Wedding Guest 101


Last Saturday, just like most Saturdays this summer, we had a wedding. But this one was different. We didn’t spend Friday night in counting batteries and cards and packing all our equipment. We didn’t have to set an alarm in the morning (we ‘slept in’ to a whopping 8am, because…apparently that means sleeping in…). We got to go for a long morning walk with Winston (and my BFF, Emily, who was in town for the weekend). We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Zingo’s in downtown Perrysburg (SO yum) and we took an afternoon nap.

You heard me. We NAPPED.

And why did we get to do all this?

We were GUESTS. We had the absolute HONOR of being invited to our friends Kyle & Katie’s wedding on Saturday and we enjoyed every stinking minute of it. We got to experience the other side of things. We’ve been the photographers. We’ve been the bridal party. We’ve even been the bride & groom. But this weekend, we got to be guests.

Along with the fun and joy that came from actually being guests, we noticed more than ever before that there are also responsibilities.

And although I have already covered wedding etiquette in a digital world and I’ve discussed the importance of actually sending in your RSVP, I feel that there are a few more things wedding guests need to keep in mind after receiving the wedding invitation. SO here it goes.


Yes, I know, ‘But you already talked about this, Diana’. But it is that important. Not only to actually send your RSVP in a timely manner, but that you stick to it. Once you make that commitment, the bride and groom are counting you in and relying on you being there (a.k.a. they are paying for your plate, your seat and your drinks). What if an emergency or last minute hard conflict comes up when you’ve already sent in your RSVP? I understand that life happens. Just make sure to let the bride & groom know as soon as you find out that you can’t make it. Hopefully they will be able to extend a last-minute invitation to another person.

The Gift

I could probably cover this in a whole separate blog. What do you buy them, how much do you spend, when should you give it to them, do you have to buy a gift for the shower AND the wedding!? There’s a pretty good article on The Knot that covers a few of these things, but here are my thoughts: Stick to the registry and spend an amount that is appropriate for your relationship (and your budget). There is a reason couples create a registry. They are selecting things that they actually need. Just because you think that decorative key holder at Target is adorable, doesn’t mean you should get it for them. They may already have one, or they registered for a specific one they wanted. While we’re all about breaking outdated traditions, budgeting for a wedding gift is one of those traditions that is harder to let go. The Knot article I mentioned has a great guideline if you have no idea what to spend on the couple, but also remember to keep comfortable within your budget. Set aside a little more for a close friend or family member, and know it’s okay to spend less on a coworker or distant relation. Getting a group gift together is also a great way to make a big impact on smaller budget. The bride and groom will be thankful to receive your gift regardless of what you spend.

Bride and groom during ceremony at Hoover Park in Canton, Ohio.

Dress Code

This is a wedding, not a night club: dress appropriately. Weddings are great occasions to get dolled up, buy a new dress, get your hair and makeup done and have a great time, but it’s not the time or place to show off. The bride should be the center of attention on her wedding day, no questions asked. Also remember the level of formality of the wedding when you’re picking out your outfit. A casual floral dress and cowboy boots may be appropriate for a reception that held in a barn, but pick out something with more polish for a black-tie optional affair. And by no means should you ever wear white or jeans to a wedding. 

Wedding guest style inspiration.

Be On Time

There is no ‘fashionably late’ when it comes to being a wedding guest. Please don’t be the person that is walking in at the same time the bride is trying to make her grand entrance. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes before the ceremony starts (30 minutes if you are a late person).

Have Fun!

The bride and groom put a lot of effort into putting this day together. Enjoy it! I’ve talked about this before, get your butt on the dance floor! Let the DJ or band do their job and you get out there and cut a rug. The last thing the bride wants is to look around at all her guests who are stuck in their seat. Don’t be afraid to be the first person on the dance floor. (And don’t make me be the first to show off my bad dance moves.)

If you are attending a wedding this weekend, please keep these things in mind. And if you are a bride or groom planning an upcoming wedding, don’t be afraid to share this with your family and friends as a subtle hint.

Tomorrow, we are headed downtown to Hensville for Marie & DJ’s wedding at Fleetwood's in the Armory room. Another new venue downtown that we cannot wait to check out!