Wedding Guest Tips Part III

More tips on being a good Wedding Guest!


silver cloud photograph

Follow direction.  More and more brides are deciding to have photos taken BEFORE the wedding ceremony.  This means the party WITH the bride and groom can begin immediately!  If you are requested to find your seat at the reception site as soon as the couple is pronounced “Man and Wife” then do so.  Do not wander over to the bar and demand a cocktail.  If the bar’s closed, it’s closed.  It’s very hard for an catering employee to refuse a guest, so don’t abuse your power.



I’ve been guilty of this one.  If the wedding dinner is a buffet, don’t serve yourself up as if it’s all you can eat night at “Golden Corral”.  Remember, the hosts of the reception have paid a “per head price” for each and every guest and an unlimited supply of food is not available.  Think before you serve yourself.


If you are a smoker, please respect the hosts’ and venue’s non-smoking/smoking areas.  Most venues make accommodations for smokers.  And if you partake of “smokeless tobacco” products, follow the rules for them as well.  And please, just because you may be out of doors, (either at the outdoor venue, or smoking area), this is not an invitation to ground out your refuse wherever you may be.


romantic decoration

Provided you are assigned a table, and most hosts choose to do so, find it as soon as you enter the venue.  Set yourself up, and use this as your home base.  Do you use others’ tables.  I know it may be convenient to place your purse or drink, (or even used ‘Cocktail Hour’ “treats”), on someone else’s table, but don’t.  It’s bad form on more that one level.


And the photo above?  Well, I just really liked the flowers and wanted to share them with you.  🙂




More Wedding Guest Tips



Do you want to be a good wedding guest?  Well, make sure you get your response card in on time…and oh, yes, make sure you write your name on the response card.  True story, we received this card for my daughter Kathleen’s wedding.  Good tip…number the cards, (notice the number “68” in the lower left hand corner), and write the number of each card next to the each guest’s name.  That way, if someone “forgets” to write their name on their card, you know who responded.


Photo creds: Patty Cloherty

According to the, arrive at least 30 minutes before the wedding is due to begin.  But wait to be seated by the groomsmen or ushers.  Old time etiquette?  The ushers seat the ladies, much like the photo above, and if she is accompanied by a husband or date, he follows behind.    Traditionally, the first few rows are reserved for immediate family members.


True Story: I was a guest at a wedding recently.  Two women arrived after the bride had entered the church.  The ladies just walked in front of her and seated themselves.  Now it happens.  We’ve all been late to important events.  If you ARE late, just wait until the procession enters the church or other venue, and then quietly sit in the back.


Photo creds: Hannah Colt Photos

How long to stay?  Well, the and I agree…stay at the wedding reception at least until the cake is cut.  And when you make your departure, try to find at least one family member, if not the bride and groom, and thank them for their hospitality and wish them well.

0899f9daca99f263d1563bffdf386f30 cautions to sign the guest book (make a point to round it up if you don’t see it immediately). And please remember to take the favor the  bride and groom so generously have provided for you.

How To Be A Good Wedding Guest

As we are in the midst of wedding season, we should ask ourselves what are some key factors to being a “Good Wedding Guest”?  Of course it should be simple, but often, it’s not.

I reprinted an article awhile back from that had the 33 worse wedding guest mistakes.  If you’d like to read it, click on the link: 33 Worst Wedding Guest Mistakes

Today, I highlight my OWN personal pet peeves.


1 – Respect whatever mandates the bridal and groom make regarding photos during the ceremony and reception.  Today, when every man, woman and child has a camera at the ready, (via their phone!), photos can get out of hand.  Some brides today are choosing a “social media blackout” until she can choose what to showcase on the internet.  Respect that.

2 – Don’t wear white, cream, ivory, or even blush.  That’s for the bride.  Black was also a taboo color, but no longer.  It’s acceptable now.


