Etiquette Experts Share the Attributes of a Perfect Wedding Guest
Want to know how to be the very best attendee? It's actually pretty simple.
Everyone might define what makes a good wedding guest a little differently, but according to these etiquette experts, all good wedding guests have these nine traits in common. Read on to find out what it takes to rise to the top and become the happy couple's favorite attendee.
You're on time—for everything.
From sending the RSVP back well ahead of its due date to walking into the ceremony before the processional begins, a good wedding guests is always on time or early, says Julie Blais Comeau, founder of Etiquette Julie. "There is no such thing as fashionably late for a wedding," she says.
You put your phone away.
And keep it on silent. Many a phone has ruined a ceremony. "It's an unwelcome disturbance to hear a phone go off during the wedding ceremony," says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas. (Be sure to check it's on silent as the ceremony starts.)
You follow the guidelines.
A good guest pays attention to dress codes, gift registry suggestions, seating arrangements, and any other instructions that given out, and follows those guidelines to a "T," says Blais Comeau.
You stay off social media until the couple can post.
When you post a picture of the happy couple to Instagram, you may simply be trying to show off their beautiful day. But Gottsman says that good guests don't post pictures of the couple until the couple themselves has had the chance to do so. There's one exception, however: If the couple's given their okay—like sharing a hashtag for live posting—then it's okay to snap and post, she says.
You are positive and appreciative.
"Don't complain or mope," cautions Blais Comeau. "You don't like the food? It won't be your last meal—and you can stop at your favorite fast food on the way home." The same goes for anything that's not to your taste, literally or figuratively, or anything that's less than ideal, she says. "You saw your ex, with his new love? Be cordial and stay away," Blais Comeau instructs.
You don't bring extra guests.
Your invitation should have indicated whether you are allowed a plus-one or if your children are able to attend. And if not, "don't assume they are invited," Gottsman says. "Only those on the invitation should attend the wedding. It would be impolite to ask if your children may come."
You are a good sport.
The best guests mingle, introduce themselves to others, and share how they're connected to the couple, says Blais Comeau. "If there is dancing, dance," she says. "Join in all planned activities."
You send or bring a gift.
While some think you have up to year after the wedding to send a present, that's not really the case. And while it's certainly fine to send a gift within a few weeks, "it's easy to 'forget' once the wedding has taken place, or the gift registry may dwindle down if you wait too long to buy your gift," says Gottsman. So, "be proactive, jump on the registry early, and have the gift delivered."
You keep the spotlight on the couple.
A bad guest might steal the spotlight. But a good guest "keeps the limelight on the couple and their celebration," says Blais Comeau. "It is not about you. It is about them. So be sure to make them shine—even after their wedding is over, when they share their pictures on social media."