There are a few things that you can do to be considered an ideal guest when attending a wedding. And there are things that you can do that can take the stress away from the couple and from a lot of other people.
1. RSVP on time.
Make sure that you RSVP by the date requested on the invitation and in the manner that they request you to. If they have an RSVP card, send that. If they request email, respond in that way. They are asking for it a certain way for a reason and speak up now about any dietary requirements.
2. Read the invitation.
Please read the invitation and take notice of the things that it says. Take it with you if you won’t remember or think that it might be helpful. Take notice of all the important things, the time, the dress code, the venue of the ceremony and reception. Don’t message the Bride or one of the bridesmaids on the day asking any of these things!
3. Arrive close to the time that the ceremony will start.
I turn up at weddings early, that’s my job. There have been times when I arrive at the ceremony site, sometimes more than an hour before the ceremony is due to start, and there are guests there already. Don’t get there that early. Don’t stress out any vendors that are doing what they need to do before everything happens. Get there with enough time to get settled and allow a little time for traffic, but don’t get there way before. Don’t be late either. Don’t follow the Bride down the aisle, if you are late. Wait until you wont be noticed and sneak in. Or just don’t be late.
4. Don’t sit up the back.
If there are enough seats that it appears that everyone will be seated, make sure you sit. Also make sure that you don’t sit as far back as possible. Its a wedding, not a school bus. Obviously don’t sit in the front rows unless you are family. But don’t sit right at the back. There is nothing worse than a big gap of empty seats in the middle of the ceremony. The couple have paid money for you to sit in most of these circumstances. Also if there are only a limited number of chairs, don’t just sit down. Leave them for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant guests.
5. Respect the wishes of the couple.
If they ask for an unplugged wedding, put the camera/ phone down. I’ve blogged on a few occasions about unplugged weddings. Firstly, your phone should be on silent anyway, (this should be a no brainer) but if they have asked for no photos, don’t be that jerk who just takes them anyway. It’s their day, they should have the people that are attending respect their wishes. This also goes for social media. (and is just plain manners in my book) Don’t post photos to facebook or Instagram until the couple have, or they have provided you with a hashtag that they want you to use. How do you know if they want to share them with the world otherwise?