Wedding Guest Do’s & Don’ts

With wedding season in full swing, I’d like to share my top 10 “Do’s & Don’ts” of being a wedding guest. Many of these come from attending many (many) weddings along with being a bride myself. Here are my tips for being a much-appreciated, classy wedding guest.

Wedding Guest1. DO RSVP as soon as possible. I’m guilty of forgetting to RSVP and having to be hunted down by the bride for my answer, and it really just makes things difficult as the couple looks to finalize details. Now I RSVP as soon as I get an invitation to keep it organized for both myself and the bride.

2. DON’T bring a guest unless the invitation is addressed to the two of you, or you’ve been formally given a plus one in the invite. Do not ask to bring someone, or worse, just assume it’s OK and bring someone the day of the wedding. Wedding’s cost a lot per plate, and maybe that couple has a lot of people to invite. Be gracious with the situation and make some new friends that night.

3. DO bring a gift or money. The whole point of a wedding is to shower the couple as they start their life together. The couple is spending money on you being there, please reciprocate that with generosity. If you cannot afford a gift, then at the very least bring a card with kind wishes inside. This avoids the situation where the couple thinks they lost your gift or card because you brought nothing.

4. DON’T arrive late or on time. I’ve been to weddings that have started early, on time, and very late. Always arrive early to avoid ever walking in after the bride. If you happen to be late, stay way back and walk in after all attention is towards the front. Please do avoid this situation at all costs though.

5. DO sit close at the ceremony. Especially in larger venues, there will be rows for families in the front and then way too many empty rows behind them because everyone wants to sit in the back. Fill in the space and sit close. The upside is you’ll be dismissed quicker afterward.

6. DON’T take photos while the bride walks down the aisle. There are professional photographers there, so your iphone photo will not be needed. Bridal photos nowadays are ruined by everyone on the aisle seats trying to get their own phone photo. This is a beautiful moment for the professional photographers to capture as the bride walks down the aisle so instead of countless Apple logos let them see your beautiful smile.  These photos mean more to the bride than it ever will to you, so please wait to look at the professional photos later on. iPhone-aislesource

7. DO wear appropriate attire. It’s not a nightclub, so keep it classy, and always keep in mind the weather and venue at each wedding. Check out my wedding guest attire tips for more info.

8. DON’T wear white. I’ve never been to a wedding where everyone followed this rule, but I really believe people just don’t know. It’s the bride’s day to wear white so save your white dress for another occasion. No colored accessory makes it OK either. My only exception is a patterned dress that has mostly color on it because in that case it’s just a dress that contains white, not a white dress.

9. DO be gracious of the couple’s time. The whole day is a whirlwind of greeting guests, so no couple will have time for more than a few minutes of chatter before they need to greet other guests. That’s OK though, and you can talk all about the wedding at a later date.

10. DON’T be the first to dance. The couple, or mother/son daddy/daughter, should have the first dance, so it’s really not funny when someone decides to get out on the dance floor early. It’s their day, so respect the order of the reception.

Do you have any other wedding guest tips to add?


7 Comments on Wedding Guest Do’s & Don’ts

  1. kathrine
    June 23, 2015 at 7:35 am (8 years ago)

    Great tips! What do you think about the brand Gant? I love that you value the quality of clothes, especially when they are made in America – though perhaps it is not that many brands that offer it?

    I am also wondering if you could show us some pictures of your house, interior etc? Totally understand if you choose not to, but thought I would ask anyway to be sure 🙂 xoxo from a huuuuge norwegian fan!!

    • thedressdecoded
      June 24, 2015 at 4:21 pm (8 years ago)

      I love Gant! I don’t have anything Gant because I rarely see them locally, but when I was in Boston I really liked their pieces.

      I have a few rooms in my house here –, but I will see if I can do a post with more. 🙂

      Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it, and your kind words as well.

      • kathrine
        June 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm (8 years ago)

        I see! I agree, they got some lovely pieces 🙂

        Thank you so much! I think you mix your style perfectly with expensive quality clothes and made it look so “causal” and really nice put togheter. I can’t even say how much I love your outfits! Keep up the good work, you are a huge inspiration 🙂

        • thedressdecoded
          June 25, 2015 at 9:18 am (8 years ago)

          That made my day!!!! 😀 Thank you!

    • thedressdecoded
      June 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm (8 years ago)

      You aren’t a bother at all!

      I like that one, but I think I’d wait to see what J Crew comes out with for their duffel coats. I also like Tommy Hilfiger’s selection for the toggle coats. I like when the rope is white, gives it a subtle authentic feel, and I also look for a faux fur hood but that’s just my preference! What exactly are you looking for in a coat?


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