3 – DON’T HIGHJACK THE PHOTOGRAPHER!!  I think of all the items in this post, this is the most important.  I was a guest at a wedding last year.  The beautiful wedding ceremony was over.  The guests were kindly asked to proceed into the reception tent and enjoy “Cocktail Hour” while the bridal party and family members took pictures.  Dinner would commence after.  What did a group of grown women do?  They rounded up their daughters, a couple were bridesmaids, a few were not, and grabbed the photographer and strongly asked that he photograph them.  Now, I do blame the photographer.  He could have gently told them, “No.”  Perhaps the Mother of the Bride could have stepped in.  And as this wedding didn’t have a Wedding Coordinator, that was not an option.  This delayed the photo session by 15 miutes (or so said the Mother of then Groom when she told me about it).  Doesn’t sound like a lot of time…but it is.


4 – Be a happy guest like the ones below, and don’t complain — especially to the Mothers of the bride and groom.  A friend related an incident to me recently.  She had been a guest at a wedding and a fellow guest had a complaint.  She told the mother of the bride about it, and it was resolved.  (it easily could have been fixed by the guest herself)  But the guest kept talking about it, to all who would listen.  Not very thoughtful.

The bride and female wedding guests

5 -Don’t steal others seats.  Three years ago I attended the wedding of a friend’s son.  Kenny and I claimed our escort cards and went to our table.  We were allowed to choose our own seats at our assigned table.  We were the first to arrive, and I chose what I thought were GREAT seats.  Apparently another guest we were seated with thought so too.  I went to greet a friend, and when I returned to our table, she had moved my purse and shawl from our saved seats and put her items there.  “I hope you don’t mind,” she said.  “We have a better view here.”  Normally, I would have said, “Yes, I do mind.”  But I didn’t want to make a scene.  I think she counted on that…



6 – Don’t take a gift to the wedding.  A card with your gift enclosed is great to take to the wedding, but a big bulky gift, no.  If you’d like to send a gift instead of giving cash, please use the gift registry and have it shipped to the bride’s home.  Remember, someone at the end of the evening has to get all those gifts home.


Worst Wedding Guest Mistakes

In the process of looking for blog ideas, I ran across this article, showcasing worst wedding guest mistakes…

33 Worst Wedding Guest Mistakes …Sadly, I realized I had made a few of these faux pas myself – I didn’t realize there were so many rules!

1. Forget to RSVP.

That date is there for a reason. Couples need to tell their coordinators and caterers how many people will be attending so they can plan accordingly. Don’t force your friends to harass you for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The postage is pre-paid—just check a box and send it off.

2. Ignore the registry.

You may have an inside joke about a certain board game or your eyes set on the perfect stemware, but your friends made a registry for a reason. I know a set of spoons or that Martha Stewart spatula may not be very exciting, but they need them. Make sure whatever you purchase is checked off the registry and you always provide a receipt.

3. Forgo a gift if you can’t go.

If you’ve been invited to a dozen big days, this one is hard. But you have to send a gift or check to the couple—even if you’re not attending.

4. Bring the gift with you.

Unless you’re slipping some cash into a card, do NOT bring the gift with you. Use the shipping address provided on their registry. No one in the bridal party wants to spend an hour stuffing gifts into their car at the end of the night.

5. Show up last-minute.

If you RSVP’d ‘no’, you cannot just show up unannounced. It will not be a “nice surprise.” If you realize you can attend a week before, notify the bride or groom and accept their response no matter what.


6. Bring kids to a kid-free wedding.

If your children are invited, your invitation will say “Smith Family” or have every name listed. If it’s not clear, do not make assumptions! Contact the bride and ask.

7. Bring a date when you weren’t given a plus-one.

Did you know one guest can cost the newlyweds almost $100? Showing up with a rando is a definite faux pas.

8. Wear white, ivory, or even blush.

White and ivory are pretty obvious, but bridal gown colors are expanding! Lots of brides wear blush, nude, or even icy blues. If you can, get the gown color from a bridesmaid before you buy your attire. You may want to get the bridesmaid dress shade too, unless you want to be mistaken for a member of the bridal party all night.

