Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for Guests [10 Tips]

This post was actually an idea from one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Shannon.  She's in two weddings this year and is getting thrown full force into the wedding tornado [welcome to our mid-20s].  Here's the text conversation we had a few weeks back before our friend's shower:
Well, Shannon, here you go!

1. RSVP On Time: There's a reason for that "RSVP by" date: the venue needs a head count, the bride and groom need to start on their seating chart, and place cards need to be made.  Don't make the MOB or MOH have to call you and ask if you're coming!

2. The Registry: Brides make registries for a reason.  I understand that there might be something you really want the bride to have, but my suggestion that if you want to buy something "off-registry" include it with something also "on-registry" so that the bride knows you were thinking of her wishes.  If all else fails: cash. 

3. How Much?: There's really no set rule about how much to spend on a wedding.  However, with whatever you choose to spend, the usual break up of dollars is: 20% engagement party, 20% shower, 60% wedding or 30% shower and 70% wedding. 

4. Wedding Checks: Make them out to either the bride or groom.  It will be easier to cash, rather than making it out to both of them. 

5. Late to the wedding: Ideally, you should get to the ceremony location at least 15 minutes early, but if you are running late, you need to wait until the whole bridal party and the bride have walked down the aisle to find a place to sit. 

6. Attire: If the attire is listed on the invitation, well then there you go!  If it's not, judge the ceremony location, venue, and time of day.  Just two tips: don't wear white and don't wear anything tight fitting or revealing.

7. Social Media & Phones: Here's a tricky one.  My thought is if the bride & groom give or use a wedding hashtag ahead of time, they are probably okay with you snapping a photo or two during the ceremony and reception to upload.  However, don't use a flash, turn off the shutter noise, and don't keep the phone out for more time than it takes to take the photo and send it. 

8. Your Seat: Trust me, the bride and groom worked for hours on the seating chart for the reception and thought this was the best place for you: don't change it! 

9. Your Food Order: Another thing you can't change.  Maybe you saw the table next to you has a delicious steak and you ordered chicken, but no, you cannot ask the waiter to change.  Chances are, they might try to be accommodating, but it's just rude! 

10. Don't be "that guest": Don't ask the following: "How much did this all cost?" "So, when are you having kids?" "Are you sure you're ready?" "Is that really the ring you wanted?" or drink too much.  Just don't.

Linking up for a couple of Wedding Wednesdays with Mary and Meredith&Jordon!


Megan @ Chicago Girl said...

Love this! We are deep in the throes of planning, and I am "conveniently" out to sea for a LONG time until the week of. I am hoping I don't have to deal with drama upon my return!

Lisa C said...

But really. I'm hosting my sister's shower on Sunday. Half of the guests still haven't RSVP'd. And they're family.

Annie L said...

Okay I totally need this! Pinned for future reference, thanks :)
xo Annie
New England Romance

Jen said...

These are all such great tips!!! :)

Julie said...

Surprisingly there are a lot of people out there like that, we have one in our life at the moment too. She showed up at the bridal shower in jean shorts and a tshirt, while everyone else was dressed up. For the bachelorette party she texted her boyfriend all night, didn't bring even a card or a present, didn't buy her a drink instead and I'm curious how she'll be at the wedding. Aye ye ye!

Unknown said...

These are all so true! I never ever want to be "that guest!" We're going to a wedding this weekend and I'm going to make extra sure to keep these in mind- I'm a huge camera/phone offender!

Audrey Allure said...

All great tips!

Allison Walton said...

great tips!

#2: seriously. That crystal sugar packet holder that you think is simply stunning and they're sure to love? Don't do it. Refrain yourself. They're just going to try to return it for store credit, and if that doesn't work, they'll grumble inwardly at you while they have to pack it away somewhere where it will sit, never used, until 2 years later they have a garage sale and sell it for waaay less than you probably paid for it, along with the ugly vase and the mismatched silverware other well-meaning guests bought. (Not that this has happened to me *ahem*)

If you really want to go off-registry, STOP AND READ THE ABOVE. If you just can't go off the registry, your bride is probably on Pinterest. Find something from one of her pins that she has said she loved and buy that.

#4: Make them out to the groom. Sometimes banks are stingy, and if you use the bride's new married name she won't be able to cash them until she gets a new ID a couple weeks later.

#7: Put the phone away during the ceremony. There's NO picture that you can take with your iPhone from 10 aisles away that will EVER look better than the ones that the photographer is taking. If you take a picture, take it of yourself and the couple at the reception. Picture-taking during the ceremony is rude, and annoying to the photographer (especially if you're leaning out of the aisle to do it). This is coming from a former wedding photographer.

Patty said...

Good list! Hahah don't be that guest, that one's funny :p I use to dislike it when people would ask us when are you going to have kids?!

Anonymous said...

I love #7!! One of my biggest pet peeves is when people are not actually present at the event, because they are too obsessed with their mobile social media!! I actually helped to write a post about it here:

Kristina said...

We had some real winners at our wedding. One of my husband's friends arrived late. She literally ran in front of me and my father as we were getting ready to walk down teh aisle. Also, she brought her sister and didn't give a gift. I thought it was so very rude. I also had a guest wear a white dress!!!!! It was actually a white dress from David's Bridal that could have been a wedding dress. It didn't bother me to much but my friends couldn't believe some one would do that. The registry thing was so annoying but I returned soooo much stuff. A friend of mine gave us a white chiller. Not on the registry, no receipt, its still in my basement 2 years later. Its a running joke. I tried selling it at a gargae sale, No one wants the darn thing!!! lol

Mary said...

Someone wore white to my wedding. I nearly lost it!!!

These are fantastic etiquette tips!!

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