How to be a good wedding guest
Updated: Apr 17
How to be a good wedding guest
10 Guest Do's and Don'ts from a wedding coordinator's perspective
Before I photographed weddings, they were kind of foreign to me. I knew I had to show up in a dress, bring a card, and enjoy the open bar. I've learned a lot over the years, primarily by witnessing guests do cringe worthy things, that they probably don't even know aren't acceptable! One of my biggest pet peeves is when people stick their phones out into the aisle, ruining my shot. Argh. I know I used to do that too.
Although I've learned a lot, I realized there's a lot I still don't know. So I asked some amazing Austin wedding coordinators about their top 10 Do's and Don'ts on how to be a wedding guest. Keep these in mind for the next wedding you go to!
1. BE ON TIME. We account for people running a little behind and usually start the ceremony a little later than the invite...however, if you arrive as the processional is going you will need to wait, out of sight, until the bride has made it to the alter.
2. Dance! Have fun with the couple and the other guests. They have paid for the entertainment and nothing gets other people dancing and having a good time like...well, other people dancing!
3. Bring ~good vibes~ to the wedding. Regardless of the weather, how "bad" the food might be, or if you're a little hungover from the night before. Make it a point to bring good vibes + high spirits. As a planner, I can only do so much. But the most "fun" weddings are because the guests are down to have a good time.
4. RSVP. Mail back the RSVP card. Go online to the website. I'll say it again, loud and clear, YOU NEED TO RSVP regardless if you're going. And please, do it by the due date. Don't make the couple or their parents reach out to you to ask if you're coming. It's not a fun task and until you have to do it yourself, you don't realize how much of a pain it is.
5. Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the ceremony time to allow ample time to find parking and a seat.
6. Silence your phone prior to the ceremony and during the wedding toasts.
7. If you're in the family, stay put for family photos after ceremony so the planner/photographer don't have to find you.
8. Pay attention to exit instructions; where to line up for exit, what to do, and where the shuttle is.
9. Pay attention to toasts. Don't have side chatter. The speaker is already nervous, and your blatantly not paying attention doesn't help.
10. Take your favor from the couple- no matter how small. They've put a lot of thought (and money!) into these gifts/favors. It's disheartening to see how many favors are left behind.
1. Don't bring outside alcohol to the wedding...it can cause a breach of contract or simply be illegal.
2. DO NOT step into the aisle for photos or videos during ceremony, even if they're not having an "unplugged wedding". You don't want to be the guest that ruined the perfect shot of the groom when he first saw his bride. And also if the officient announces to put your phone away- PUT IT AWAY. You are not an exception to this rule because "but I'm his sister".
3. Don't drink too much and get sloppy wasted. I see this far too often and the repercussion is you will always make a fool of yourself and be remembered as "that guest". Too many fights are caused by gusts who can't hold their liquor.
4. Don't complain, at least until after the wedding. Complaining brings bad energy and nobody needs that around on their wedding day.
5. Do not wear white as a guest to a wedding as that color is reserved for the Bride on her special day! DO. NOT. WEAR. WHITE.
6. Do not bring ANY additional guests that were not on the RSVP card, including children!
7. Don't wear high heels if the invite indicates not to.
8. Don't light things on fire with the exit sparklers.
9. Don't interrupt the couple while they're eating. Oftentimes this is the first alone time they've had all day.... and the first time they've eaten in hours!
10. When the mother + son or father + bride (or any combination thereof) dances are happening, don't distract the partner! Let them watch their new husband/wife dance.
Thank you to the following coordinators for their advice and insight. If you're looking for a wedding coordinator/planner in the Austin area, take a moment to check them out.
- Company Name: Silver Thistle Weddings + Events
- Website: www.silverthistleweddings.com
- Instagram: @silverthistleweddings
- Facebook: Silver Thistle Weddings
- Email: email@example.com
- Company Name: Momentous Weddings, Events & Designs
- Website: www.momentouswed.com
- Instagram: @momentous_wed
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momentouswed/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Company Name: Blue Sparrow Events
- Website: www.bluesparrowevents.com
- Instagram: @bluesparrowevents
- Email: email@example.com
- Company Name: Saulnier Weddings
- Website: -
- Instagram: @saulnierweddings
- Facebook: facebook.com/SaulnierWeddings
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a wedding photographer, or your friend needs a recommendation? Email me today!
Tamara Merri Photography