Wedding Etiquette: Don't be THAT guest - Kindred Photography

Wedding Etiquette: Don’t be THAT guest

Weddings can be so much fun to attend! Being able to celebrate the love of your friends or family member, party all night and eat good fun is great! But remember, this is the bride and grooms day, and, if guests aren’t careful, they can sometime commit some wedding “faux-pas”s that inconvenience the happy couple, or worse. So, I’ve put together a list of good wedding etiquette, so that you don’t accidentally become THAT guest.

Just a note: the photos in this blog are NOT examples of faux-pas’s, just beautiful imagery of gorgeous couples!

Wedding Etiquette faux-pas #1: Don’t RSVP “no” and show up

Maybe you thought you were working or had plans that weekend, and when you found out you were free, months after you has RSVP’d you though “hey! I’ll surprise her! She’ll be thrilled to see me.” While the bride may be thrilled to have her friend at her wedding, she won’t be thrilled about the cost of the extra plate of food, and additional fees for having more guests than anticipated. Wedding, as we all know, are expensive. For some, a plated dinner for one guests costs upwards of $100. And many venues actually charge a fee for having more guests than they had planned. So you “surprising” your friend can actually cause her a lot of stress.

Wedding etiquette and how to be a great wedding guest. Photo of groom and his parents

On that note, don’t bring extra guests.

A friend of mine had extended the invitation to her wedding to her florist, since she was friends with her new husband’s family. The florist then showed up with her family of NINE. Yep, nine. That’s nine extra people who weren’t invited, didn’t have a table to sit at, and nine extra dinners that weren’t planned or paid for. It doesn’t matter if the bride is your friend or cousin and they know the person, and it doesn’t matter if you won’t know anyone there. If you didn’t receive a plus one (or nine), don’t bring one.

Wedding etiquette faux-pas #3: Don’t complain to or worry the bride.

If it never happens again in her whole life, this should be the one day the bride experiences no stress. Since she’s human, she probably will anyway, but you don’t want to be the guest to bring that on. If you are going to be late, or you get lost and can’t find the venue. If someone is being a jerk, or you don’t like the table you’re at – complain to a friend, a bridesmaid, a groomsman, the officiant. Really, anyone BUT the bride. As her friend or family member, it should be your goal that by the end of the night, she thinks her day went perfectly and no one had anything but an amazing time.

bride and her bridesmaids before walking down the aisle.

Follow the dress code.

If the couple wants a formal, black-tie wedding, wear a formal gown. If they want dressy casual, throw on a summer dress. Even if there wasn’t a specific dress code, follow a general one. Read: Don’t wear jeans to a wedding. Ever. I don’t care if it’s in a backyard or at a farm. Jeans aren’t wedding attire.

You can have fun without drinking too much.

One of the most complained about guest faux-pas’s is rowdy guests. Yes, it’s a party, and yes, you can have fun and unwind. But don’t be the person that drinks too much and starts saying things you’ll regret. Don’t be the person who talks loudly and can be heard over the speeches, or the person who trips and falls on the cake, or worse yet, the bride.

bride and groom photos at Pitt Lake after their wedding ceremony

If the couple has requested an unplugged ceremony, leave your phone or camera in your bag.

Many couples these days are opting for an unplugged ceremony. This means they want their guests fully engaged in their wedding, not on their phones or taking photos. That’s what they paid really good money to hire a professional for – to capture their day. As much as you might want to, or think you take great photos, they may not want your photos from their day. They may prefer you sit, watch, listen, laugh and cry with them instead.

Even if it’s not an unplugged ceremony, you don’t want to be the guest with a phone or iPad in your face the whole time. There’s few things worse than the couple getting their photos back and seeing 90% of their guests holding up a phone or iPad during the processional or vows.

Overall, just remember that this day is about them! It’s about their relationship and their life together. They want to celebrate with you because you’re important to them, but whatever they want and whatever makes them happy goes!



Wedding Etiquette: Don’t be THAT guest

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