I find it a little bit ironic that my first blog post is going to be about wedding guests and not the actual wedding couple or wedding. However, this has been my "Year of the BAD wedding guest". I find that bad behavior on the part of guests comes from many different sources, frequently it is because someone is young and they just do not know better, sometimes it is because they feel entitled because they may be close to the couple, and often it is just because they are so self-centered that they think they can just do whatever they want without consequences. So....my tips for being a great guest... here goes....
- Return Your Response: You were given an RSVP in your invitation for a reason, so please use it, and submit it by the requested date. If your boyfriend, roommate, or other indication of a guest or child is not written on the envelope, then it is good to assume that you cannot bring a guest. Do not put the couple in the position of having to call you if you RSVP for an uninvited guest.
- Dress For The Occasion: It is inappropriate, in almost all occasions, to wear jeans or shorts to a wedding (however, there are exceptions! Hello, beach wedding!). Ladies, be sure to twirl in the mirror a few times with that new dress on or ask your bestie to make sure your undies (or more) do not show when you get ready to tear up the dance floor. It is always better to be over-dressed, than under or inappropriately dressed. Research the location of the wedding and wear appropriate shoes or a jacket or sweater if needed. Never, I repeat NEVER where white, unless the bride or groom specifically asks you to. It is traditional to not wear black to a wedding, unless it is a formal/black-tie event, however you can slide by on this if you look festive, not funeral-ish.
- Sit Down For The Ceremony!: This has been an issue at several of my weddings this year, and I truly do not understand it. If you want to avoid sitting in the sun waiting for the ceremony to begin, just be sure that about 5-10 minutes before start time, you put your booty in a chair. I have had three weddings this year that I have had 150-200 people standing around. We walk through and ask them to sit. The DJ announces for people to sit. The minister announces people to sit....AND they just stand there, keep talking, and completely ignore us while griping about the ceremony starting late. If your host is kind enough to offer beverages before the ceremony, then grab a glass, and sit down. Don't plant yourself at the bar and wonder "when the heck this gig is getting started". Look around. See all those people standing with you at the bar? That is likely the reason. Sit down!
- Put Down That Camera: Put down all of your electronic devices for that matter. This has become my biggest wedding pet peeve. The couple has invited you to join in and witness their commitment to each other. It is a special honor and you should be present and focused, not taking pictures, trying to be the first post on social media. Guests should not be in the aisle, or holding their camera into the aisle, holding their iPad above their head, or moving around to snap photos. Do not stand behind the photographer and try to snap photos at any time. It is distracting for the subjects of the photo and results in people looking in different directions. Sit down and let the professional photographers do their job, until the reception comes around, then snap away (unless you've been asked not to, of course). #turnoffyourcamera
- Do Not Try To Run Things: In most cases, the couple has spent quite a bit of time planning their wedding, so if you have not had a role or responsibility given to you for the wedding day, do not come in and act like you are in charge and start moving or changing things around. This has become such a common occurrence and problem, that I have to instruct my staff and vendors to not listen to these people and just send them directly to me. If you have not been directly involved in the planning process and have not been asked to do something specific, then just go enjoy yourself.
- Do Not Be The Drunk: So many people interpret "open bar" as "lets get smashed". Having a good time, even getting a little tipsy, is acceptable. Falling down drunk, puking, or causing a scene, are not acceptable. Bringing a date that does any of these things? Completely not acceptable. This is an important occasion and a certain level of etiquette is required. Party in good taste, my friends.
- The Cake Is Off-Limits: As is the sweets buffet, candy buffet, or any other table that the cake is sitting on, until the couple cuts the cake or announces that you can help yourself to dessert. Often times guests completely destroy a candy or sweets buffet during cocktail hour, before the couple may have even had a chance to see it, and the couple ends up taking cake cutting pictures in front of a messy, empty table. Not acceptable.
- The Mic Is Not Open: If you have not been asked to say something or give a toast at the reception, then do not do it. Enough said.
I may add to this list in the future, but for now, my friends, go out there and enjoy your weddings, and be a great guest!