Thursday, September 24, 2015

How To Be A Good Wedding Guest

Pete is a really good wedding guest. He just enjoys himself and has a great time. He's just one of those guests that you know is having a good time at your wedding, which sort of makes all your other guests want to have a good time too. So, I was thinking about it. We've written a post about how to be a good bridesmaid, but I never wrote a post on how to be a good wedding guest ... until now. Here are five quick tips on how to be a good wedding guest.


How To Be A Good Wedding Guest

I don't care who you dance with: yourself, the flower girl, the mother of the groom, the bride, your husband, your friend's husband. Whoever it is, just get the party started. It's such a shame when the couple paid for a band or DJ and the dance floor is left empty. That happened at a wedding I was at once with my friend (who was my last minute date when my actual date got sick at the last minute). We weren't going to sit in our seats just because everyone else was. So we danced. A lot. The wait staff danced with us when none of the other guests would.

Honestly, I have no rhythm. You won't see me on So You Think You Can Dance any time soon. But I like to dance. Quick, slow, Cupid Shuffle. Whatever. I just have fun with it. And if you do, other guests will too and the dance floor (and maybe even your dance card) will be full.

Eat and drink.
We had an open bar and kept it open during our full five-hour reception. Being a number cruncher, I figured that if each of our guests had one drink an hour, we would "win" (meaning, we would be paying less by paying per hour than per drink). If each guest had less than one drink an hour, the venue would win (so we would be paying more by paying per hour than per drink). I mentioned this to my good friends who were coming and they all assured me they would drink more than one drink per hour. And they did. I was so happy because we paid for an open bar. I wanted our guests to take advantage of it.

I felt the same way with the food. We had plenty of food, and our guests ate it. As a bride, that made me happy too. The couple is paying for you to eat (at the cost of around $100 or $150 per person). If you went out to dinner and it cost you $150 a person, you would lick your plate clean. So please, respect the couple's money and eat your food.

And, just a small note: If you're at a plated reception and can't finish your meal, you can ask for a to go box to take your leftovers home.

Congratulate the couple.
The bride and groom are the only people at the wedding who know every single guest. So, of course, they are going to be really busy talking with everyone. But be sure you at least get a chance to say congratulations to them at least once. If a couple has a receiving line, this is easy. But if they don't, make sure you stop for a moment to say congratulations and tell the couple how beautiful the wedding is. And, if you get a chance to see them again, ask them if they need anything. The couple may be having trouble getting to the bar for a glass of water, and you could be the savior.


Take part in the activities.
The couple takes a lot of time to plan every single wedding detail. You, as a guest, should try to appreciate that -- and take part in every part of it. If there's a photo booth, do it. If the couple has a video guest book, leave a message. If they have a traditional guest book, sign it. If, like at the wedding I was at this weekend, there are mustache temporary tattoos, put one on and take a photo. The couple picked these things to make sure you have a good time. So definitely take part in them.

Bring a card.
We don't show up anywhere empty handed. It's just part of being a good guest. If we are going to your house for dinner, there's a good chance we will bring beer and dessert. When you go to a wedding, you should bring something as well. Up North, it's traditional to bring a card and check. In the South, I see more people bringing boxed gifts (registry items, perhaps). But you don't have to bring a gift, just like you don't have to write a check large enough to cover your plate. Your guests are inviting you because they want to celebrate their big day with you, not because they want your money. So, even if you can't afford a gift, you can still go to someone's wedding. But you need -- absolutely need -- to bring a congratulations card. You can pick up wedding cards for $.99 at the local drugstore. Heck, you can even get two for a dollar at the dollar store. But please, don't show up without a card.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What other tips would you tell someone how to be a good wedding guest?

Heading to a wedding?

Don't forget to read our Wedding Guest Purse Essentials post.



  1. I'm absolutely agree with this post!!!

  2. Great tips on being a wedding guest. It is important also to allow the wedding planner (if the couple hired one) to perform his/her job. So many times, guests want to lend input on how to run the ceremony and/or reception.

  3. This is a great posting! Great tips to follow!! Thank you for sharing.