Series III: Wedding Etiquette For Every Type of Wedding Guest By: Elite Events Planner, Kati Kerekes
At every wedding there are “Bad Guests”. These people have to be tracked down by the parents of the bride for their RSVP's, they ask to bring a date or children even though they were not invited. Some of them choose to not purchase items off the gift registry because they want to be different. Others RSVP for one type of food then request a different one at the meal. Then there are the ladies who decide to wear white or not wear enough clothes at all and the gentleman who show up to a black tie event in khakis and a polo. Whether you are the person who had a little too much to drink or included your new date in the family group photo session at some point every one of us has made a mistake as a guest.
Want to change your ways? From start to finish here are some tips on how to be the best guest!
Once you receive a Save The Date, check your calendar and immediately let the couple know if you can’t make it. They probably have an A, B and C list and will be able to invite others in your place. On the same note, if you know you can make it, let them know you received the information and are excited to attend. When the formal invitation comes, reply promptly & do not add more guests to the response than have been invited. If it is not clear if you can bring a date or your children, it is OK to ask. Remember understanding who is invited and asking to invite more people are two different things and the latter of the two will make the couple uncomfortable. Want to be a super nice guest? RSVP online. This saves tons of time for the couple!
If you are traveling from out of town, book your travel arrangements ASAP. Hotels will book up & you might miss out on the group discounted rate. If information has not been provided on transportation, it is safe to assume you are to make arrangements on your own.
Unless you and the entire wedding party are surprising them with a brand new car, buy off the registry or just give money. Period. The couple took the time to figure out what they wanted so don't be rude and snub their suggestions. If you can’t find anything you would like to give, then a lovely card with money is always safe and super easy to put in your clutch purse!
Know your venue & dress appropriately. If you are not sure what to wear save humiliation and ask someone else attending. You do not want to wear heels in the grass, forget your suit jacket or upstage the bride.
Treat the ceremony the same way you would treat a movie or live theater. Arrive at least 15 minutes early, turn your cell phone off & use the restroom before it starts. Some ceremonies may run long, a little bottle of water may keep you from passing out during a hot August afternoon. If you have a child who might get fussy sit closest to the door so you can quickly and quietly escape before their screams block out the couples’ vows. If you are late don’t try walking down the isle, simply stand in the back or slip in from the side.
During cocktail hour enjoy the snacks, but do not hover over the smoked salmon and devour all the mini crab cakes. If you absolutely need seconds and thirds do it at the cheese and cracker station where left overs are common. Remember you are not the only guest at the party. When you see the Bride and Groom congratulate them, take a photo, then let them visit with other guests. It is not the time to bring up your sister’s dead cat.
During the reception, remember the 3 D's: Dance often, Drink water & have a Designated Driver!