There’s a lot of material out there regarding etiquette that the bride and groom should follow, but very little about wedding guest etiquette. If you’ve never been to a wedding before, the whole ordeal can be a bit confusing for the guest as well. Here are a few tips:
1. RSVP on time! A lot of guests think “oh it’s a given that I’m going so I don’t need to RSVP.” It really does help the couple if everyone, including the bridal party, RSVPs on time. The couple has a lot of other things to do for the wedding as a whole and chasing you down for your response shouldn’t be one of them. Plus, RSVPs have deadlines for a reason – venues require final guest counts, placecards need to be made/printed, favors need to be made/ordered, etc.
2. Do not ask if you can bring your significant other or a guest to the wedding or rehearsal dinner. If your significant other is invited to anything, the couple will make sure you know. Think about the awkward situation you’re placing the couple in when you ask if you can bring your significant other or a guest. First, you are asking that the couple or their parents or whoever pay for your significant other’s dinner/presence. Second, if the couple decided not to invite your significant other, there’s probably a good reason (e.g., they can’t afford it). As much as the couple should be honored by your attending their wedding, you, as a guest, should be honored that you were asked to attend such an important event in their lives.
3. Leave checks blank. Or just write one of the couple’s names on it. Most people probably don’t realize this, but if you write out a check to both names (or with the wrong last name), some banks won’t deposit the check unless both names are on the account (which may not be true for some couples). Also, you might think that the name you know them by is legally their name, but it might not be. For example, if someone goes by a nickname or the bride doesn’t change her last name (*gasp* yes, it happens). It’s awkward for the couple to go back to those who graciously gave gifts and ask them for a redo.
4. Appreciate the bride and groom. Planning a wedding is no joke. A lot of time, effort, and money go into planning a wedding. Try to show your appreciation, even for the little stuff, that the couple has done to make this day fun and enjoyable for you. Hopefully, the couple appreciates the time, effort, and money it took for you to attend their big day.