Today we're getting into wedding guest etiquette and pro active responses for the bride and groom. While I could probably fill a book with all of the wedding don'ts, here are a few that are top of mind.
1. Unless it is a matter of life and death, do not call a bride or groom on their wedding day. Save the well wishes for the reception or send a thoughtful note. If you're unexpectedly unable to attend, either send a message or reach out to the designated wedding manager (planner, relative or friend).
For The Couple: Consider handing your phones off to a trusted member of the bridal party, sibling, or other relative on the day of the wedding. Give the trusted party guidelines on how to handle each scenario.
2. If the couple is having an unplugged ceremony PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! Quality wedding photography rates start at around $3,000. Not to mention the additional funds spent on the very sign that says to put your phone away that some people choose to ignore. Don't be that guest. Be in the moment and experience the ceremony in real-time. Don't run the risk of ruining the professional shots the couple has paid for. Also, don't be disrespectful of the couple's wishes.
For the couple: If professional lock boxes are out of the question, have your officiant or MC remind guests to power off their phones and not to take photos.
3. Always follow the dress code set forth by the couple. Under dressing is never a good look but over dressing can be even more problematic. Whether you agree with the dress code or not, find a comfortable way to oblige. If you're unsure about what's appropriate, there is a ton of information online regarding the topic. Also, check in with the couple (in advance of course) for some extra guidance.
For the couple: Add the dress code to your invitations so there's no confusion. Also, use the details card to direct your guests to your wedding website where visual examples of said dress code should be provided.
4. Be sure to RSVP before or by the date specified. As a fellow commitment phobe, I understand the urge to wait until the last minute. Don't do it! Make a note of anything that may present an obstacle such as transportation, childcare etc. and find solutions early on. This will relieve the mental clutter and help you make a final decision.
For the couple: Make it easy for guests to respond. In addition to a response card, provide instructions for digital responses via your wedding website. Give yourself enough time between the RSVP date and the final headcount for the caterer. This will cut down on the stress of rounding up those final responses.
5. Never bring unconfirmed guests to a wedding. Not only is it considered tacky, but it can also leave the bride and groom with an unintended bill. If a plus one wasn't extended to you, take it as an opportunity to make some new friends.
For the couple: Communicate with your wedding professional how you'd like the situation handled, should any extra guests arrive. It's also good to loop in a relative to assist said wedding professional as they'll have more insight into your family dynamic.
6. Do not over indulge. I've often heard people say if there's no open bar, they're not showing up🥴. That being said, an open bar is no excuse to over-drink. This isn't about being judgmental nor will I tell you how many drinks are appropriate. However, I will encourage you to drink responsibly. Don't put yourself in a position where you're a danger to yourself or others.
For the couple: While you should't have to babysit adults at your wedding, I recommend designating a relative to work with your wedding professionals should someone become inebriated. The safety of all your guests should always be front of mind.
7. Do not ignore the gift registry. The couple is literally telling you exactly what they want or need. Listen! A personalized gift is nice (if you know the couple well enough) but, just picking up a random toaster isn't as thoughtful. A monetary gift or donation in the couple's name is better served.
For the couple: Register for items in different price ranges to better accommodate your guests. Some wedding registry sites also allow for you to request donations toward your honeymoon.
8. No impromptu speeches. Wedding ceremonies and receptions are planned events. There's usually an extensive timeline curated by the couple and their wedding planner. So, no random speeches or toasts. Instead, write your heartfelt words in a card for the couple to enjoy after the wedding. Should the couple open the floor for speeches, keep it short and audience appropriate.
For the couple: Consider having an audio guestbook (I've linked a few below). This is great for guests that want to express their love verbally. Also, it's a nice way to remember those loved ones who may not be with us for much longer.
9. Do not take any centerpieces or decor items unless instructed by the couple. A beautiful centerpiece can be quite tempting, especially for a flower lover. However, wait for the go-ahead before snatching up those blooms. Some decorations might be rentals and can cost the couple if misplaced.
For the couple: Have your MC or DJ make an announcement regarding whether centerpieces are up for grabs or not. Some couples even make a game out of it. Another alternative is to have someone place all of the eligible items in a central area so guests can grab them on their way out.
10. Do not get engaged or make any big announcements during someone else's wedding unless arrangements were made with the couple beforehand. This can be really sweet and romantic if done with the couple's blessing, especially if it's a relative or close friend that most of your guests are also connected to. However, no couple is obligated to share their special moment with you in that way. Certainly don't just assume it's okay to pull such a stunt.
11. Don't request a plus 1
12. Don't complain or talk badly about the wedding or guests while at the wedding
13. Don't walk in or crowd around the back while the wedding party makes their way down the isle
14. Don't hijack the photographer for a personal photo session
15: Don't post the bride in her dress before she does (unless permission is given)
16. Don't mess with the seating chart (unless you're sure the change would be approved)
17. Don't try to "upstage" the bride and groom
18. Keep quiet during the ceremony, toasts etc
19. Read the room when it comes to appropriate dancing
20. Have a positive attitude and great time!
Until next time,
Audio Guest Book Options
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