How To ... Be The Perfect Wedding Guest

Posted on 10th July 2019

A Wedding is a big social occasion, filled with love, fun, and happiness...but also filled with tradition and expectation. Check out our handy list of Wedding Guest Do's and Don'ts to help you navigate your way through the day!

Wedding Guest Do's and Don'ts



The soon-to-be-weds will often stipulate on their invitation what date the RSVP is due back by, and this is not just any random date. Typically the date is set based on when vendors require final numbers for food and seating, therefore if you don't send back an RSVP on time, don't expect to have either! The best way to avoid sending a late RSVP is to send it back as soon as possible, this ensures that you don't have to worry about forgetting to respond. There is also the fact that an early RSVP can drastically reduce stress for the bride-to-be.

Address Any Dietary Requirements

It is highly likely that in a wedding 80 or so guests, there will be a few with dietary requirements and restrictions. It also shouldn't be a problem for those with such restrictions to be cater for. However, if you are one of those people, please make sure that you tell the couple in plenty of time so that they can inform the caterers and ensure that a suitable dish is made available to you. If you don't mention your requirements until the day of the wedding, don't expect the chef to have a meal for you.

Buy A Gift

Whilst a wedding registry is often more popular over in the United States, a gift will always go down well, particularly if they are a close friend or family member. As far as gifting goes, a gift on the day may be more convenient for you, but don't forget that the newlyweds will have to transport it home, so maybe send it in the post, or slip some cash into the card. For those that aren't as close, a simple card will most likely suffice, and most couples will have selected a designated place for you to leave it.

Dress Appropriately

Weddings have a dress code for a reason, make sure you stick to it. A safe way to dress is to operate by a nightclub principle - no trainers, no caps, no jeans. Outside of this, pay attention to what is specified on the invite, Casual and Smart Casual are VERY different. An easy guide for what to wear can be found here, or in our earlier blog post, Suited and Booted. Aside from that, the only other dressing advice would be NOT WEAR WHITE! This includes cream, eggshell, ivory, and any other shade of white or off-white.

Keep Your Phone On Silent and Away

Imagine that this is your day, would you want a guest's phone ringing during the ceremony or the speeches? Switch your phone to silent and leave it in your bag or pocket during these times. There is an increasing trend of couples adding Instagram hashtags to their day for their guests to post snaps, however, pay attention to where and when you are taking photos, don't obstruct the photographer, or any of the other guests. A good rule of thumb is to avoid posting any photos of the bride before she has posted one herself.

Follow The Lead

If you're not sure where to go or what to do, follow the other guests and pay attention to the ushers. In most weddings, the family is always seated and standing first. In the case of a religious ceremony, if you don't follow the religion, it may get confusing. Whilst you won't be expected to participate, you should respect those that choose to by sitting and standing as required and observing silences. Whether you follow the same religion or not, respect is the key aspect of this, and the bride and groom entrusted you to do this when they sent the invite.

Be In The Moment

A wedding is a once in a lifetime event (usually), and it should be treated as such. The best way to enjoy the day is in person, not through a screen, and there will be moments in the day that you could miss whilst you're looking at your phone. The key is that if the bride and groom wanted you to experience the day through photos and videos, they wouldn't have invited you to be there in person. Take the opportunity to social and have fun, mingle with other guests and those on your table, and enjoy the special day that you have together.

Give The Couple Their Space

A wedding can be very overwhelming, for both bride and groom, and often the two will decide to take a few moments to themselves - this is not your time to congratulate them away from the others, or to ask them questions about the rest of the day. The same goes for the time before the wedding. The Bridal Suite is a special place of sanctuary (and hair and makeup) for the Bride and her chosen Bridal Party, please don't 'pop your head in' to say hello or check how she's doing, you will have your time after the ceremony alongside the other guests.

Thank For The Invite

When the day is over and your feet are tired from dancing, don't forget to say thank you for including you in the day. Most people will choose to thank the Bride and Groom directly, however this isn't always possible if they're out on the dancefloor, deep in conversation, or just having a moment. If this is the case, relaying your thanks to a close member of the family or to a member of the bridal party is also a good way to go. The important thing is that the couple have paid for your food, drinks, favours, entertainment, etcetera, and it's only right to thank them for including you.


Invite Added Guests

Couples put a lot of thought into the guest list, and pay for each guest that they invite (every invite, favour, seat, name card, and napkin), Therefore, if they have not specified that you have a plus one, don't assume that you can take one. This also goes for children. Child-free weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and it is not a slight against you or your children, but rather a personal choice made by the couple. Children can cause disruptions and increase costs, so it's best to take it as an opportunity to have a kid-free day out and leave the children with a guardian.

Be Late

A major wedding faux pas is to arrive at the wedding after the bride. The arrival of the bride is a key part of the day, and the best way to avoid missing this moment is to plan to be in your seat 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. The further you are due to travel, the larger the 'fudge factor' that you should add to your travel plans in order to ensure a timely arrival. If, for some unexpected reason you ARE late, if the ceremony has begun, don't try and sneak in for a seat at the back. Unfortunately, you are best to wait outside until it is over before you join the festivities.

