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10 Wedding Guest Faux Pas!

October 22nd, 2012 by Jeannine

10 Wedding Guest Faux Pas!

Instead of bridezillas, I’d like to talk about guestzillas… yes, guests can be a nightmare too, in more ways than one! I’ve compiled a list of DON’Ts for us to be aware of and perhaps educate future wedding guests. I asked some wedding planners in the industry of their biggest pet peeves with guests and I’ve narrowed it down to 10… here they are in no particular order…

  1. Do not ask to bring a guest if the invitation does not say it – Chances are, there is a legitimate reason why the bride and groom did not allow you to have a guest (or guests). It may be due to budget or space limitations or maybe they’d rather have an intimate gathering with people they know well. Either way, you should respect the wishes of the bride and groom and not insist on bringing your friend or even children. Put yourself in their shoes, how awkward would it be to be asked when you know you can’t feed another mouth? If you’re unsure of what the invitation means, reach out to the bride and groom for clarification rather than just assuming.
  2. Do not block the photographer/videographer - Remember that the bride and groom hired a professional to capture the day so give your camera a rest and let them do their job. If you must take photos, do so from your own seat rather than walk around and possibly get in the way.
  3. Do not forget your manners – Remember that a wedding is a classy affair and it’s important to show up on time, wear the right dress code, have proper table manners, and behave politely and appropriately towards everyone (this includes not abusing the available alcohol). Do not upstage the bride by wearing white or anything too revealing… you can wear that hot dress another time. If you are asked to speak, keep it between 3 to 5 minutes long and have a PG or G rating, especially if there are kids present and so that the bride and groom are not humiliated.
  4. Do not order one thing on your RSVP and then insist you ordered something else when you see the other plates going out – This shocks me that people actually do this. Caterers and hotels have enough food available based on the final numbers the couple gives them, which is based on RSVP’s. Pretending that you ordered something else will create a backlog in the kitchen, which just isn’t acceptable and causes unnecessary stress. So please choose wisely before sending out your RSVP.
  5. Do not overuse your cell phone – Do you really need to check Facebook in the middle of the ceremony or send a tweet that you’re at a wedding? Be respectful and put away your cell phone for a few hours and only use it during breaks so as not to appear bored or uninterested. It is also a good idea to ask the bride and groom beforehand if it’s ok to post your cell phone photos of their wedding online. Some want privacy and some don’t so be clear on what you can do to not offend them.
  6. Do not wait a long time to RSVP – If you know you can make it to the wedding, why not RSVP right away? RSVP-ing late means you’ll have a frantic bride trying to get a hold of guests and asking if they’re going or not. The bride does not need that added stress, especially late into the planning process. Couples need to get final numbers to their caterer by a specific date, not to mention figure out seating arrangements, make place cards and all that extra stuff so give them a hand by RSVP-ing promptly or early.
  7. Do not switch place cards – Make do with where you are sitting especially if each meal is marked on the place card. Doing so can be confusing to the wait staff and can cause unnecessary seating chart rearrangements, which can slow down dinner service.
  8. Do not withhold dietary restrictions – If you have any food allergies or any dietary restrictions, please let the bride and groom know on the RSVP so they can arrange for proper food for you. Do so promptly as well.
  9. Do not be a no-show – If you RSVP to a wedding, you should keep your word and go, especially if the bride and groom was nice enough to allow you to have a guest. Of course if there’s an emergency it’s understandable if you don’t show up but try to let the couple know ahead of time so they can accommodate other people or make other arrangements.
  10. Do not discuss your displeasure with the bride and groom – If something goes wrong, please do not tell the couple, instead have a word with the wedding planner, day of coordinator, or banquet captain. It’s their job to make sure the day goes smoothly, let the bride and groom enjoy their day. Also, remember that you’re not on an episode of Four Weddings so keep your criticisms to yourself. You may not like certain things but the bride and groom do so let them have their moment. People can hear you even when you mutter.

What are your guest pet peeves?

Feature photo courtesy Shutterstock

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  • October 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 am
    Vinnie says:

    There’s always ONE girl at every wedding that wears white or a very very revealing dress! And there’s always one wedding guest who acts wildly inappropriately!

  • October 22nd, 2012 at 10:39 am
    Kim says:

    This is a great article, so true and a bit crazy that people have to be reminded of these things, but they do! Especially #2 and #5, it seems those 2 issues are popping up more and more. Its insane that guests need a reminder to stay in their seats and not wander to capture pics. Also, the FB issue…..sigh….info is shared so much now-its sad that we are in a time where a bride and groom have to state if they want to be the ones to post the first pictures of their day. I can understand a few photos-most brides would be excited about that but when people are posting several photos and the couple hasn’t had a chance to view or share any of their own….I don’t think that’s right. Either way-this is a good reminder!

  • October 22nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    Holly says:

    This is fabulous, Jeannine, and totally spot on! Thank you for writing it!

  • October 22nd, 2012 at 9:45 pm
    Jessica says:

    Great article! I do think the speech thing depends on the couple, the speeches at my wedding were awesomely inappropriate and I loved it!

  • December 28th, 2012 at 2:39 am
    Yung says:

    I don’t know if this only applies to Chinese weddings but there’s always a handful of people who think JEANS are appropriate even when the wedding is held at a five star hotel ballroom…oh and there’s always that one girl who wears white/ivory/blush as if to see how much she can get away with. My cousin wore the most revealing dress to my sister’s wedding and my family and extended family are still talking about it.

  • February 20th, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    Emille says:

    Great article! We specifically set up a wedding registry and indicated on our website that if a guest preferred to give something that it shouldn’t be large in size since we were moving away. The one guest that RSVP’d no still showed up brought a large, awkwardly shaped gift that neither of us could fit in our luggage.


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