Wedding Guest Etiquette

You’ve been invited to a wedding hey? Congratulations! You’re obviously an important person for the happy couple. It is one of the most important days of their life, and they want YOU there. It’s an honour to be invited to a wedding, and if you want to repay the faith shown in you – here’s a quick (and hard hitting) guide on how to act 🙂

1. Dress nice

Make an effort to dress as nicely as possible. The happy couple have probably spent an absolute fortune on this day, and it has cost them dearly in terms of stress too. So if you rock up with a wrinkled up old suit, or in your 2nd best pair of jeans then you’re just disrespecting their effort. Also, everyone else will look great and you’ll probably be the only one who is under dressed. 

2. Bring your A-game

So, you’ve been invited to this wedding- and guess what? Some people missed the cut. And what’s more, there is a chance you have only just scraped on to the guest list. I’ve planned a wedding and let me tell you, there are some very tough selection decisions made at the final round of invitations. So if you have made the cut, it is up to you to repay the faith the couple have shown in you. It is an extremely important day for the couple (and their family) so don’t sit at the table all night with a miserable look on your face. Don’t duck outside for a smoke at every opportunity. Talk to people, get on the dance floor, laugh at bad jokes, don’t roll your eyes during speeches, and in general bring your A game. In other words, do your best to make it a great day for the couple. 

3. Don’t look at your phone every ten seconds

We have literally seen people watching football on their phones during speeches at weddings. Look, we understand that speeches can be very boring, we get that. But in the scheme of the whole event they really are just a very small part of what is otherwise a great big fun party (with free food and drinks). So if you’re sitting there checking your phone at every opportunity you really just look like a very unappreciative person, or in plain English – a douche bag. And, people notice. Believe me, they notice.

4. Dance to at least one song

Even if you hate dancing you should dance to at least one song. Think of it as payment for all the free food and drinks you’ve been shoving in your mouth all day. 

5. Do not leave early. DO NOT LEAVE EARLY. DO NOT LEAVE EARLY 

It is truly amazing to us how many people will leave a wedding early. Sometimes guests will leave 10 minutes before the farewell circle! Really? You couldn’t survive for 10 more minutes?? It’s rude. Don’t do it. Speak to anyone who has been married – they can tell you who left early. I know I can (I can even remember the exact time the first guests left – 9.36pm if you must know). This all sounds pretty harsh, and of course some times it’s unavoidable that you can’t stay for the whole event. So, in the spirit of charity and understanding, if you fall into the following categories you get a free pass.

  • You are old (70 +)
  • You have a baby/babies.
  • You’re unwell
  • Someone in your family is unwell
  • You have information regarding a terror attack
  • You are secretly in love with the bride or groom and it’s tearing you to pieces being here

However, if you want to leave early due to the following reasons you are, simply put, a bad wedding guest.

  • You have to get up early the next day (pathetic)
  • You’re bored (make your own fun!)
  • It’s too loud (get over it, go outside, get earplugs)
  • You need to beat the traffic (at 11.30 on Saturday night? Please)
  • You are the + 1 of a guest and you’re hating every moment of the night (toughen up, drink more, make friends, or go sit in the toilet until it’s over) 

Oh, and when you do leave, say goodbye!

6. Bring a gift

It doesn’t have to be a great big amazing present. But a card with some cash in it will buy you a lifetime of good will. I’ve been there the day after a wedding when the gifts are being sorted out and tallied up. And everyone is accounted for. You can’t slip under the radar. If you are hard up for cash at the time of the wedding, simply write a card and tell the couple you plan to surprise them with a thoughtful gift in the next few months. And then follow through.

7. Treat the band, suppliers, and venue staff with respect

Friendly banter is great! We love it. But heckling, messing with equipment, being demanding to staff, and acting like a dick is plain rude. The band and the venue staff are there to help you have a good night. When the staff tells you it is last drinks, listen to them. 


It’s pretty easy really. Have a good time, and be seen to be having a good time! Think about the couple who have staged this high-pressure, complicated, and expensive event and do whatever you can to make sure they have an unforgettable day!

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