How To Be An All-Star Wedding Guest
This spring is an exciting time for the Big & Little team! The warmer days are beginning to roll in, the flowers are starting to bloom, and Paige and George, our spring interns, are getting closer and closer to graduating from the University of Kentucky. Most importantly, we are excited and eager for the wedding season that is just around the corner. Considering the restrictions that put a pause to the last wedding season, many of you are probably looking forward to attending a wedding or two this coming summer. With that being said, you are probably preparing for these special moments by choosing an outfit and selecting that perfect gift. It is important to remember that being a wedding guest comes with common etiquette and there are those do’s and don'ts to keep in my mind. It is an honor to be a part of something so special as a wedding day so being that all-star wedding guest reciprocates that respect. Here are some tips when it comes to being the perfect wedding guest:
1. RSVP ASAP!
When you receive your wedding invitation, make sure to respond as soon as possible. For wedding planners, time is of the essence so it makes it difficult to put together a floor plan when there is not a total headcount. This is also true for the couple when deciding how much food will be needed from the caterer. So responding quickly will save them time and money.
2. Select the perfect gift.
Deciding on a gift can be easy as most couples have a wedding registry. Although, think about your relationship with the couple and how your gift will play a role in their marriage. Consider giving them something that best reflects your relationship with them so it is more meaningful. If it is an oversized gift, send it directly to their house versus them having to deal with it at the wedding along with all the other chaos. A lot of couples these days are also asking for no gifts but rather donations to help support buying a house, going on a dream honeymoon, booking an experience together, or planning to start their family. Most times on the RSVP or the couples website you can find what type of registry they have set up.
3. Follow the dress code.
When selecting the perfect outfit, make sure you respect the wishes of the couples dress code. If you are not a groomsman or bridesmaid, find out what they are wearing to not be mistaken for one while at the wedding. Typically women wear cocktail dresses, while men wear tuxedos but if you are unsure don’t be afraid to just ask the couple politely. Oh and don’t forget, this is not your wedding so avoid wearing white or anything flashy that would take the attention away from the bride and groom.
4. Arrive on time.
As wedding planners, we believe that early is on time and on time is late. You should arrive 30 minutes early to the time marked on the invitation. This is a good general rule of thumb and will reflect well on your reputation as a wedding guest. If you do arrive late however, make sure to enter quietly and take a seat in the back.
5. Enjoy the moment.
Be mindful of how much you’re on your cell phone to avoid any misinterpretations. The couple does not want to see you scrolling through your email, they invited you to celebrate and have a good time. Not to mention you could be found in the wedding pictures talking on your phone so take any and all calls in private.
6. Don’t bombard the couple.
Even if you are one of their best friends who is just as excited about their wedding as they are, be respectful to the other guests and allow them to share time with the couple as well. Make sure to connect with them no matter what and show how appreciative you are to be a guest but avoid overly bombarding. The last thing you want is to overwhelm the couple or upset other guests.
7. Easy on the booze.
This goes without saying but try not to take advantage of the free alcohol too much to the point where you’re noticeably hammered. It is a time to celebrate in a classy fashion, this is not a college fraternity party. You should let loose and hit the dance floor but remember you are a guest. Designate a driver and plan your transportation ahead of time to ensure you get from point A to point B safely.
8. COVID is still a thing.
Remember we are still living through a pandemic, be aware of what safety measures the couple may be taking to ensure everyone is safe. Chances are they will have family and friends traveling in and the venue may require certain precautions. Be courteous and respectful to their wishes to avoid any conflict. Also, don’t assume anything like the couple being ok with you shaking hands with their elderly parents or taking your mask off at any point.
9. Be courteous to the photographer.
Make sure to stay out of the way of the photographer as you could be blocking their way to getting that perfect candid shot. Virtual streaming has also become a new big thing in weddings so make yourself aware of the location of the camera so you won’t cover up any important footage.
10. Leave respectfully.
Make sure you leave at an appropriate time and too soon. It is polite to stay at least until the cake is cut but don’t be afraid to stay until the band or dj announces the last song. Avoid making excuses to leave, so if you have kids at home make arrangements for a babysitter. Before leaving, say goodbye to the couple thanking them again for the invite and offer yourself to help in any way. You may assist them with carrying center pieces or gifts to their car.
So before getting ready for that upcoming wedding, take these pointers into consideration. Weddings can be a great opportunity for guests as it allows you to meet new people, practice those dance moves you’ve been working on, enjoy good food, and most importantly celebrate amongst others who all share the common trait of being connected to the recently married couple.