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Top 5 Tips for Wedding Guests

by | 27 August 2016 | Guests

As you might suspect, wedding guests are usually quite an important part of a wedding, and as such, they have their own certain responsibilities when attending a wedding. Weddings have an unwritten etiquette. Mostly it’s common sense – don’t heckle the registrar, no food fights, no last-minute-do-you-know-of-any-lawful-reason-soap-opera-esque type drama. It’s simple stuff. We’re sure you can handle that. But even for those of you who’ve become seasoned wedding guests, we’ve got a few handy tips that just make the day go smoother for both parties.

1. The Wedding Colours

We could stand and argue about just how equally important the groom is in all this wedding kerfuffle, but ultimately we all know it’s the bride’s time to shine. Everyone wants to know what the dress looks like and it becomes immortalised in many hundreds of pictures, so you really don’t want to be the one who rocks up in a white dress. Upstaging the bride is not cool.

And while the groom and the rest of the wedding party might not be quite as important, and while their dress code is slightly less likely to pop up on your radar, it’s definitely worth considering. It could get a touch awkward if you turn up in the same dress as the bridesmaids.

It’s not hard to drop the bride and groom a quick message asking them what their wedding colours are – this way you can avoid embarrassment for yourself and the wedding party. Alternatively, if you’ve left it too late to ask, or if you don’t feel comfortable asking, take a spare along with you and leave yourself plenty of time to get changed. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Arrive with Lots of Time to Spare

Surely it goes without saying, right? I must confess, I don’t think I’ve ever arrived to a wedding when I’m supposed to. At my cousin’s wedding I turned up just behind the bride. And it’s not really fair – the special couple have enough to think about without ushering you in front of them down the aisle.

The thing is, weddings creep up on us, don’t they? All of a sudden they are there and everyone thinks that they have more time than they do and then all of a sudden there’s a shirt that hasn’t been ironed or a missing cufflink. The point is; get your house in order the night before. Be as ready for the wedding as the wedding party are. Try on all your clothes too, you’ll often be surprised by what does and doesn’t fit you. Some of us wear smart clothes on a much less frequent basis than others, and there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting suit. Give yourself time to buy new clothes, if necessary.

And leave the house with plenty of time to spare. I’ve taken to leaving half an hour earlier for pretty much everywhere I go these days. There is nothing wrong with being early, especially at a wedding. You’ll never get around everyone you want to talk to anyway. And if you don’t want to talk to people – well, you’ll have plenty of time to scope out the best hiding spots. Like the bar. Speaking of which…

3. Take Cash

In my experience, some of these posh wedding venues aren’t always equipped to handle our technologically advanced ways, and as a result we can be left staring at a bar full of alcohol and be completely unable to access any of its mind-bending goodness.

Take cash. You never know whether the bar in question will accept card. And if you’re anything like me, you never take cash anywhere. You have two options – call ahead and risk sounding just a touch desperate, or allot yourself some additional time so that you can visit an ATM en route.

Wallet in back pocket

4. Gifts

Gifts are a tricky subject these days. Do you give the couple money, or a present? If they ask for money, and you don’t feel comfortable with that, do you get them a present instead? Can you completely omit the present if you don’t really know them that well? Some couples won’t even want a gift.

I’ve already tried to help the couple as to how they ask for the right gifts. And our very own Jo has tackled the subject of giving gifts. Ultimately our best advice is to respect the wishes of the couple – so check the invitation for any guidance it might give. If that doesn’t serve you well, why not ask?

5. Change of footwear

Wedding days are long. Lots of standing around, lots of talking, and hopefully, lots of dancing. Dancing is not easy in high heels, and I’ve had a surprising amount of practice, believe me. Even if you are at home in high heels, that still doesn’t mean they’ll be comfortable for a whole day and a whole night. We wager the blisters will kick in sometime around 9 at night and you’ll have to start taking a seat just when everyone else has had just enough alcohol to persuade them to join in on a rendition of the B52’s Love Shack.

Now I know at this point of the night a lot of you are tempted to go barefoot, whilst this seems like a viable option, it’s generally inadvisable because you never know what’s been dropped at various points of the night. We advise bringing some additional footwear, just some flats to make your night more comfortable and your dances more groovy.

Converse trainers


It is part of our mission to learn more about weddings ourselves. For that, we need you. We’re certain that you have a bunch of great ideas that could make a wedding day experience, so why not share them with us in the comment section below?

About the author

Paul Macklin

Paul is your friendly neighbourhood poet/cynic. He believes in story-telling, curiosity and peanut-butter sandwiches and he spends the vast majority of his time writing stuff. Paul learnt how to write stuff at Portsmouth University where he earned himself a Masters degree in writing stuff. Neat huh? Paul also hates writing in third person.


Guests Top 5 Tips for Wedding Guests