I love weddings. I have been to five total, not including my own. Going to weddings are great because it's just a fun and exciting event where you get to be apart of such an important moment in someone's life and celebrate people you love starting a new chapter in their relationship. Plus, there's usually dancing and free food (the last wedding we went to had Chipotle as their caterer and I got to eat guacamole at a wedding #amazing) , and I am always here for both of those things.
I feel like a lot of people take being a guest at a wedding really lightly considering being a wedding guest is a huge honor because out of all of the people in the world they could have invited to come be apart of their big day, they chose you to be one of them. That being said, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to be a wedding guest, and trust me, the newlyweds will remember which one you were. It's definitely in your best interest and in the interest of your friendship with the bride and groom to be the best wedding guest ever.
As far as I know, I'm personally not going to any weddings any time soon, but I know we're just getting into 2020's wedding season and so a lot of people are either getting married or getting ready to go to a wedding.
After going to so many wedding and preparing and planning my own wedding, I've come up with a list of tips that I feel make sure that you leave the best impression as a wedding guest. These tips aren't just for the bride and groom's sake, but also for yours to make sure you have the best time at their wedding as well.
So let's get into it, shall we?
If you receive a wedding invitation in the mail, the first thing you should do is figure out whether or not you can go and RSVP. If it's way off in the future or you are waiting for something else on your schedule to be confirmed, set yourself a reminder and make sure to RSVP by the date on the invite. As someone who literally had to hunt down half of her RSVP long after the RSVP date, it's really stressful for the newlyweds to not have your RSVP. They need to know who all is coming so they can confirm numbers with venders, like the caterer.
Be on Time
In my entire life of living, weddings are literally the only events I've been to that start when they say they are going to. It's really hard to sneak into a wedding ceremony after it starts, especially if it's indoors, so if the invitation says noon, be there at 11:45 so you can grab a seat. If you have to drive a long distance, make sure you leave early and give yourself an extra thirty minute in case of traffic. Missing the ceremony is the most important part of the whole day and it's not a great look to be late or completely miss it.
Obviously, things happen and sometimes don't always go the way we planned; I'm not saying the bride and groom are going to hate you if you are late or do miss it, but do your best to try and be there before it starts.
Respect the Newlywed's Wishes
If you are asked to do something or be apart of something, just do it. The newlyweds have put a lot of thought and work into planning everything out. If the newlyweds have asked for an unplugged ceremony, put your phone away. If they have a group picture planned, be apart of it. If they have a registry, buy off the registry. If they have a seating chart, sit at the table they put you at. If their ceremony is based around a different religion than yours, be respectful of that. This is literally where the golden rule of "treat other the way you would want to be treated" applies.
Don't Complain or Compare Weddings
Complaining is an ugly habit, but complaining at a wedding is just plain rude and unnecessary. The day is not about you so save your complaints about the wedding for the ride home. Don't complain about the weather or the seating or the food or the other people in attendance. It's just not appropriate for the occasion, and honestly, makes you look really bad.
I do feel like I need to clarify a difference about the second half of this tip. I'm not saying you can't talk about your wedding or other weddings you've been to, but you shouldn't make their wedding day about anyone else but them. I think it is perfectly acceptable to reminisce; every wedding I've been to after I married Ryan always reminds me of how amazing love is and brings back some of the feelings I had on my wedding day.
What you shouldn't do, is say things like, "Oh, at our wedding we had better food," or, "At this wedding they had better decorations," or "I would have never chosen this color scheme," or other stuff along those lines. Every bride takes the time to put together the wedding of their dreams and whether it's big or small or something you wouldn't have chosen, you're at their wedding so save the comparison for later.
Avoid Making Big Announcements
I feel like this should be pretty self-explanatory, but we're going to talk about it anyways. If you have any announcement to make about your life, a wedding is not the place to do it. If you are pregnant, that's awesome, but announce it on Facebook tomorrow. If you want to propose to your partner, that's great, but pick another day. Don't steal the microphone from the DJ, don't bring it up in conversations, don't tell the bride and groom, just don't do it. Someone else's wedding day is not about you, it's about the bride and groom. You can wait to be the center of attention. Don't be that asshole.
Let the Bride and Groom Eat
When I got married, we ate breakfast at eight o'clock in the morning before we started getting ready, and then didn't really eat anything until we served dinner at 5:30pm. I was so hungry, but I didn't get to eat much because as soon as we sat down to eat after getting our food, people kept coming up to take pictures with us or talk to us.
While I understand that at a wedding, you want to celebrate and congratulate the newlyweds, give them a minute. They just got married, just got done taking pictures, nerves are probably just starting to calm down, and they need five minutes of time together to breathe and eat before everyone overwhelms them.
Don't Start Drama
Save the drama for later. A wedding is not an appropriate place to hash things out. If you don't like someone or are having issues with someone, pretend those issues don't exist for the duration of the wedding. If you're like me and have a really hard time doing that, straight up avoid the person you have problems with. Chances are, if you start something at a wedding, it's not going to be just you and the other person, everyone will inadvertently get involved somehow and that's not why you're at the wedding to begin with.
Be Conscious of How You Dress
Try to look as good as possible without drawing attention away from the bride and groom. Take a shower before, do your hair, shave, etc. Don't show up a dirty mess who looks like they forgot a wedding was happening.
If there is a dress code, follow the dress code. Don't show up in a ballgown for a casual wedding. Don't show up in jeans for a formal one. Make sure that what you are wearing is appropriate for the occasion.
ALSO, don't wear white. That is straight up an attention seeking move, and you will definitely be judged for doing it.
Share the Newlyweds
Being invited to a wedding means you have some connection to the newlyweds, the smaller the wedding, I would say the closer of a connection. That being said, unless you're at a wedding with literally only five people in attendance, there are a bunch of other people who also want to talk to and spend time with the newlyweds. Feel free to have a conversation with them, dance with them, take some shots with them, get a picture with them, etc. but don't monopolize them.
The biggest and best thing you can do for a bride and groom is to enjoy their wedding day. Every newlywed couple wants to look back and think, "Wow, I had the best wedding day ever," and part of that is the guests being involved and having fun. Take pictures, post stuff on social media using their hashtags, dance with your friends, and just enjoy and celebrate the fact that two people you love in your life are starting something beautiful together.
I do want to say that we're all human and no one is going to get everything on this list 100% of the time so if you mess up, it's not the end of the world. Nobody goes to a wedding thinking, "I'm going to be a shitty wedding guest on purpose." Today's post was more about pointing out things to avoid doing so you don't accidentally become the guest that the bride and groom wish they didn't invite.
That's all I've got for this topic today. If you have any other tips you think make someone the best wedding guest ever, definitely drop it in the comments below.
Take a shot for all the bad wedding guests you've experienced and toast to all of the beautiful people who just got married.