and I arrived at our reception I was not prepared for how many people stopped us and asked us to pose for pictures, or to take a picture of me with my mom or sister. It took up a huge portion of our cocktail hour. We hired a photographer! We will have all these photos and can share them with you! If the bride and Groom would like pictures with you, they will request it.
Do your best to participate. If the bride and groom wanted a great party they invited you to make it so. Do you best. Don’t treat your invitation like a chore. Embrace the event.
Dale Olsen, Outlooks
Run by the bride and groom in advance if you're planning on bring an extra or unexpected guest(s).
(((Wedding Chicks recommends NEVER bringing extra or unexpected guests.)))
If you have a strict food allergy, let the couple know at least two weeks before the wedding so that a request can be made with the caterer. Without advanced notice, the caterer will not be able to provide another option.
Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering
I'd say being on time, and not breaking anything at the venue!
Victoria Belle Mansion and Vintage White Barn
One of the most gracious things a guest could do is to offer a friendly smile and introduce (herself) while extending a hand to shake. I am an espresso bar caterer for over 18 years now and have often observed poor relational skills at weddings. It only makes for an awkward occasion if the new families and friends don't at least try to welcome each other~in the selfless honour of the Bride and Groom! It's their day, not yours, and your privilege to be a guest, so be one~ w class and dignity. A lot of money has been spared for this paramount day, why not compliment the parents or planner on the service or the arrangements. The venue, color scheme, flower selection, etc. So much time and effort has been poured into every nuance. Often, it is a direct reflection on the the very character of this new team. Edify. Notice opportunities to keep the event running smoothly for them; Mr. And Mrs.... And truly enjoy the moments we get to be part of, celebrating love and life.
Angela Speaks Co- owner Xpress~oh! Catering