For many people, summer rhymes with wedding! There is always a cousin, a coworker or a high school friend who will say « I do » during this period. In order to be a perfect guest for them, here are nine wedding guest mistakes to avoid.
1. RSVP’ing « Yes » but not showing up
It’s no secret, weddings are expensive! This is exactly why the couple is impatiently waiting for your RSVP card to know who will be part of their big day. The reason is understandable: they need to know the exact number of guests they have to feed in order to confirm they can all be accommodated and to determine where they will be seated.
According to The Bridal Association of America, the average cost to feed guests is 85$ per person. This includes the meal, the cake, beverage and service. There is no wonder why catering is their biggest expense! If 12 people don’t show up, the newlyweds will have spent a little bit more than 1000$ for absolutely nothing. This also excludes the cost of the various decorative elements on the tables and party favours. Unless if you have a great excuse, not showing up after confirming your attendance is a major faux pas.
2. Not RSVP’ing but still showing up
Similarly, not taking the time to mail your RSVP card has an important impact on the couple. It’s not so bad if only one person does it, but let’s be realistic, this is rarely the case! You won’t have an assigned seat and the catering service might not have an additional meal for you. The couple already sent you a pre-paid envelop, take time to mail it. They will be very grateful for it!
3. Bringing people that weren’t invited
Your parents didn’t receive their own invitation? Your invitation didn’t include a « +1 » or mentioned « Adult wedding and reception »? There is a reason why! The newlyweds carefully selected their guests to respect their budget and the decision is fully theirs. Don’t take the initiative to invite other people (please refer to mistake #2).
4. Wearing the wrong clothes
Let me put this straight: wearing white at a wedding isn’t as taboo nowadays. However, it’s always a good idea to double check with the bride. Whether it is for cultural, traditional or superstitious reasons, she might not be comfortable with this.
Similarly, a wedding is a special day. Showing up in a plain t-shirt and jeans or in a low-cut see-through dress are bad ideas. As a rule of thumb, men wear a shirt and nice pants, while women wear a long dress or a blouse with a skirt or pants. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed!
5. Not respecting the « unplugged » ceremony
More and more couples choose to have an « unplugged » ceremony. This simply means they want all electronic device to be turned off during their union, whether it is your smartphone, your tablet or your camera. Look around you when you get there, you should spot a sign asking you to put your device away. The officiant will also remind you about it before the ceremony begins. This way, you will get to fully enjoy this moment and to see it through your eyes, not through a screen.
« I would have done things differently », « The bridesmaid dresses are ugly », « There was less waiting time at my cousin’s wedding », etc. Complaining only does one thing: it makes the event less enjoyable for everyone, which includes you, the person you’re complaining to and the couple if they hear you. Weddings rarely go as planned and a lot of problems that you are unaware of can happen behind the scenes. We have to live with it! Enjoy the moment and share the newlyweds’ joy. Your memory from this beautiful day will be much more positive this way.
7. Bothering the newlyweds at the wrong moment
The ceremony just ended and you want to be the first person to congratulate the newlyweds! It’s very understandable, however it might not be the right moment to do it. After walking down the aisle together, most couples still have things to do. Couple, wedding party and family photos generally take place during this period. Since the time allowed for these is very short, they don’t want to be interrupted. Thankfully for you, there will be several other occasions to thank them and chat with them during the cocktail and the reception!
8. Being (too) drunk
Being tipsy is perfectly normal at weddings. It’s even encouraged! However, knowing your limit and not crossing it is essential. You don’t want to be so wasted that you become disrespectful, break furniture or end up passing out under a table. Everyone wants to have a good time, but calling the police to control a wild guest is no fun!
9. Leaving in the middle of the party
Unless if you have a good excuse, leaving in the middle of the party isn’t recommended. First, you will miss important moments during the evening. Second, a chain reaction is created when tables become empty. In fact, guests are more likely to leave earlier than expected if their friends are gone, even if they originally wanted to stay longer. It’s very sad when there aren’t enough people left to do the bouquet throw (something I’ve witnessed)! When the last meal is served, the first dance is done and the cake is cut, you’re safe to go.
To read more great tips about weddings and family sessions, click here !
Lisa-Marie Savard est une photographe lifestyle basée à Montréal et ses environs. Voyage offert ailleurs au Québec ou Canada. | Lisa-Marie Savard is a lifestyle photographer based in Montreal and its surroundings. Travel available elsewhere in Quebec or Canada.