You open your letter box, and there it is: the beautiful over-sized envelope, with the love heart stamp, and perfect calligraphy… the wedding invitation!
Being invited to a wedding is a great chance to dress up, have a few drinks, catch up with friends and family, and most importantly, to celebrate the love and relationship of the couple!
So, how can you ensure that the couple have the best day?…
Here’s the ‘how to’ on being an awesome wedding guest –
Appreciate and be understanding about the invite. Remember that you have been invited because the bride and groom want you there! Take notice of who the invitation is addressed to, and don’t always assume that you can bring a plus one, or that children are welcome. Couples are often restricted by budget and venue limits, and unfortunately can’t always accommodate everybody. If you aren’t sure, double check, and be respectful of their decision.
RSVP as soon as possible! Make a note in your diary or phone of the RSVP date, or reply as soon as you know whether you can make it or not!
Communicate your dietary requirements with plenty of notice, including a note with your RSVP if you can. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions let the couple know as soon as possible so they can communicate with their venue to discuss the options and be sure they have something appropriate for you.
Leave the conflict at home. When you are bringing so many family and friends together in one place it is likely that there will be people there that don’t necessarily get along. If there is tension or conflict going on, put it aside and leave it at home for this one day. The day is about the bride and groom and the last thing they need is to be mediating any issues on their wedding day!
Be on time! It is expected that the bride will be late, but the guests should definitely not be racing her down the aisle! Arrive 15 – 20 minutes before the ceremony is planned to begin, so you have time to find parking, find where the ceremony will be taking place, say ‘hi’ to the family, and settle in for the celebration!
Dress to the code. Take note of the dress code if it is outlined on the invitation, emails, or wedding website, and dress the part. The bride and groom have selected the dress code to create a certain vibe or theme for their wedding, and they don’t want anyone to be embarrassed by being over- or under-dressed. If the code is not outlined, don’t take this to mean that jeans and tee are ok! Better to overdress and be safe!
Don’t wear white and really please don’t wear white lace (yes, it happens!). You can wear something with white in it, or some white on it, but don’t do ALL white. Don’t ask the bride if it is ok either. Telling her ‘she will be so beautiful that it won’t take the attention from her’ means she may feel obligated to say yes, and then be stressed or resentful on the lead up to the day.
Let the pros do their thing! Be aware of where the professionals are, give them space, and resist the urge to give them advice on how to do their job.
While you will want to get that perfect iPhone shot of the ceremony or the couple, they are paying the professionals to capture all those moments and it is hard to do so with guests in their space. Be respectful and know that the couple have hired all of their professionals for a reason – because they trust them to do their jobs!
Enjoy the day… but not too much! Eat, drink and be merry, but remember to drink responsibly! Just because there is an open bar, doesn’t mean you need to abuse it!
Don’t share until they have. Be sure to respect their decision to have an Unplugged Ceremony if they choose to (a ceremony where the couple chooses to ask the guests to put all phones, cameras and devices away). When you do take pics with your camera or phone, but be sure to wait until the couple have made their announcements and shared some photos on social media before you do, and if they have a special wedding hashtag be sure to add it in so the couple can see all the photos from the day.
Don’t help yourself to glasses, vases, flowers, décor etc etc… yes, it is a wedding and the couple won’t use them again but it is likely that they belong to the venue or to the styling company and the newlyweds will be left to foot the bill if anything is missing!
Sign the guest book and leave a thoughtful message, and show your appreciation for being included in the day. It is usually a good idea to do this as soon as you arrive at the reception and BEFORE you have a few wines!