Monday, October 17, 2011

How to be a good wedding guest

Maybe you've read my piece on planning a wedding without looking like an asshole, or post-wedding don'ts. Since I'm so fond of dispensing unsolicited wedding advice, I thought I'd write a little something about how to be a good wedding guest. I just attended a really beautiful wedding, and being the judgmental bitch that I am, I couldn't help but notice some judge-able wedding guests.

Rule #1 (and the most important rule): BE ON TIME. Seriously. Leave your house thirty minutes earlier than you need to, and be prepared to sit around for a while. A lot of care and planning went into the evening, the least you can do is be in your place before the bride comes out. If you show up right before the bride, you'll be standing around looking awkward, and generally detracting from the important vow exchange that's about to take place.

Obvious rule is obvious: don't be a drunk asshole

Rule #2: Wait your turn. The bride and groom will get to you when they get to you. You're not at the wedding to hang out with the couple, you're there to support them. If they need you, they'll ask for you. If they don't, they'll just come by and say hi, and you can see them again another time. If you're an out-of-town guest then the couple should spend a little extra time with you, but if you see these friends on a regular basis, don't expect a lot of face time.

Rule #3: Don't compare the day to your own wedding. If you have a funny story that is about weddings, that's okay, but don't brag about how great or how much more expensive your special day was. It's not the right time for your stories of self-indulgence, it's a day to celebrate the newlyweds.

I'm sure there are roughly 1000 more wedding guest don'ts, but they're probably all common sense things like "send back the RSVP card on time" and "dress appropriately". Everyone knows those things, and if they don't they're jerks!



  1. I'd say also, don't leave real early. The saddest weddings ever are the ones where people leave IMMEDIATELY after dinner--like "hey we got our free meal!"

    Dance. It's fun.

    Don't say what you would and would not have done.

    Meet new people! I hate when people just keep to their own table and never mingle. We all have the same friends. Isn't that great? Maybe we can tell a funny story about them.

    Go to the reception! I think this is the biggest one for me. Earn your dinner. If you don't care enough to go to the actual ceremony, don't make them buy you a plate.

  2. Yes, all good points!

    I think if you're old, it's okay to leave early, but you should wait until the cake is cut, or until things start to slow down.

    Definitely don't criticize the wedding. Who would do that?! At the table I was sitting at, we were plotting ways to steal all the centerpieces because they were so pretty.

    You're right about meeting new people and dancing. If your friends put a nice wedding together, the least you can do is pretend to enjoy yourself. Maybe you'll actually start to enjoy yourself! So you don't like to dance - suck it up! Most people are bad dancers, so it's best to just get over it.

    I want you to be at all my weddings :)


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