Wedding Guest Do’s and Don’ts

Wedding season is here. It’s time to prepare for weekends full of dancing, socializing and celebrating happy couples. Wedding guests have a responsibility to help make the day go as smoothly as possible for themselves and everyone else. That means making sure they do come prepared and don’t bug the couple or immediate family too much. Here are some critical do’s and don’ts for this season’s wedding fetes.


Months of preparation go into planning a wedding, which means every single guest is accounted for. It can be a drag and a time-suck to have to track down every guest who hasn’t sent back the RSVP card. Save the couple a few hours of logistical work and RSVP on time — whether you’re sending a card in the mail or checking a box on a wedding website. They will appreciate it immensely!

Do prepare for any weather

How many times have you been caught unprepared for rain when the weather has been nothing but sun for weeks? Or how many times have you gotten a sunburn on half your face from sitting in the same place during the hottest part of the day? Stock up on facial sunscreen, grab a wedding-worthy sun hat and pack a picture-perfect umbrella in case the weather doesn’t go your way.

Do bring dancing shoes

Your shoes are adorable ­— truly the perfect complement to your carefree, summer wedding-guest dress. But weddings are long, and you don’t want to have to sit for the entire reception. Instead, you may consider ditching the stilettos after a couple of hours for some flats or flip-flops. And who says comfort has to compromise cuteness? Try these rose gold flip-flops to slip out of blistering heels and into an effortless night of fun. You might even make it to the after party.

Don’t text the bride or groom

Can’t find your way from the ceremony to the reception? Don’t know what time the post-wedding brunch is on Sunday? Don’t ask the busy, overwhelmed bride or groom. It may be tempting since they’re just a simple text away, but it’s not fair to burden them if you haven’t taken the time to visit their website. Plus, it may not be the most effective way to get a response.


Do book a room ahead

Unless you want to cramp someone’s style by ordering up a cot after you realize you don’t have a room for the night, book ahead. It’s the first rule for not being stranded after a long night of fun and cocktails. It sounds basic, but it happens. Find great deals at or Expedia.

Do buy a gift

It doesn’t have to be much, but a gift is a gesture of thanks for the wedding festivities (which surely cost the couple a pretty penny). It’s also a nice way to wish them all the best in their new marriage. If nothing else, a thoughtful card from will do. They have a huge number of congratulations cards for newlyweds, including a large selection for same-sex couples. And if you are attending more than one wedding this summer, buy in bulk to save on shipping.

Don’t criticize

There’s nothing more disheartening than a guest telling the newlyweds they weren’t a fan of the food or thought the ceremony was too long. If you have opinions — which is bound to happen for those of us who attend multiple weddings every summer — keep them to yourself or to those closest to you. Don’t let any negativity inadvertently dampen an otherwise wonderful day for the couple.

Do relax and have fun

The newlyweds and their families have gone out of their way to make the wedding as welcoming and fun for guests as possible. Forget what’s happening at work, the traffic you fought to get there and the price of the hotel room you booked for the weekend. While you’re there, do your best to enjoy the celebratory atmosphere and the food, and soak in the love from the happy couple — knowing you’re part of the inner circle!


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  1. Cheryl Sterling

    And for the love of God, unless you get sick or die, PLEASE have the decency to show up if you RSVP that you are coming. Most dinners are $35-$50 each and we pay wheather you show up or not!

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      Good point, Cheryl!

    • Cindie

      Even if you get sick, have someone else notify the bride that you will not be attending.

      • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

        Good point, Cindy!

  2. Cindie

    NEVER, EVER wear white to a wedding, unless it is specifically stated by the bride that is okay to do so — even a summer wedding.

    • Honey Mann

      Never, EVER slip any tongue first when kissing the bride no matter how many times you may have done so previously! People will notice, believe me!

      • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

        That’s a good one, too.

  3. How about Croatia. Croatia has much more to offer than Montenegro. I am from Croatia.

  4. Cheryl

    For the Bride…DO send out thank you cards for all the gifts you received.

  5. Leila

    Many couples are on a tight budget. Please read the invitation thoroughly. If it’s addressed to “you” only; no other name on it; nor “And Guest” … ~ it means only you are invited.

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      Great tip, Leila!

  6. There’s nothing more disheartening than a guest telling the newlyweds they weren’t a fan of the food or thought the ceremony was too long.

    • Swapna Dhamdhere at Ebates

      So true!

  7. karen chastain

    do not go ahead of the bride and groom if there is a buffet line

    • Ed

      Bride and Groom are usually served by the caterer before anyone else even if it’s a buffet.

  8. Geo hawkins

    Do not obstruct the work of the Photographer!

  9. Kimberly Kelley

    If you are a guest to a wedding, please remember why you were invited: to celebrate the bride and groom. Negative attitudes, self-focused conversations, your favorite white dress, and your own boyfriend proposing should wait another day.

  10. jd

    Put down your phone during the ceremony!