I have been to several weddings in the last few years and I have come up with a list of random advice for both the wedding guests and the bride and groom. These are just helpful ideas that I have observed from weddings and wedding events that I’ve attended.
For The Guests:
1. Ladies: this is what bothers me the most. Do not wear white to the wedding or any of the events. The bride wears white for a reason so nobody should be wearing white except for her- this goes for the wedding and wedding ceremony, engagement parties, bridal showers, stock-the-bar parties, etc. She might not wear white to all of them, but just don’t do it (even if the bride says she doesn’t care if you wear white).
2. Do not show up late to the ceremony. And do not show up late to meet up with your friends before riding together to the ceremony- it holds them up and puts stress on your friends! If you are going to take a cab there, just arrange to have the cab meet you at a very specific time beforehand. The bride and groom would probably much rather you not show up to the ceremony at all, (and just to the reception) instead of showing up late and possibly interrupting the ceremony.
3. Avoid wearing black. I read this somewhere and agree- a wedding is a celebration so it would probably be best to wear a color other than the color you wear to a funeral. Pick a color other than black or white. Imagine if the majority of people showed up in black dresses and shirts to your wedding- it would look a lot like a funeral (haha). Save the black dress for a cocktail party or one of the earlier wedding events (like engagement parties).
4. If you find out last minute you can’t go and you’ve already RSVPed, as a courtesy let the bride/groom know! The wedding may be a sit down dinner, and some of them have specific place name tags made for each seat. Then there would be an empty chair with your name on it at a table. I was in a wedding once where one couple RSVPed and didn’t show up- and in the wedding photos the photographer (who didn’t know) had specifically taken a photo of their place name tags (which kind of rubbed in the fact to the bride and groom that they were no-shows). It also can save the bride & groom money for food and drinks if they can take you off the guest list!
5. Don’t get offended if the bride/groom don’t talk to you long at the wedding. They have many friends and family that they need to greet- so don’t take it personally if you didn’t get to hang out with them for long.
6. Actually, this may be a bigger pet peeve of mine than #1- on the wedding day DO NOT post any photos of the bride before the wedding ceremony! Now that there are so many forms of social media people may not think and will post a photo of the bride getting ready (or even in her wedding dress) before the wedding! Don’t do it. I’ve seen this happen several times and its rude since obvs it is tradition that he can’t see the bride before the wedding or it is bad luck. Don’t be a spoiler.
For the Bride and Groom:
1. It may be helpful to list on the invitation what the attire is. I have been to a black tie wedding before where they forgot to list it on the invitation – this caused frantic guests when they found out they should order a tux last minute. Even if it is just cocktail attire, it would be helpful to list it on the invitation and it could cut down on all those questions from guests later on about what they should wear.
2. Even if the reception is at the same place the ceremony is at (like a church), it would be helpful to list it on the invitation. It could also cut down on any confusion or questions from guests. If you are going to have busses shuttle people from the ceremony to the reception, you could also send that information with the invite so the guests can know ahead of time where they will be leaving their car.
3. Wedding websites are a good idea especially if you have guests from out of town. This is because you can direct your guests to the website where they can find directions to the locations, hotel suggestions, attire info, registries and any other additional info. This is a quick way you can answer all of you guests’ questions. You can list the website on the save-the-date that you send out so they know way in advance.
Readers do you have any other advice for guests, etc?