If you were able to attend numerous weddings as a child or young adult, consider yourself lucky. Some of us never get an invitation until our own friends start getting hitched. While most of the stress falls upon the shoulders of the bride and groom, there are certain standards to be met as a guest. Regardless of whether you’re a wedding veteran or newbie, check out our tips on how to be a fantastic wedding guest.
It’s easy to get a wedding invitation in the mail, and then find that same invitation floating around your house, unopened, six weeks later. After opening the invitation, check your availability and RSVP shortly after. You should let the couple know of your decision regardless of if you can actually go or not. It’s simple to forget about responding if you can’t go, but know that your answer helps the couple keep on top of head count. RSVPing is the first, and easiest, step of being a guest.
If you have to cancel shortly before the wedding, do so. Give the couple a heads up to let them know you won’t be able to make it. Also, do not assume you can bring along whoever you want. If the couple intends for you to bring a guest, the envelope should be address to you and “guest”. It might seem obvious that only those specifically addressed are invited, but many guests fail to realize this and bring along a friend. Ultimately, it is the couple who decides the attendants of the wedding.
Getting the Gift
This is something you cannot forget. Technically, you have up to a year after the wedding to get a gift, but it’s much simpler to begin looking for one shortly after you have chosen to attend the wedding. If the couple has a wedding registry, you can find all the registry information there. If you have trouble locating where the couple is registered, don’t hesitate to reach out to either the couple or the bride’s mother or siblings.
It is not required that you buy a gift strictly from the couples’ registry, but it is a good place to start since they specifically chose those gifts themselves. The registry takes some of the guess work out of purchasing a gift too. Try to send the gift to the address on the registry instead of bringing the gift with you to the reception, fewer items for them to carry home is always nice.
While you might be eager to get the party started after the ceremony, don’t be so eager that you completely bypass the receiving line. The receiving line gives you the chance to speak with and congratulate the couple, in addition to giving thanks to their family. The reception is typically the most fun and social aspect of the wedding, so enjoy yourself.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you attend a wedding. As a guest, your entire experience at the wedding should be relatively stress free. Just be sure to RSVP on time, choose a gift, and dress appropriately. Don’t forget to have fun too!