Wedding Etiquette: What You Should Know As A Guest

Wedding Etiquette: What You Should Know As A Guest It is great to be invited to a wedding as a guest by a loved one, but there are certain things you must and must not do as a guest. Regardless of your connection with the bride and groom, there are certain things you must be aware of if you are attending a wedding as a guest. In case you are not sure, read on –


  • RSVP

It is absolutely important that you do this as soon as you possibly can. By accepting or declining the invite will help the couple to plan appropriately for the number expected guests.

  • Dress code for the wedding

Sometimes the couple may decide a theme for their wedding. Most times, the theme is expressed on the invitation cards. It will be nice to respect their wishes and dress in accordance to the specification. For example, if it was a beach wedding and they had requested everyone to wear their swimming costumes, you don’t want to turn up fully dressed in your stiletto shoes. Certainly, you don’t want to be the odd one out.

  • Punctuality

Arriving on time at the venue is very important. If the venue has been booked for a specific time, it is necessary for all concerned to be present at the specified time. More often, wedding venues are booked for more than one wedding in a day. And if you do arrive late, even if you are a VIP, stay at the back until you are asked to come to the front to occupy your position. In other words, do not interrupt the process. Leave plenty of time to prepare and arrive at the venue on time.


  • Do not wear white

Wearing white to a wedding unless you are the bride is totally not acceptable. It is the bride’s day, therefore let it be and do not outshine her.

  • Unless indicated, do not take a guest (including children) with you.

A wedding ceremony can be very expensive. It requires proper planning for it to succeed. If you were not asked to bring a guest with you, then respect that wish. It shows that the couple can cater for the invited guests only. Taking baggage with you in the form of a guest will be putting unnecessary burden on the couple. Also, your uninvited guest could be turned back at the door. That could be very embarrassing.

Do yourself a favour, follow what the invite says.

  • Do not go to the bride’s dressing room

I know you are close to the bride, and so are other people. Imagine if everyone close to the bride went to her dressing room all at once to say hello, that would be too stressful for her to handle as her focus on the day would be to get things done properly. Stay back unless you are specifically invited to her dressing room.

Crash the bride’s room. The second most common faux pas I see is when friends outside the immediate bridal party crash the bride’s dressing room just to wish her well. The gesture is absolutely gracious — but the timing isn’t. If you weren’t invited to hang out with the bride while she gets ready, wait to share your congratulations at the wedding.

  • Do not change your food order during the wedding

You would have been asked your preferred food for the day on the invite, so stick with it. This is because they would have made a provision for your choice of menu, changing your mind on the day may create an unnecessary burden.

Swap your food order. Usually you are asked for your meal preference on the RSVP. This is for a reason: The caterer or hotel requires a pretty close to accurate count of who’s eating what so that they may order the correct quantities. I have attended many weddings where someone decides that they like what the guest next to them was presented with and they “change their order,” leaving a person with dietary restrictions without their meal of choice.

The rule of the thumb is, if you are not sure of what to wear or how to behave as a guest, then ask the bride and groom if they have a specific request.

There is more on wedding etiquette on the Huffington Post.

What do you think of the do’s and don’ts of a wedding guest?

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