Wedding Etiquette for Guests: Do’s and Don’ts

Planning & Advice

Wedding season is upon us and it’s a great excuse to let your hair down! There are lots of unspoken rules to think about and nobody would blame you if you’ve never heard of any of them. We’ve made it easy for you by writing out the wedding etiquette for guests. That’s right, your do’s and dont’s are now visible and easy to understand. You’ll thank us later!

Main image credit: Andrew Kilfeather


Do: RSVP in time

You’ll notice that on your invitation or wedding website, there’s usually a date by which you must RSVP. If you’ve never planned a wedding before, you might not know why the date is there. There are lots of behind-the-scenes logistics, and you should always (repeat: always) RSVP before the deadline. The couple has lots of things to confirm, like catering, a seating arrangement and gathering all the dietary requirements.


Don’t: Assume you can bring a plus one or your child

Pay attention to the names written on the invitation or envelope. Those are the people who are invited. If it doesn’t say “plus one”, “and guest” or have your child’s name alongside yours, then don’t even think about asking. This is unless you think there’s been an oversight (like they’ve forgotten to include your partner of ten years).


Do: Pay attention to the dress code

Nobody likes to feel under or overdressed at a social event, so pay attention to the dress code. It’s not there to restrict you, but to guide you so your outfit matches the tone of the wedding. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t wear white. Especially if it’s lace. You’ve got lots of opportunities to wear your white, lace dress, so let the bride have her moment.


Don’t: Change the plan at the last minute

If you’ve said you’re going to the wedding, then unless you are contagiously ill or there’s been an emergency, don’t think of cancelling. And if you’ve said you are unable to attend the wedding but your plans change, don’t pop in unexpectedly.


Do: Take a look at the wedding website

Wedding etiquette says that before you call the couple with questions, refer to the wedding website. Chances are it was created to prevent the couple from having to answer the same questions over and over again.


Don’t: Let your phone get in the way

When you’re at the wedding, enjoy yourself. Don’t spend your time scrolling through social media and don’t get in the way of the photographer. Better yet, just turn your phone off. Nobody wants to be the one whose phone rings in the middle of the vows!


Do: Be on time

Weddings are usually scheduled meticulously, so it’s your job to be on time. It’s totally acceptable for the wedding party to be fashionably late, but it’s not ok for guests!


Don’t: Touch the seating plan

There’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into the seating plan. So, if you find out your sitting next to the bride’s uncle, tough luck, but that’s your spot for the night.


Do: Enjoy yourself

Eat what you’re given and don’t complain about the menu choices. Be responsible with how much you eat and drink and just have a good time.