Sit Wherever You Want

The bride and groom have likely spent many sleepless nights making sure that their seating plan works for as many people as possible, this seating plan has then been combined with menu options to ensure that the right people are served the right food in a timely manner. When you first enter either the ceremony or the reception, always check to see if there is a place that has been designated for you, as this space has been chosen for a reason. There is a growing trend for 'free-seating' at weddings, but you will always be made aware of this. If in doubt - follow the lead.

Harass Suppliers

Suppliers are there to do the job that they have been given by the bride and groom, the photographer likely has a list of shots to get, the DJ will likely have a list of songs to play, and the venue staff will also have their own specific jobs to do, don't expect them to take your photo, play your song, or do you a quick favour - they may do if they have the time, but it shouldn't be an expectation. Most importantly, if they refuse your photo/song/favour, don't take offence, they're just doing as they've been told.

Hog The Couple

There are a lot of other guests at a wedding, and they all mean a lot to the happy couple, therefore it's important to let them mingle and to not try and keep them to yourself. This is particularly important at larger weddings, as the couple only have a finite amount of time, and the more guests, the less individual time they will have to share. If you are desperate for a catch up, schedule one with them in a few weeks time when the stress and excitement of the wedding and honeymoon have passed and they are settling back into normal life.

Leave Straight After The Buffet

It's understandable that you may not be able to stay until the end, but if you can stay long enough to help yourself to the buffet, you should also make sure to have a dance and a mingle afterwards, otherwise it can be seen as being very rude and going only for the free food. If an early night is a necessity, either leave before the buffet, or don't indulge before leaving. General wedding etiquette suggests that once the cake has been cut, and you have spoken to the couple, you are welcome to leave, but don't expect a slice of cake or a trip to the buffet if you leave before 9.

Drink Too Much

Every wedding has a drunken guests that makes a fool of themselves - just don't let it be you. Whilst many weddings across the pond have open bars, it isn't anywhere near as common here in the UK, however, that doesn't mean that there isn't free alcohol on offer. From the drinks reception to toast drinks, there is plenty of drinking opportunity, and most weddings will also have access to a bar or drinks vendor - therefore it is important to have fun, but to drink responsibly - you don't want to be the star of an embarrassing viral video!


Weddings are a time for celebration and love - not a screaming match or passive aggressive comments. Whether it's between you and the couple, or you and another guest, a wedding is neither the time nor the place to revisit rivalries or tempt trouble. An argument is also more likely to erupt the more alcohol is involved so if there is any chance of a disagreement, try not to add a drink to the mix. Whilst it's natural that arguments occur, try and deal with them a few days later when the emotions have calmed down and there isn't an audience of wedding guests.

Steal The Spotlight

Weddings are typically filled with romantic vibes, and it's great when you're having such a lovely day will good friends - but that doesn't mean that now is the time to announce your pregnancy, or to propose to your significant other! The couple have saved and planned for this day that's all about them, let them have it. If you want to have a similar group of people around for you to make an announcement - host a party where the focus will be all yours. It is also best to leave proposals for a time when there isn't as much love in the air and there's been more thought and planning involved.

Gifts for the Happy Couple


This Special Date Wooden Keyring is a great way to give the couple a small memento of the day, and it means they'll never be able to forget your anniversary! Made using carved walnut, this keyring is the perfect small yet smart token of thanks and congratulations. Another great idea is a Photo Keyring, perhaps with a picture of the couple when they first met, or one of their engagement photos.


Whether they're cheese-lovers, or just plain cheesy, a Cheeseboard is an excellent gift. Whether they've lived together for years, or are just about to start out on the adventure, this 'All You Need Is Love' Heart Cheese Board is a great addition to the home, and the perfect way to elevate any dinner party, or even a simple night in together with a glass of wine.


Help the newlyweds celebrate their nuptials in style with our Personalised Alcohol Gifts. From Beer to Whisky, we have a wide selection of alcoholic gifts to suit the happy couple's tastes, although perhaps none are quite as fitting as our 'Just Married' Champagne! The perfect accompaniment to a lifetime of love and happiness, and to celebrating with friends and family.

Champagne Flutes

The best way to serve a bottle of Personalised Champagne? By pouring it into a pair of Personalised Champagne Flutes! We offer a range of Engraved Glassware, perfect for whatever the couple's preferred tipple is, but our personal favourite is the Mr and Mrs Flutes & Champagne Set. These flutes are ideal for celebrating the couple's new lives together, and are the perfect glasses for making a toast.

Photo Cube

From first date photos to wedding photos, a Photo Cube gives the couple the freedom to display there favourite photos without having to choose just the one for a frame. Each photo cube can also hold small tokens in the centre - the perfect place to store a small message or gift to give the couple an added surprise.


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Posted on: The GiftPup blog