Wedding Etiquette / Wedding Tips & Advice

Wedding Guest Etiquette 101: Basic Etiquette

Wedding Guest Etiquette ~ One of the biggest stresses when it comes to planning a wedding is the guest list. Brides and grooms agonize over who to put on the list and who to leave off. This means that when you receive a wedding invitation it really is a pretty big deal.

Here are a couple of points to keep in mind when it comes to wedding guest basic etiquette:

The invitation

As far as possible, try to RSVP as soon as you get the invitation. Often guests tend to put the RSVP off until later and then forget about it completely. This adds a bit of extra stress to the person in charge of the guests as they have to start phoning people for RSVPs. This can be unnecessarily awkward for both parties.

Another thing to keep in mind is that unless the invitation is addressed to “You & Partner / Guest” assume that the invitation does not extend further than yourself. Don’t call the bride or groom to ask them if you can bring a partner. It is most likely that that the invitation was not extended to a partner because of cost restrictions. It isn’t personal, it is simply a matter of sticking to a budget.

Stick to the Dress Code

Most wedding invitations come with a dress code and it is best to keep to those. Try to keep away from jeans (unless there’s a cowboy theme!) and t-shirts. A pretty dress, skirt or pantsuit is great for the ladies, while a suit or slacks and a collared shirt work great for the men.

Note: Do NOT wear white. Ever.


It is really important for guests to arrive at the wedding ceremony on time. There is nothing worse than a late-comer trying to quietly sneak into the back row while the bride walks down the aisle. Weddings do tend to run late sometimes, but it is still best to plan to be at least twenty minutes early.


Do remember to turn off your phone and put it away, especially during the ceremony. While it is fun to just put it on silent so that you can take pics (or *tut tut* respond to texts) a silent phone cal still interfere with the sound system and the couple will appreciate that their ceremony photographs of the guests are not all pictures of people holding up their phones.

The Photographer

Try to stay out of the photographer’s way as much as possible. Unless the photographer is specifically trying to take a photograph of you, it is best to keep to yourself.

The Family

It is considered polite to congratulate the family of the couple, especially the parents of the couple. Even if you don’t know them, a courtesy “congratulations” will be appreciated.

Happy Wedding Planning!

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