20 Important Wedding Guest Etiquettes


Attending weddings is always an enjoyable experience, but do you know that there are certain rules you should follow as a wedding guest? There are a number of dos and don’ts associated with attending weddings. Make sure you know wedding guest etiquette, so you don’t make any faux pas at the next wedding you attend.

20 Important Wedding Etiquette Rules That Guests Should Know



You should try to send back an RSVP as soon as you possibly can. Make sure you pay close attention to the deadline listed on the invitation, so you don’t miss it. If you receive the invitation but are unable to make it to the wedding, let the couple know as soon.


Do Not Bring Your Gift to the Wedding

It’s very poor wedding guest etiquette. You should send the gift either before the wedding or up to one year after the wedding. In this way, the couple doesn’t have to figure out what to do with the gifts after the reception is over.


Send a Gift

If you can't attend the wedding, you should still send a gift. While it’s not expressly required, it is customary to give the happy couple a gift. You should at the very least express your congratulations to the couple in a nice card if you can’t send a gift.


Dress for the Occasion

The dress code may be included in the invitation, so make sure to check it. If it’s not listed there, you should take your cues from the location and time of the wedding. If it’s at a country club, you will need to dress more formally than a wedding set on the beach


No Extra Guests

Pay close attention to who the invitation is addressed to and if it says +1. Unless the invitation is addressed to the whole family or +1, do not bring anyone else with you. This is a basic and important etiquette that wedding guests should know.


Be Punctual

The time on the invitation is when the actual ceremony begins. Arrive about fifteen minutes earlier than that, so you have time to find your seat and talk with the other guests and generally get yourself settled.


Only Come to What You’re Invited to

This is an important wedding guest etiquette you need to be aware. More couples are hosting more intimate wedding ceremonies with bigger parties after. If this is the case, you may only be invited to the reception. Don’t take offense and certainly don’t attend the wedding ceremony unless you have been expressly invited.


No Photographs

Do not take photographs during the ceremony. You could get in the way or be distracting to other guests or the wedding photographer. Let the professional handle the photographing and just focus on the ceremony taking place.


Be Color Conscious

Don’t wear white. It’s simple to understand. That’s the bride’s color for her day: she should get to feel special. You have every other color to choose from, so just steer clear of anything white or off white like ivory.


Be Social

Talk to other guests and mingle. You have an assigned seat for the reception, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get up and talk to other people. You’re supposed to be having a good time, so don’t feel like you have to stay at your table the whole time.


Don’t Get Drunk

No one likes a drunken person who might embarrass everyone. Know your limits and keep an eye on how much you are drinking, so you can steer clear of this wedding faux pas.


No Speeches

Do not try to give a speech or toast unless you have been expressly asked to do so. The bride and groom have given the honor of speeches to certain people. Don’t take that special moment away from those people.


Silence Your Phone

There’s nothing worse than a phone unexpectedly ringing in the middle of an event. A wedding is no different. Observe this good wedding guest etiquette and turn off your phone, so there are no surprises during the ceremony.


Give Congratulations

Even if you don’t know the couple’s families personally, you should give your congratulations to the parents of the happy couple. They will likely have financed part of the party and it is respectful to offer them well wishes and thanks.


Have a Good Time

The bride and groom will likely be very concerned if their guests are having a good time. They’ve spent a lot of time and money planning the reception, so show them that they did well and you have enjoyed that. Get out on that dance floor.


Sign the Guestbook

Weddings are a busy time for a couple. The guestbook is something they will be able to look back on and remember who all attended their wedding. Make sure you sign it, so they will always remember that you shared in their big day.


Keep It Short

The bride and groom have a lot of people to talk to at a wedding reception. They have to make the rounds and be good hosts. Keep your conversation short and sweet so that the couple has time to talk to everyone.


Keep Your Favors

The couple spent a lot of time and energy on decorations and favors. Practice good wedding guest etiquette and take your favor home as a sign that you appreciate the hard work they put into the wedding.


Find Out Where They’re Registered

The wedding registry locations will not be on the invitation, because it would seem like the couple is requesting gifts if they noted that. However, you should find out from the couple’s wedding website, the wedding party, or the couple themselves.


Look at the Program

Some wedding ceremonies require guests to sit and stand at different occasions throughout the ceremony. Your program may tell you these times, otherwise, take your cues from the other guests.