What’s expected of the Wedding Guests

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

The formality of weddings can be a bit off‐putting, especially if you’ve never been to one before. Don’t worry, there are rules…

Follow a few simple wedding rules

The formality of weddings can be a bit off‐putting, especially if you’ve never been to one before. Don’t worry ‐‐ there are rules wedding guests should follow, but they are quite simple.

Make it easy

The general key for guests is that they should aim to ease the preparations for the day and the running of the day itself as much as possible. One of the first things you can do to do this is letting your hosts know as soon as possible about whether you’re going to come or not.

When it comes to the big day, the main thing you need to focus on is being agreeable to everyone, no matter what the history!  As a guest, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the big day goes smoothly for the bridal couple and to be unobtrusive (that means not drinking too much!). A guest should never upstage the bridal couple, and should never wear white, unless requested to. On the whole, guest etiquette isn’t hard to follow!

Bringing your own guests

If you want to take someone with you to the wedding, take a look at your invitation. If it just has your name on it, only you are invited. If it says your name ‘plus family’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your Great Aunt Dotty is invited, but the chances are that your immediate family would be welcome (i.e. partner and children). Let your hosts know exactly which of you will be attending.

If the invitation is addressed to you ‘plus guest’ then you are being invited to bring a date along with you. You should make plans to invite someone immediately and let your hosts know the name of your date as soon as possible.

Even under exceptional circumstances ‐‐ for example if you have someone staying with you on the day of the wedding ‐‐ it’s not considered polite to ask the hosts if you can bring an extra guest if you haven’t been invited to do so. Bear in mind not only that they may not want extra people for space reasons, but that each person adds expense to the probably already substantial wedding bill.

If you have children and the invitation is addressed to only you and your partner, then your children are not invited to wedding. The couple obviously have plans for a child‐free day and you shouldn’t take offence ‐‐ book a babysitter and enjoy yourselves!

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