Guest Etiquette 101

Guest Etiquette 101

answers to FAQs

By Sarah Carlos

You’ve been invited to a wedding. Now what? We have listed some of the more commonly asked questions by wedding frequenters in an attempt to prevent potential sticky situations. With the right behavior, you just may be entitled to have your cake and eat it too!

What should I wear to the wedding?
First double-check whether or not the wedding invitation lists a dress code. If not, the time a ceremony takes place is an excellent gage for how dressed up you need to be. Ceremonies that take place at or after six p.m. are considered black-tie, so when in doubt, dress up. Wearing a black floor-length gown is a sure fire way to turn heads and make a smashing entrance! Even if you overshoot, it is far better to be overdressed than under.

Do I have to buy a wedding gift?
Yes, you do. Find out from the bride’s mother where the couple is registered and choose one from the registry; this way you know you are getting them something they want. Many accept the policy that you have a year from the day of the wedding to give your gift, I think that the sooner you take care of it, the better. Not only does bringing a gift to the reception on the big day look tacky, but there is always a chance that it could become lost in the shuffle.

Can I bring a date?
Does crashing a party come to mind? I understand that being in a new relationship is exciting, but it is impolite to bring a date to a wedding when this guest was not figured into the original guest count. Each unannounced guest is an expense for the bride’s family – seating and catering is based on a specific number. Inspect your wedding invitation closely. If it clearly just states your name, you will need to go solo. If it has your name plus 1, then the couple has allotted a spot for you to bring a date.

Do I have to RSVP?
Absolutely. The cost of the wedding reception and rehearsal dinner depends on a firm guest count (seating, catering, etc.), and that number cannot be derived without RSVPs. Of course people will fall out, have other commitments, etc., but should always RSVP as soon as you know whether or not you will be able to attend; right after you receive the invitation is best. You don’t want to be that person the bride’s mother is frantically calling two days before the event to see whether or not you are coming.

What are the rules on drinking at the reception?
The rules are to always have a designated driver and don’t overdo it. Some people use weddings as a way to let loose from a hard couple of weeks at work, but on one appreciates this, and the day after, neither will you! Limit your intake to 2-3 drinks maximum for the entire evening, and you should be fine; just make sure you eat something beforehand. Trust me, no one wants to see your impression of the Roger Rabbit all night long, no matter how funny you think it is.

Leave a Comment