If you’ve attended a couple or even dozens of weddings in your time, you may think you’re an etiquette pro, but in our experience, even the most informed guests still need a little bit of guidance. Read on to learn how you can nail wedding guest etiquette this year.
Myth 1: An invitation means you can bring a date
Unless your wedding invitation says, “plus one” or “and guest”, don’t assume that it’s ok to bring a date. Most couples have some restrictions on how many guests they are able to accommodate within their available resources and budget, not to mention the physical amount of people a venue may comfortably hold. Expanding the guest list might not be an option. Instead, reach out to some of the other guests that you may know are attending solo, and consider getting ready together, carpooling, or going out for an after-party drink.
Myth 2: Registry shopping or a cash gift is impersonal
If you are tight with the bride(s) and groom(s), it can be very tempting to purchase something that you believe they’d love off of their registry, especially for those generous and creative gift givers out there. While you may be able to choose something appropriate and unique, most couples prefer gifts from their registry, (that’s why they registered in the first place!). Plus, registries are become more and more modern, where couples are able to choose literally anything they like, (verses more traditional registries from times past, comprised of flatware, china, and stemware). If a couple is asking for cash, it might feel impersonal to you, but it can seriously help them post wedding with their expenses. Consider adding some photos of you and the couple and a thoughtful note in your card that will help you feel more connected to gift giving.
Myth 3: The couple is responsible for your accommodations
While most couples will offer recommendations, and may even reserve a block of rooms at a preferred resort, they are not required to pay for your hotel —even if you’ve traveled across oceans! If you are on a budget or are not sure where to stay, head to Airbnb to do some research, or reach out to a member of the bridal party for guidance. You can also ask around with other guests to see if someone is open to sharing a room.
Myth 4: The couple is your go-to resource for wedding-related questions
Instead of reaching out to the soon to be newlyweds first for any questions you might have, use some other resources available. Most couples have plenty on their plates leading up to the wedding, and will appreciate guests self-educating. It’s very common for couples have a wedding website, which will be included on your invitation, and usually full wedding details can be found there. Additionally, on their website, you may find a place to post public questions or comments, and others may have already asked the couple something similar. If the couple doesn’t have a wedding website, it’s always a good start to go back to all of the communication you have received from the couple, as it’s easy to miss or forget something over the several months you may have been in touch. If you still have questions, of course you can still reach out to the happy couple for help.
Myth 5: You can’t wear black to a wedding
Some guests fear that wearing black will denote a gloom or somber tone, or remind others of a funeral service. While we don’t love black for a mid-day spring or summer weddings, we are in favor of your favorite little black dress for evening weddings, and certainly those held in cooler months. You can always add a pop of color with your accessories or your shoes. Plus, if you’re buying a dress for a specific wedding, you’ll likely get more future milage out of something black.
Recently engaged? Sip and Twirl is a passionate group of wedding planners, and we are located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Whether you have just started envisioning your dream wedding day, or are in the thick of planning, we'd love to hear from you! We plan for both small and large scale weddings, and genuinely love what we do. Reach out to us at (480) 648-0663 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.