10 Wedding Guest Rules You Should Never Break

While weddings can be fun, crazy parties, there’s a ton of planning and hard work that goes into making them happen.

By: Katie Morton

Photo by: iStock


Summer is peak wedding season--chances are you probably have a save the date or invitation hanging on your refrigerator. While weddings can be fun, crazy parties, there's a ton of planning and hard work that goes into making them happen. And that means there are certain rules of etiquette we, as wedding guests, need to abide by.

Not sure what they are? Here are our tips for how to be a fabulous wedding guest.

Unbreakable Rule #1: RSVP Promptly

Brides and grooms put a lot of thought into who makes the guest list cut. If you're one of the chosen few to be invited, make sure you respond promptly. Many wedding invitations will include a deadline to reply.

Prompt RSVPs are important because wedding venues and vendors require a firm headcount ahead of time. Plus, there's that all-important seating chart to consider. Don't make your bride and groom wonder if you'll be there, RSVP "yes" or "no" as soon as you can.

Unbreakable Rule #2: Don't Bring An Uninvited Guest

According to the The Knot, in 2016, the average wedding cost around $35,000. That means that each and every guest can be extremely costly for the happy couple to host. You shouldn't assume you get to bring a guest to their wedding. If you're uncertain about your "Plus One" status, check out the wedding invitation. The wedding invite will read "Your Name and Guest" if you've been invited with a guest.

Unbreakable Rule #3: Know When to Call the Sitter

Some weddings are kid-friendly events and some are not. As with determining if you get a "Plus One," check your invite for details. If your wedding invite is addressed to the The Smith Family on the outer envelope, your children are welcome. If your wedding invite is addressed only to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, plan on calling a sitter for the evening.

Unbreakable Rule #4: Arrive Early to the Ceremony

It is never ok to make your grand entrance after the bride makes hers. Plan to take your seat at the ceremony approximately thirty minutes before the processional begins. On the unfortunate chance that you do arrive late to the ceremony, wait until all the guests have left their seats before you join the party.

Unbreakable Rule #5: Be Sensitive About Sharing Online

Brides and grooms go to great lengths to find the right professional photographer and videographer. Respect this and don't post snaps or video of the festivities online without the newlyweds' permission. Some couples provide a wedding hashtag to aggregate social media photos; if so, share with their permission online.

Unbreakable Rule #6: Unplug During the Event

Speaking of phones... Be sure to silence yours during the ceremony. Nothing is more embarrassing than interrupting sacred vows by your unique ringtone. As for the reception, don't be the guest staring into their hand the entire time. Put down your device and join the real world right in front of you.

Unbreakable Rule #7: Follow the Dress Code

A morning beach wedding will dictate different attire than a black-tie, country club event. Respect the dress code and dress accordingly. One traditional wedding tip that still holds true today, no matter the level of formality: Leave the white dress to the bride!

Unbreakable Rule #8: Explore the Registry

Couples spend a lot of time and energy picking out the most amazing gifts for their new life together. Buying from the registry means that they'll love your gift. If you want to give them something personal, of course, that's fine. Just know that you should check out the registry for a list of gifts that they are certain to be thrilled about.

Unbreakable Rule #9: Know Your Limits

You don't want to be known as the guest with the lampshade on their head. There's nothing wrong with having a few cocktails--it is, after all, a party! Just make sure to imbibe responsibly. And if you do find yourself too tipsy, hail a cab or call an Uber instead of driving home.

The Ultimate Unbreakable Rule

The couple spent a long time planning their special day and surrounding themselves with people they love. If you're fortunate enough to be included, then have fun and enjoy yourself! The wedding couple will be happy to see you enjoying the wonderful party that they lovingly planned for their nearest and dearest.

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