Wedding Guest Responsibilities

There’s still some confusion regarding the protocol around this timeless social institution.There’s more to attending a wedding than getting dressed up, shedding a few tears, and partying all night long. Surprisingly, you’ve got responsibilities too!

Here are a few suggestions for your guest duties:

  1. When it comes to dress codes, everyone knows the golden rule: don’t wear white. However there should be an addendum to that rule which states that guests should always be appropriately dressed, to suit the dress code. Extra short skirts regardless of the dress code are never encouraged.
  2. Punctuality – As with all aspects of life, if you want to be credible and taken seriously, you should always be on time, especially for weddings. If an invite states that the arrival time is 1:30pm for 2:00pm. It means the bride will be walking at 2:00pm and you need to be seated by at least 1:45pm. if the invite says 2pm, bride will be walking down the aisle at 2:02.
  3. Regarding plus-ones, DON’T assume you can bring a date. Unless it says “and partner” on the invitation, only you should be attending. And no, DON’T call the bride and ask if you can bring a date either. If it were in their budget, the bride and groom would’ve extended the extra invitation.
  4. Keep your behavior in check – This includes never outshining the bride, or upstaging the groom.
  5. If the invite states that there are no children allowed, follow the rules. It is also not the bride’s responsibility to help you find a babysitter so don’t push the responsibility on to her, she has enough on her plate. Generally if children are included on the invite, a babysitter is usually provided for the evening time, in this case you may ask the bride if such plans are in place.
  6. Beware of your alcohol intake, there is nothing classy about a passed out individual at a wedding.
  7. Photo’s – There is a list of things not to do when it comes to photo’s at wedding. Firstly, no lifting up phone or iPads during the ceremony as you might obstruct someone’s view behind you. There is nothing more frustrating then a phone popping up and obstructing your view of the saying of the vowels. Professional photos are taken at the event, so rather keep the snaps to a minimum. However if you must take photo’s of the wedding, please make sure to post to social networks only if the bride and groom have given permission. Some couples would prefer to release their own photos in their own time.
  8. Cringe-worthy speeches are unfortunately common, and there are a few topics that should never be discussed like, bringing up an old flame. Even if it’s part of the joke. Trust me, it’s never appropriate during a wedding toast. Show some respect, at least do your friend the honor of preparing a speech in advance.

So there are a few responsibilities that fall on your shoulders as the guest. The bride and groom are not doing you a favor by inviting you to share their special day with them. Perhaps a little more effort is required on your part to ensure you help your friends celebrate a successful wedding day that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. If you’re planning on attending a wedding this season that means staying up to date on what’s been crossed out of the rule book, what’s been tweaked, and what’s, well, really not up for debate.

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