10 Common Mistakes To Avoid As Wedding Guests (Expert-Approved)
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
As you get older, you start to realize that more people around you are getting married. It’s the next phase of life and the celebration of unions that will hopefully last forever.
Naturally, when thinking about weddings, the focus is always on the couple. Starting with the engagement, straight through to the big day, it’s all about them! From dresses and cakes to seating charts and venues, the wedding fanfare can be a little...well...chaotic.
But, in the midst of the excitement, there are the lucky few - aka the guests - whose responsibilities seem pretty limited.
As guests, weddings are typically low-stress events. Other than choosing an outfit and determining whether or not you should use vacation days to attend, there isn’t much to worry about. Yes, there are standard traditions to follow; but, for the most part, the goals are to show up, say greetings, hope for an open bar, and eat fancy food on someone else’s dime.
To be quite honest, if you aren't immersed in wedding culture, it’s hard to keep track of proper “wedding guest etiquette.” Weddings have changed. But, no matter how relaxed they get, as a guest, you have a responsibility to:
be supportive of the couple; and,
act as a representation of the bride and/or groom
To fulfill your duties, here are10 common mistakes to avoid so your wedding guest reputation stays intact!
Failing to RSVP
Your RSVP always affects the seating arrangements and final headcount. Let the couple know if you plan to (or not to) attend so they're able to organize. Forgetting to do so may result in you sitting at the kiddie table with no food!
Showing up drunk
Beginning someone else’s wedding day drunk is not the best way to show your support. You should always be mindful and respectful of the occasion — particularly the ceremony. Save the shenanigans for the reception ;)
Walking in late
We’ve all heard the adage, “It’s okay to be fashionably late”; however, when it comes to weddings, you want to be seated prior to the start of the ceremony. From experience... you don't want to be that person! Leave making an “Entrance” to the Bride.
Bringing an uninvited guest
If it wasn’t specified that you could bring a date, OR if you forgot to add them to your RSVP, please leave your plus-one at home. There's nothing worse than awkwardly explaining why they don't have dinner or a seat at the wedding. Similarly, please, please, please...avoid bringing someone you know the couple dislikes.
While this is probably one of the oldest rules in the book, it still stands. The bride is supposed to shine on her special day and you don’t want to upstage/take attention away from her. Unless the dress code/color is white, this one is definitely a no-no.
Forgetting to silence your phone
Phones have become such an integral part of life that sometimes we forget they can actually be a disturbance. Make sure the first thing you do either before or after you arrive at the ceremony- is silence your phone! No matter how cool the ringtone is, it won’t earn you any points if it goes off when the couple is ready to say I do.
Not supporting the couple
As a wedding guest, your ultimate job is to support the couple. If you don’t agree with the marriage or partner of choice, you may need to assess your decision to attend. The last thing you'd want to do on someone’s big day is make them feel bad about their spouse-to-be.
Gifts aren’t everything; however, you should show the couple that you care and that you’re happy about their nuptials. Even if you opt not to get them something, at least give a card with a heartfelt note about their union!
As much as this seems like common knowledge, it can't be stressed enough. Please...for everyone’s sake, don’t use someone else’s moment and turn it into your own. Weddings are expensive and couples put A LOT of time and effort into making their big day special. Hijacking someone else's wedding day, is not only unfair to the couple; but also to your partner. Save yourself from committing the biggest wedding faux pas of all (and quite possibly excommunication by your friends). Wait to propose on your own time!
Forgetting to always stay classy
This includes everything from loud chatter, unnecessary drama, unplanned speeches and stealing liquor (yes this is a thing). Overall, you want to be in good spirits throughout the day and also on your best behavior. Show the couple that you’re the friend they've always known and loved.
At the end of the day, the spotlight is on the happy couple tying the knot. We hope with these approved tips by Chic Bahamas Weddings, you'll soon earn the badge for best wedding guest ever!