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10 Ways To Be A Great Wedding Guest (Hint: Don't Ask To Bring A Date)
Brenda Della Casa | a year ago
Wedding season is in full swing and there's a good change that a few of your nearest or dearest are planning to say "I-do". If you're one of the lucky ones to get an invite to share in one of the biggest days of their lives, you'll want to showcase your gratitude by being a wonderful guest (and a great friend before the invitations are sent). Here are 10 ways to do it.
Do Not Assume You're Invited
OK, so this isn't necessarily related to being a guest, but best way to be a great friend is not to assume you are a guest until you receive a formal invitation (and not to be too offended if you don't). Too often, friends, acquaintances and even family members create awkward situations with statements like "Can't wait for the wedding" before the couple has even had a chance to enjoy being engaged. Though well-intentioned, these kinds of comments do not take the budget or circumstances of the couple into account and often set a stressful tone right from the beginning.
Do Not Demand a Date
It's almost a knee-jerk reaction to an announcement, but asking the couple if they have set a date three days (or even three weeks) after getting engaged often sends one or both of them into a bit of a panic. You'll know the date when they choose to tell announce one. Until then, respond with, "Congratulations! Enjoy this happy time!" When a date is given, keep any concerns or inconveniences to yourself.
RSVP in a Timely Manner
If you are invited, you will likely receive an invitation around 2 months out from the wedding with a request that you RSVP within a certain timeframe (usually a month). Couples need an RSVP in order to finalise the seating chart, food and drink orders and other accommodations in order to ensure there's enough of all of the above for each guest. Sending your response late (or not at all) causes the couple stress and makes you look thoughtless. Best to avoid all of the above.
Don't Ask To Bring Additional Guests
While you might want to bring a date or your children, the invitation is for the person(s) addressed on the envelope. If it says your name (+1) then you know you are welcome to bring a guest. If it mentions your children or family, they are invited. Guest Lists for weddings are often carefully edited to accommodate a budget and atmosphere and it's poor form to ask to make your own additions to that list.
Follow The Dress Code
When dressing for any formal occasion, it's always better to err on the side of caution. White tie, black tie, morning dress, black tie creative, cocktail are all easy to research. If you have any questions, don't feel awkward asking the Maid of Honour for a little feedback; we're sure we'd be happy to help!
A few points for all guests, regardless of the dress code: don't wear the same colour as the bride, avoid any design that will attract too much attention from the bride, and if in a religious building, keep your shoulders covered and follow the rules of the house of worship (example: If every male is wearing a kippot in a religious building, putting one on to be respectful would be appreciated).
Don't Be Sloppy
There's always someone who enjoys an open bar a little more than others, and if that's you, take precaution. A wedding is a celebration and having fun is a part of the purpose, but getting sloppy only creates stress for those around you, including the couple. Not good. Even if not indulging too much, there are other ways to stand out as sloppy. We knew a bride who wound up with chocolate on her dress thanks to a clumsy bridesmaid and another with a red stain on her dress thanks to a brother-in-law bringing a full glass onto the dance floor. We're guessing neither were winning any awards for best guest the next morning.
The couple getting married will definitely want to spend time with you but they won't have much to spend with anyone thanks to the whole room vying for their attention. Don't be offended if you don't get to have any in-depth convos or they seem distracted. There's a lot going on and the day/night is likely moving at high-speed for them. Instead, let them look around and see you dancing, laughing, mingling and enjoying the evening they worked so hard to plan for you.
Avoid Questionable Commentary
No one needs to know about the bride or grooms "sordid" past, your budget guestimate or why the bride's father isn't there. Keep your comments elevated and joyful and when in doubt, smile and say nothing at all.
Do Not Invade The Staff's Space
Going behind the bar to steal bottles of prosecco at midnight and smoking in the kitchen are both no-no's. You know who you are.
Say Thank You Properly
Try to thank the bride and groom as well as their parents before you leave, and follow up with a quick note the morning after the wedding letting them know what a fabulous time you had and how happy you are for them. Then, mail your gift within 6 months (yes, you have a year, but don't wait that long).
What Are Your Rules For Being a Great Guest?