9. Dress like you’re going to a funeral.

Black used to be on the lists of colors to avoid, but I think it’s acceptable with certain dress codes. If the nuptials will be celebrated in the middle of summer, outside in a casual atmosphere, you should avoid black. If you’re attending a more formal affair, then go ahead and rock an LBD

10. Compete with the bride.

You can look good, but don’t go over-the-top. Avoid any attire that will draw too much attention—good or bad. All eyes should be on her, not you. You’ll have your day…


11. Bombard the bride before the ceremony.

Many close family members and friends think it’s acceptable to crash the bridal suite before the ceremony. Um, no. If you weren’t personally invited by the bride or bridal party to stop in and say hello, then wait until the ceremony like every other attendee.

12. Skip the ceremony.

Don’t just show up for the free food and drinks! You’re sort of missing the whole point of the wedding if you do.

13. Show up late.

Don’t be late to any part of the day. It’s just plain rude.

14. Chit chat when you’re not supposed to.

Don’t whisper (quite frankly, no one can do it quietly) during the ceremony, speeches, or any other part of the day when you’re supposed to be quiet.

15. Text, Snap, Tweet, Insta, etc.

Put that phone away and pay attention! How sad would it be if the couple looked out at their guests and saw faces glued to screens? Also, turn it off. We wouldn’t want that embarrassing ringtone to go off during the vows.


16. Ignore every religious ritual.

If you don’t share the religious views of the couple, that’s OK. Just try to follow along and take part when you feel comfortable. You don’t have to kneel with the other guests if you don’t want to, but stand and sit when asked and always remain respectful.

17. Get in the photographer’s way.

They’re getting paid a lot of money to capture as many memories as possible, so stay out of their way! Don’t block their shot or walk in front of every photo you can.

18. Share photos on social media.

A lot of weddings have an assigned hashtag so guests’ photos can be saved. If that’s not the case, don’t share pictures of the newlyweds until they give you the go-ahead. They may want their professional shots to be the first ones the public sees.

19. Criticize.

Try to keep those negative comments to yourself. If you don’t like the food, flowers, or décor, just don’t use them at your own wedding.

20. Blow off the receiving line.

This may be your only chance to congratulate the newlyweds! Don’t blow it off.


21. Change into casual clothing.

No, you can’t throw on jeans or shorts for the reception. Dress in comfortable attire you’ll love all night.

22. Pick your own seat.

The seating chart took that poor bride a long time. Please stick to it!

23. Switch food orders.

Remember that RSVP card you sent in so long ago? That box you checked determined the exact amount of food the expensive caterer would prepare. Switching will cause some serious headaches.

24. Get stupid drunk.

This one is obvious, right? An open bar is not an invitation to see how much you can drink before passing out. Some big days even restrict shots for this reason. Have fun, but know your limit.

25. Have an emotional breakdown.

An open bar and steady intoxication can often lead to intense emotional sharing. I’m sorry your partner hasn’t proposed yet or you just got dumped, but tonight is not the night to share it with everyone you meet.


26. Leave ridiculously early.

The unwritten rule is to stay until the cake is cut. This is most often done before the dancing even starts, so you’ll make it.

27. Opt out of every tradition.

Maybe you don’t feel like catching that bouquet or garter, but you can’t be the only one who sits out. Stand in the back and let those over-ambitious guests dive for their luck.

28. Make an informal toast.

If you weren’t asked, do not make toast! Just don’t. Have I made myself completely clear? DON’T DO IT.

29. Request songs unless asked.

Many couples will create a “Do Not Play List”. More often than not, these lists include songs like “Electric Slide,” “Chicken Dance,” or “Y.M.C.A.” If the DJ asks for requests, go ahead and make them. But he may deny you of your cliché group dance.

30. Grab the mic.

The DJ will have a microphone for announcements and the like. You are not allowed to use this for any reason.

31. Propose.

Talk about stealing their thunder! If you’d like to propose at someone’s reception, you must ask permission.

32. Steal décor.

Sometimes centerpieces and random décor is up for grabs at the end of the night, but make sure you get permission before snagging that vase or flower arrangement.

33. Ditch without saying goodbye.

Always pull the bride or groom aside to say a quick “goodbye.” Do not forget to say “thank you” as well!


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