How to be the perfect wedding guest

How to be the perfect wedding guest

Nobody is flawless and flewlessness is not expected, but there is no reason not to strive for perfection!

Most of us know how to conduct ourselves in a normal day to day setting, and being a good wedding guest simply comes down to manners. How well behaved are you?

We truly think the world of our guests, but a little list of helpful guidelines never goes un handy. 

1) The RSVP-ing  

RSVP as soon as possible, and most important NEVER after the given responds date. The way to respond is often written in the invitation. Today it is often by phone. When calling make sure that you reach the correct person, and by all means never leave you answer on the answering machine or write them a text! Whether the RSVP is to the host or an second person, make sure to given the person your gratitude. If the RSVP is not given to the host, still make sure to thank them right away for including you in their celebrations.   

Originaly the polite way to RSVP was in the same manner the invitation was given. If by phone one could RSVP by phone, if by letter the responds should be given by letter. This practice is almost gone but personally I still RSVP by letter on a written invitation. It is just so romantic and different to receive a letter instead of a phone call. If you would like to impress and do something special for the host, then try RSVPing by a hand written letter.  

My last comment on this subject is very important! If it is only your name in the invitation, then only you are invited! It sounds simple, but unfortunately it is not for everybody. Plus one is only if mentioned, and you cannot expect your brand new boyfriend to be invited, and you can certainly not ask for it. The same thing goes for children. If they are not on the invitation, then they are not invited. This goes for almost all children, except infants. They are so pedended on their mother, that the hosting couple would expect it to be present, when inviting the parents. But when it comes to weddings you should expect it to be children free, unless is says otherwise on the invitation.    


2. The gift  

This is quit easy. Stick to the registered gift list, and if you think you have spotted the holy grail of wedding gifts and it is not on the list, then make sure it can be returned for a full refund. As for the budget, it is up to you, but wedding gift attends to have a higher budget than other celebratory gifts. 


3. Dress code 

The dress code is often written in the invitation, which makes it easy to follow, but if you are in doubt then ask. 

There is however one very important rule for women, and it is indisputable! DO NOT wear white. And by white I mean any types of white - off white, cream, eggshell ect. Sometimes even very light gray is to bold. If there is any chance it can be mistaken for white in pictures or at a distance then it is a no go. This is a matter of better safe than sorry. But you can be partial white. A good rule to follow is that a maximum of 50 % of your in tire outfit can be white. If you for example are wearing a flowered dress with a white background then at least 50% of the dress should then be covered in coloured flower print.   

By many it is also considered ill mannered for women to wear black. I to do not find black appropriate, but is is not as big a problem as white. But if you can leave the black dress in the closet then it would be preferable. 

If you need some inspiration for the perfect wedding guest outfit then check this out.

As for he gentlemen the dress code is quit simple. Do not overdress the groom or the nearest family, and do not wear smoking before 5 pm.  

Often there is time between the ceromony and dinner, were you can change you outfit into fx long dress and smoking. 

4. Attend the ceremony 

You might not believe in good or the message of the bible, but I you are invited to the ceremony then you should attend. Apparently the bride and groom wants you to be there - so be there. Keep you opinions to yourself and do not fall asleep 😜


5. At the table introduce yourself to everybody at your table. 

For next many hours you are supposed to talk and have fun with these selected guest who shares your table. To secure a good beginning make sure to introduce yourself to each person, and try to remember their names. There is a reason the host placed you with these people - you must have something in common. Make it you business to add to a great and festive atmosphere by being dedicated to you table. 

6. Listen to The toastmaster

It is not an easy job being the toastmaster. The pressure is huge and the deadline short. Try you at most to help the toastmaster by listening to his or hers instructions. This means being quiet during information and toasts, and most of all respect the time line or pauses and toilet breaks. When the toastmaster announces a 10 minute break then check you watch and be back on time. Being back means being seated at the correct time. If a toastmaster needs to round up all guest at a wedding, telling them that it is time for a toast, it can be exhausting and it can spoiled the good mood. Help the toastmaster make everything run smooth. 

7. Do not get to drunk during the dinner.  

You can always get as drunk as you want after dinner, but during you are expected to be social and delightful. Nobody want to be seated next to the way to drunk cousin. This goes for it self. 

8. Be attended and interested

You might not be the most outspoken or loud person in the crowd. Maybe these big weddings make you a bit uncomfortable and in the end more quiet than normal. Even though it can be difficult, please try and come out of you shell. The bride and groom placed you with some people they apparently thought you would click with - and most often they are wright. But you bare a huge part of the responsibility for making this happen. Be attended to the persons around you. Listen to the conversations and be interested. Ask open questions and look for some common ground. You might ask about how they know the bride and groom, where they are from, their work or their hobbies. This is a social event, so be as social as your nature alows you. 

9. Have a party

Photo by Sandra Aaberg  

Photo by Sandra Aaberg  

The party is not there for you, you are there to have a party. The greatest fear of all newly weds is that their wedding party is going to flop. They (hopefully)will never be able to do this again, so they have to ace it the first time. But what if the guest do not like the food or the company? What if they do not like the music or do not dance? What if they are not having fun? As an attending guest it is your job to get the party started. Even though you are not the best dancer or do not like to dance, the good guest would still dance in order to get the party starting. Once the dance floor is full, you can always relax. But all good parties need a good kick off, and if everybody just sits down and start talking, it will never happen. The hosting couple provides the scenery, but it is up to the good guests to make the party happen for them. Be attentive and notice if the party is going on as is should. If not, help the couple reaching the wanted party level. 

Do not leave the party to early unless you have a REALLY good reason.  

10. Say thank you

Again it should be obvious, but it is not. You can never say thank you to many times at these sorts of events. Make sure to thank the bride and groom, by complimenting the food, wine, venue and the party. They need the confirmation. You must also show your gratitude towards the parents of the bride and groom, congratulating them on their children and saying thank you for a lovely party. Parents often pays for some or all of the wedding. 

You gratitude should as a minimum be showed after the ceremoni, after dinner before you turn in and the next day before you leave.  


Photo by Sandra Aaberg

Photo by Sandra Aaberg

Now how did you do? Are you the perfect wedding guest, or are there room for improvement?  

As I said in the start - nobody is perfect! The best advice I can give you is to have a nice time and show the couple that you are truly enjoying yourself.   


Have a nice weekend 😎


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