Party Manners

a.k.a. – how to be a good wedding guest.

Every wedding has that “funny” story about the  guest that got blasted, or the MOG that showed up in a white glittery dress (monster in law style), or the fiasco of hunting down RSVP’s the night before. But wait – those aren’t really funny stories. While most people know what is appropriate for a wedding event, it never hurts to throw some reminders out there, especially with weddings trending back to a younger age group.

1. RSVP. Even if you are best friends with the couple and tell them in person – send your RSVP. Most people rely on this, and it makes everything so much easier if they receive it on time. Sometimes it can be nice to send a little love along with your RSVP, a note telling the couple how excited you are, etc. etc.

2. Similarly, if you and only you are invited, don’t bring a tag-along (or ask the bride if you can bring a tag-along). Weddings are expensive, an extra spot could tip them over budget, and let’s be honest – it’s just plain rude. If you are given a plus one but don’t have a significant other, gratiously decline that extra seat.

3. When it comes to shopping, the registry was usually made for a reason. It will give a nice idea of what the couple wants/needs. Also, if the couple has been courteous enough, they would have registered for gifts in a range of prices to satisfy that broke friend from college, or their aunt who won it big in the lottery. Don’t feel like you have to abide by the registry though – consider your relationship with the couple when shopping and make it meaningful. Do you go to happy hour every weekend together – how about a wine set, host dinner parties at each others houses – a nice slow cooker might work, vacation together – how about money towards the honeymoon or new fishing gear? Cash always has a place as well!

4. Mail the gift ahead of time, especially if you know the couple is travelling directly before or after the wedding. Not only will they not have to worry about getting it home – no one will steal it at the reception!

5. Contrary to popular belief, most weddings start on time. Don’t be late. This is especially true if the event is held in a religious facility or a very popular hotel complex. There are probably back to back events scheduled. Don’t be that obvious person shuffling in the back trying to be slick but really just making a lot of noise. The ceremony is the reason everyone has gathered in the first place, and they have asked you to be a part of it for a reason.

6. Watch what you wear. Most invitations will include a dress code. If not – take note of the time of day and location of the event for guidance. Whatever you do – don’t upstage the bride – a.k.a. no white, no obnoxious colors – keep it appropriate. If your in a religious facility, consider their rules, do you need a shawl to cover bare shoulders in the church?

7. Notice the details. While this may not be important to everyone, a lot of couples but serious time and effort into the little details. It’s nice to take notice and comment or compliment the couple – it shows you care.

8. Watch your behavior. And by behavior I mean your alcohol intake. No body wants to deal with the embarassment of a drunk wedding guest – and you don’t want to deal with untagging all those facebook pictures when you’re suffering a hangover. Do have a good time though, dance, enjoy yourself – it is a party after all.

9. Offer your congratulations to the couple and the host families, thank them for inviting you. It’s a little gesture that goes a long way. I would even send a snail mail thank you note after the event is over.

Nobody wants to be this person:

If you are looking for a surefire way to get kicked out though: read on.

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