How to Be a Great Wedding Guest: Do’s and Don’ts for Your Next Wedding

Being invited to a wedding is always exciting and a great honor. Weddings usually involve lots of planning and can be very expensive, so receiving an invitation is a big deal! No doubt the couple loves you – that’s why they want you to celebrate their big day with them! As professional wedding planners, we’ve seen it all with wedding guests. Guests definitely impact the day and we always hope it’s in a positive way! So we’ve compiled a list on how to be a great wedding guest, sharing do’s and don’ts for your next wedding.


Do: RSVP on time

Be sure to RSVP by the date mentioned on the invitation. It’s so easy to RSVP these days with many people doing their RSVPs online. It takes just a minute and it will make the couple’s lives so much easier. It takes a lot of time (and energy) to reach out individually to all the guests that don’t respond.

The couple needs to know if you are attending to get final counts for the food, bar, rentals, and more. The sooner you get your RSVP done, the easier planning is for everyone!

Do: Arrive early for the ceremony

You don’t want to arrive at the time the bride is about to walk up the aisle, so be sure to arrive earlier. You should plan to arrive 20-30 minutes before the ceremony to ensure you have enough time to get seated before the processional starts.

Do: Get out on the dance floor and have fun

Dancing is a huge part of most weddings, so don’t be shy. Head out onto the dance floor and dance the night away! Not the best dancer? We promise, no one cares. Just have fun!

[Learn More About Planning In Our Course: Design Your Wedding Day]


Don’t: Bring a plus one/kids if they are not invited

The couple has worked extremely hard to curate their guest list with their favorite people, but also considering their budget, venue, and many other factors. If it’s an adults only reception and/or you haven’t been allotted a plus one, it’s important to respect the couple’s wishes.

Not sure if you have a plus one? Check to see how the invitation was addressed. For example, “Mr. John Smith and Guest” means you have a plus one while “Mr. John Smith” means the invitation is for only one person.

Check for any notes on the wedding invitation or wedding website in regards to children. Oftentimes, couples will note this.

Ultimately, whoever the invitation is addressed to is who is invited to the wedding. If you aren’t sure, it’s better to ask the couple than to RSVP for people who may not have been invited.

Don’t: Be the person with their cell phone taking photos and obstructing the view for photographers

We’ve all seen it. That photo where there are tons of iPhones obstructing the aisle and in the professional photographs. We live in an age where getting that photo instantly feels so important, but ultimately the grainy iPhone photo you have right away isn’t better than the professional photo from the photographer.

There is plenty of time to take photos, but obstructing the ceremony (or worse, standing up to take a photo) is distracting and comes off as rude, even if you have good intentions. So save the iPhone photos for the cocktail hour and reception!

Don’t: Drink too much and make a scene

Everyone wants to have a good time and most weddings have an open bar. However, that doesn’t mean you should drink too much and potentially make a scene. The couple surely wants you to have a few drinks (if that’s your vibe) and enjoy yourself, but not to the point of being out of control. So have fun, dance, drink a bit, but don’t over do it.

Now that you’ve read these tips on how to be a great wedding guest, you might need some support on planning a wedding (or helping a friend plan).  Is getting everyone on the same page a bit like herding cats? Use this template to communicate with your wedding party or family about dress code, rehearsal times, day-of responsibilities, and other important expectations. Trust us, they will thank you for it!

Becca + Neal’s Wedding Vendors

Planning: Ponderosa Planning
Rentals: O’Brien Events and Curated Events
Photographer: Liza Standish Photography
Catering: La Paella Bend
Appetizers: Pēkora Collective
Dessert: Bonta Gelato
Bartending: Cascade Bartender Co
Florist: Posie Shoppe
DJ: Flip Flop Sounds
Bathrooms: Sitting Pretty Potties
Hair: Central Oregon Bridal Beauty
Dress: Bespoke Bride

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