Recently I shared some of the most common complaints wedding guests have and what the bridal couple can do to avoid them. Let’s turn the tables and talk about what you can do to be a great wedding guest.
1. Respond to the invitation. Your hosts (the bridal couple and/or their parents) need to know how many people to plan for, so tell them if you’ll be attending prior to the RSVP date indicated on the invitation or at least 2-3 weeks before the wedding date. Don’t assume you can bring a guest –if the invitation was addressed to you alone, don’t put the hosts in an awkward position by asking if you can bring someone. They may be under budget or space constraints, and “just one more” will matter. If you must cancel after you’ve responded, let the hosts know as soon as possible.
2. Don’t take the gift to the wedding or reception. The bride and groom have enough to worry about on their wedding day – don’t add to their responsibilities by making them have to keep gifts safe at the venue and then get them home later. Most wedding gift registries can arrange to have your gift delivered to the location the bridal couple chooses, either before or after the wedding. Or mail the gift yourself. In any case, be sure to include a card inside the gift box.
3. Dress appropriately. Choose an outfit that matches the degree of formality or casualness of the wedding. Save the flashy, sexy attire for another occasion – don’t wear anything that distracts from the bridal party. Female guests should not wear white, off-white or ivory – those colors are reserved for the bride.
4. Arrive early. Plan to get to the ceremony a half-hour prior to the time on the invitation. If you are late, wait until after the procession has gone down the aisle and then seat yourself quietly in the back.
5. Turn your phone off. This is a special day for the bride and groom; don’t let an incoming call or text interrupt the ceremony or a reception activity.
6. Keep the receiving line moving. You should absolutely go through the receiving line to speak to the bridal party, but make it quick. This isn’t the place for lengthy conversations; say congratulations and best wishes, and move along.
7. Participate in the reception. Even if you think the activities are corny (such as the bouquet and garter toss, or the conga line dance), keep your feelings to yourself and be a good sport. Clear the dance floor for the special dances (the bridal couple’s first, the bride and her father, the groom and his mother). When someone is making a toast, don’t talk or leave the room, even if it seems like the toast will never end. Raise your glass and drink to every toast, but consume alcohol in moderation. Engage with the other guests and you’ll have more fun. If you can’t stay until the end of the reception, stay at least until the cake has been cut.
As professional Orlando Wedding DJs, we’ve seen more than our share of bizarre and downright rude behavior by wedding guests. Follow these tips and you’ll be doing your part to assure a special, memorable day for the bridal couple.