How to Not Be a Jerk at a Wedding - Wedding Guest Etiquette Tips

by Alixandra Gould in


I know, it's tough. It seems like there are all these rules as to what to wear, how to behave, and what to bring as a wedding guest.

But really people, it's not that hard. 

When you attend as many weddings as I do, you see it all. Here's some real talk when it comes to NOT being a jerk at a wedding. 

Wedding Guest Etiquette

1. Respect the invite

If it's addressed to you alone, have fun at the singles table! Sorry, no, you cannot bring a plus-one. Your friends aren't "singling" you out, they just rightfully don't want to pay $200 for your boyfriend of three weeks.

If your kids aren't on the invite, better call your favourite babysitter. You may not be thrilled, but it's up to the couple as to whether they want little ones to attend. 

2. No random gifts

They've spent time and effort on a registry right? Yeah, they did that so Aunt Milly doesn't buy them a gravy boat that looks like it belongs in the 40s. Stick to the list, people.

However, they probably want cash anyway, and are just too tactful to say so. $150 per person is standard, but that can go up or down depending on how extravagant the wedding is.

3. Show up on time

I can't tell you how many times I see a late and very embarrassed guest tip toe in after the ceremony has already started. It's super rude and distracting. It's better that you wait until the ceremony has finished. 

It's best to aim to be 10 minutes early. See that? 10 minutes, not 30, not 45. Often, when people are extremely early, it causes a lot of logistical issues on the venue's end, and the couple has to scramble to make sure they're out of sight.

4. Put down your phone

This one hits home for me. I've had countless beautiful shots ruined because a guest just HAS TO extend an arm or step into the aisle with their phones, or worse, their iPads. I promise I can take a better photo than you can, so leave it to the professionals.

Plus, the couple will appreciate it if your are fully present for their big moment. You can grab a selfie or two with them later. Just enjoy the ceremony. 

5. Dress appropriately

I legit saw a guest in a baseball cap once. You might think you look cool, but you don't. 

Whether it's a backyard wedding, a beach bash, or a Four Seasons luxury affair, dress with a sense of occasion. And ladies, make sure your attire leaves no chance for a wardrobe malfunction.

AND FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T WEAR WHITE. 

6. Drink responsibly

I mean, have a good time and all, but if you're hugging a toilet at the end of the night or creepily hitting on the bride's sister, you've gone too far.