So you are going to attend a wedding… but how can you be a good guest? Whether it’s your first time or your 10th time attending a wedding; it’s an honor to be invited to such a special event. And of course, you want to help make it a wonderful day and celebration. Here’s a list of 10 ways things that you can do to be an amazing guest; so that not only will you enjoy the day, but you won’t ruin it for anyone else either.

  1. RSVP: So easy and yet often not done in time. Don’t make the couple track you down, just let them know within the time frame. And if you need some extra time, let them know that too; a “maybe” is better than silence.

2. Don’t bring extra guests: If the invite is addressed to the Smith Family, then assume your immediate family is invited. But if it just has your name on it, don’t assume you get a +1 unless the RSVP expressly says so.

3. Dress to match the wedding style: Not only do you want to match the wedding theme, but the color palette if possible too. Sometimes the wedding invite will include a color swatch, or you can ask the couple for a Pinterest board on the color scheme. But when in doubt, dress to match the wedding invite.

4. Don’t wear white! Unless you’ve been given explicit instructions otherwise, don’t wear a white dress. You don’t want to be competing with the bride!

5. Be on time. If you’re not early, you are late. Yes, the ceremony will likely run a few minutes behind schedule. But it helps to have all the guests seated and ready at the appointed time. And you don’t want to be that person sneaking in the back during the bride’s entrance.

6. Turn your phone off. Most ceremonies now are unplugged, which means no phones please, but they will also have a professional photographer and videographer to cover the event. So putting your phone away during the ceremony is the best thing to do. But at the very least, hold it in your lap if you feel you must take a picture. Do NOT put it over your head or out in the aisle during the ceremony. You will ruin the professional pictures that the couple likely paid a good chunk of change for.

7. Be positive. Both during the planning and on the wedding day; negative opinions don’t add to the day. Planning a wedding is hard and likely at least one thing on the wedding day will go wrong. When it does, you can be helpful by not making it worse. If the chicken is dry or the decor is tacky, save your critiques for the drive home. Don’t whisper about it during the event. Whispers get around.

8. Watch your alcohol consumption. Even with an open bar, pace yourself. Yes, have a great time and yes take advantage of the food and drinks. But know your limits and keep your head on.

9. Don’t run off during the group portraits. There is often limited time for family and group photos so if you even think you might be needed, wait nearby to hop in if called on. Waiting for Aunt Betty to come back from the bathroom can put the whole timeline off.

10. Don’t hog the bride and groom. Depending on the guest list size, the bride and groom may not have time for individualized attention to every guest. Of course, make a point to congratulate the bride and groom, but don’t monopolize them if they have a large gathering to attend to.

And lastly, don’t forget to spread the love and have a great time!

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