Expert Advice: 16 Things Wedding Guests Shouldn’t Do


Expert Wedding Planning Advice: 16 Things Wedding Guests Shouldn’t Do

Expert Advice: 16 Things Wedding Guests Shouldn't Do

Don’t Wear White, Unless Specifically Asked by the Couple

Dress appropriately, and of course, do not wear white! In addition, make sure your attire is that for a wedding and not a nightclub. You will be in the background of the couple’s photos that they have paid for and will cherish forever. -Cindy Dervech, Breezin’ Entertainment

Don’t Bother the Couple before the Wedding

Don’t crash the bride’s getting ready room. It is very common to see friends outside of the immediate bridal party trying to stop by the bridal getting ready room to wish her well, hang out before the ceremony or try to grab a photo before. If you weren’t invited to hang out with the bride while she gets ready or beforehand, wait to share your congratulations at the wedding. -Tammy Waterman, Special Moments

Don’t Bring Uninvited Guests

Wedding guests should not assume a plus one, if it is not addressed as such on the invitation. The bride and groom aren’t trying to be rude by not offering a plus one, but have put in a lot of thought into their wedding budget and how to maximize their guests’ experience within that budget, so please don’t make them feel uncomfortable by asking to bring a guest. -Jill Kelly, Jillian Joseph Photography

Don’t Steal the Show

Don’t do anything that distracts attention from the bride or groom. Examples including wearing a white dress (this happens more often than you think) or anything that is too attention grabbing like bright red or full length sparkles, talking in the middle of toasts or the ceremony and if you happen to be late for the ceremony, please, please, please stand near the back and sneak in after the processional. Several times we have had stragglers walk in and cut in front of bridesmaids or try to beat the bride down the aisle!  -Caroline Smith, Caroline & Evan Photography

Don’t Act Like You’re the Paparazzi

The days of cell phone photographers are here and there’s nothing we can do about it. Asking couples to go unplugged is fine but there are going to be those clients that don’t want to. It seems that guests want to be the first to post on social media; there’s no prize for being the first to have that photo up, tagging the couple. You don’t win a trophy. -Lisa Otto, Lisa Otto Photography

Make Your Negative Thoughts Public

Wedding guests shouldn’t comment (to the couple or family or other guests) about anything negative. Whether it’s too hot, too rainy, or so and so’s cousin already used that idea, it will just make the couple and their family worry about the decisions they’ve made or whether everyone is having a good time. They spend so much time and energy and money on the big day, and making it exactly what they want. It’s best to just stick to the old phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”! -Nikki Baxley Leonard, Southern Elegance Events

Don’t Act like a Prima donna

During family and bridal portraits, allow the photographer to get all pictures done quickly. So many times I see family and guests not cooperating, which ends up with people missing in pictures. Give a few minutes of your time to make yourself available and to listen when you are being called for pictures. -Bel Valentine, The Day of Events, Inc

Don’t Go Rogue with the Seating Chart

As a wedding guest, please do not sit wherever you choose to during the dinner because the bride and groom have put a lot of thought into their seating arrangement, including the design of the escort cards. Please remember that you are a guest of the bride and groom, and you should conduct yourself as such. -Jill Kelly, Jillian Joseph Photography

Don’t Change Your Meal at the Reception

Do not change your entree selection at the reception because you liked what the rest of the guests got at the table instead of what you choose. Please do not argue with the waiter that you did not order that, when it is clearly marked on your escort card. -Tammy Waterman, Special Moments

Don’t Give a Surprise Toast

If you are not asked by the bride and groom to give a toast, please don’t. Toasts are reserved for the bride and groom, their maid of honor, best man and typically the father of the bride. A personal congratulations would be more appropriate during a personal moment during the reception. -Jill Kelly, Jillian Joseph Photography

Don’t Grab Items, Unless Asked

One that we deal with often as a planner is the guest who thinks they’re being helpful by taking all of the cards from the gift card box. I have had many minor heart attacks when I walk by the card box and it’s empty! We always assign someone from our staff to keep an eye on the gift table. We put it far away from the entrance, and we always bring the card box in just as soon as all of the guests begin moving into dinner. But every once in awhile a sweet, well-meaning aunt or friend thinks it’s not being monitored, grabs all of the cards and takes them to their seat to keep them safe. If there is a planner for the wedding, always check with them before “helping” in this way. They will likely have a plan for safely handling them for the evening! -Brandee Gaar, Blush by Brandee Gaar

Don’t Take the Centerpieces

Wedding guests should never assume the centerpiece is theirs to take. Often to maintain their overall wedding budget, a couple will choose beautiful, high-end rental containers for the centerpieces; this often includes gorgeous candle holders as well. If a guest walks away with one, the bride is responsible for the replacement cost. So I would suggest waiting until the centerpiece has been offered by the couple or mother-of-the-bride. And please, if offered, take one. The family will feel great knowing their flowers will be enjoyed for the following week and did not end up in the trash. -Cassie Osterloth, Wonderland Floral Art and Gift Loft

Don’t Hassle the Vendors

Wedding guests should be…guests. They should not try to be the planner, music selector, photographer, etc. Specifically, as a DJ, we love taking requests and interacting with the guests. However, if the song a guests selects doesn’t flow with the theme or genres of the couple’s selections, we will not be able to fit that song into the playlist. There is no need to continue to bother, beg or even worse, go to the couple and complain to them. DJs want to make sure everyone is having a great time, but if the couple choose no “group songs,” please don’t come up to the DJ every song and tell us that you want The Wobble. My best advice, enjoy being a guest and have fun! -Mike Greenberg, Nature Coast Entertainment Services, LLC

Don’t Drink Too Much

Please people, don’t act like this is the first time you’ve been to an open bar. The bride, groom, wedding planner and venue coordinator have worked tirelessly to make sure everything goes smoothly, and the last thing they need is someone grabbing the microphone or falling on the dance floor. Save the couple some stress and drink responsibly! -Cindy Dervech, Breezin’ Entertainment

No Proposing to your Significant Other

How would you feel if you were having the time of your life, everything was perfect with your family and friends are there to celebrate your love, happiness and new life journey, then everyone all of a sudden you see one of your friend on their knees asking his significant other to marry him/her. Now everyone is excited, and unintentionally runs over the newly engaged couple to celebrate the great news. All of a sudden it is no longer about you; it is about another couple and their excitement. Your night without actually ending, has ended in remembrance of someone else’s happiness. -Georgette Casimir, Pea to Tree Events

Don’t Play Wedding Photographer for the Day

All too often we see guests who are incessantly taking photos during critical parts of the day that our couples have spent a lot of money for us to capture. During the ceremony, please don’t stand, or lean into the aisle to take photos, or hold up your phone or table. Some of the most amazing moments get blocked or are impossible to capture because guests are trying to capture them. Also, if you are an amateur or professional photographer for that matter, be courteous of the hired photographer that is there! The couple hired them for a reason and most professional photographers have a statement in their contract saying that there are to be no other “photographers” or professional equipment used by anyone else during the event. Enjoy those weddings you get to attend; if you are behind a camera you’re going to miss out! -Carrie Wildes, Carrie Wildes Photography

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