Wedding Etiquette Every Guest Should Know
1. Send in your RSVP on time/before the deadline.
Many guests forget to submit their RSVP’s on time. I know I’ve been guilty of this one! This creates extra
work for the couple, and they may have to send you a reminder or two. Think of how special it is that the
couple has chosen to include you in their wedding day celebration. Consider it an honor! RSVP’s only take
a minute or two to complete, so get it done as soon as you can before you forget.
Responding before the deadline will give the couple a better picture of how many guests to expect on their
wedding day, and they’ll be able to create the seating arrangement and plan on the amount of food, plates,
chairs, and silverware needed. If your plans unexpectedly change after you’ve submitted the RSVP, make
sure to let the couple know of the change of plans.
2. Don’t bring a date if it’s not offered on the invite.
If you receive an invitation and your name is the only one listed on the invite, it’s disrespectful to ask the
couple if you can bring a plus one. The couple has already probably thought about and discussed whether
or not they have room for additional guests, and they have limited room or number of seats available.
The only exception to this rule is if you recently got engaged and your fiancé is not on the invite, then you
can ask the couple to reconsider. If the invite says something along the lines of “and guest” next to your
name, and you plan to bring a date, then be sure to list your date’s name in the RSVP.
3. Come on time to the ceremony.
We are all busy people, but out of respect for the couple, make it a priority to come on time to the ceremony.
I’ve been to many weddings where guests came in late or rushed in right before the bridal party entered the
ceremony. I’ve also seen guests walk in right after the bride walked in, and basically photo bomb the bride’s
pictures of her walking-down-the-aisle. Ouch. Don’t be that guest.
4. Don’t wear white to a wedding.
Wearing a white dress to a wedding where you are not the bride is considered disrespectful. You don’t want to
look like you’re trying to steal the spotlight from the bride on one of the biggest days of her life. Plus, there are
so many other festive colors to wear. So unless the couple requests that their guests wear white, don’t wear
white to a wedding and let the bride shine brightest.
5. Wear the requested attire.
Check your wedding invite or the couple’s wedding website for the attire you should wear. If the couple requests
formal attire, men should wear a suite or tuxedo and a tie, and ladies should wear a long evening dress, dressy
suit, or a cocktail dress. If the invite states semi-formal attire, a tuxedo or tie is not required but it’s encouraged
to wear one if you’d like to.
For women, semi-formal attire includes an evening dress or cocktail dress. Semi-formal attire does not mean that
you can wear jeans to a wedding. Jeans are usually not appropriate for a wedding, unless the couple requests
casual attire. Even in this case, it’s a good idea to double check with the couple if they are okay with guests wearing
jeans to the wedding.
6. Don’t skip the ceremony.
Maybe it’s not your thing to go to the ceremony or you’d rather just come for the food, drinks, and dancing, but
remember that the ceremony is an important part of the wedding, and there are a lot of meaningful and emotional
moments such as the walk down the aisle, the vow and ring exchange, the kiss, and the good relationship advice
you’ll get in between. You may think that no one will notice that you weren’t there, and maybe no one willnotice,
but you don’t want to miss this very important part of the wedding.
7. Don’t bother the bride with questions on the day of the wedding.
Imagine how many thoughts are running through the bride’s mind on the wedding day. If possible, don’t bother her
with unnecessary questions or phone calls on the day of the wedding. If you have an urgent question, however, try
to check first with a member of the bridal party, a family member, or the day-of coordinator.
8. Don’t take photos during the ceremony or get in the way of the photographer(s) or videographer(s).
You may be tempted to get the best shot of the couple on their wedding day, but leave that to the professional
photographers/videographers. They have been hired for a reason. And if you really want to get a few pictures of the
couple and the wedding décor or venue, make sure you’re not in the photographer’s or videographer’s way. Also,
keep in mind that there are usually designated times for guests to take pictures with the bride and groom.
9. Silence your cell phone during the ceremony and vow exchange.
The ceremony and vow exchange is a special moment for the couple, and the last thing you want to hear is an
annoying ringtone come up when the bride is in the middle of her vows. Silence your cell phone to show respect
to the couple as well as the guests.