WHAT TO DO AFTER THE INVITE
Congratulations! You’ve been invited to experience what many people say is the most important day of their lives. Whether you’re a first time goer or a wedding guest veteran, there are unspoken rules you may want to follow to avoid being that person at a wedding.
Do: Make sure to purchase and send a wedding gift to the couple a few weeks after RSVP-ing or within a year after the wedding ceremony. There is no “correct” gift to give newlyweds, but if you find yourself stuck, most couples tend to have a wedding registry or just prefer to receive money. Also, do not feel the need to break the bank by getting the most expensive gift. Giving a personable, inexpensive gift is just as meaningful.
Don’t: It is inappropriate and inconvenient to bring the wedding gift to the actual ceremony. More importantly, don’t be the person who doesn’t give a gift. You technically don’t have to give a wedding gift, but it’s just common courtesy.
Do: Check with the couple or invite to see if the wedding is adult-only and adhere to that. Child-free weddings are becoming a more attractive option to couples for various reasons, and if that’s their prerogative, you shouldn’t challenge it. It’s nothing personal to parents, but many would rather opt for a stress-free night to have fun.
Don’t: If children are not allowed, do not bring them to the wedding for your own convenience. If the wedding does allow children, make sure they are not overly disruptive during the ceremony and reception.
Do: You should RSVP far ahead of time out of courtesy. It makes it easier for the couple to plan seating, catering, and other wedding intricacies.
Don’t: RSVP-ing at the last minute, or not at all, is rude. If you show up unannounced or with an extra +1 that was not accounted for, it can completely throw off the numbers and seating for the wedding.
Attire: Respecting Aesthetic and Culture
Do: Always follow the dress code and be respectful towards any cultural adjustment you may have to make for your outfit. Many religious or cultural weddings require guests to dress modestly or in traditional garb, and you should always be courteous of that.
Don’t: Disregarding the preferred wedding dress is a no. Under-dressing, over-dressing or upstaging the couple will make you stick out— and not in a good way.
Do: Ask the couple what they are comfortable with you sharing on social media. This applies to the entire wedding day and any other festivities before it. Many couples only want invited guests to experience something so significant and will restrict phone usage during the unity ceremony.
Don’t: Posting photos before the wedded couple does, critiquing the wedding on social media, and ruining a hired photographer’s photos to get your own are tacky behaviors. Always get approval from the couple before you take or post any photos, videos, etc. from the wedding.
Do: You should wait for the first dances to be over before hitting the dance floor. Traditionally, after the unity ceremony, the couples will have planned dances with parents and each other that are very intimate, so don’t ruin the vibe by partying immediately. Also, many receptions have an open bar, so drink responsibly and know your limits.
Don’t: It’s totally okay to drink and have fun at the reception, but getting too intoxicated is not. There are many newlyweds who have horror stories about guests getting too drunk and causing costly damages to their wedding venue. Know how to hold your liquor and don’t overindulge to the point where it’s not fun for anyone.
Every wedding is different, and every couple has their own preferences. Not every one of these suggestions will apply to every wedding, so it’s best to consult with the couple beforehand to get a clear idea of how to be the best guest you can be.