Top 5 Things Not To Do As A Wedding Guest

Top 5 Things Not To Do As A Wedding Guest

It is your wedding day – months of hard work, effort and of course, expense all comes down to this and then a guest goes and does one of these. What would you do?

We all have our own little bugbears when it comes to wedding etiquette, what is the correct way to behave at a wedding and what isn’t, but Reddit seemed pretty unanimous on the top 5 things not to do as a wedding guest. Now if only we can figure out how to politely pass this information on to our guest list…


Get In The Way Of The Professional Photographer

Ok so the couple have most likely spent a great deal of money on that pro photographer and you want them to have the best shots. Everyone wants to take photographs and rightly so, but everyone should respect the professional photographer and do the best to stay out the way.  Enjoy the day with your family/friends, be present in the moment and keep the camera phone snapping to a minimum.

You are not the photographer (unless you are then ignore this) so don’t spend the entire wedding taking pictures. Take some, sure, but let the photographer do their job. You’re sh*tty cell-phone recording isn’t going to mean much when they paid a guy quite a hefty sum of money to be there with professional equipment.

If there is a professional photographer there get the hell out of the way. Put up your sh*tty cell phone with it’s awful flash. Good money was paid so that they could capture quality images of the event and people constantly jump in front of the photographer and screw up the lighting.

Always walk behind the cameramen’s back and never in front of the lens even if you are in the background. This is especially true during formals (ceremony, introductions, first dances, speeches, cake cutting, etc. …)

Inform the Bride & Groom about anything that hasn’t gone to plan

If you have ever planned a wedding, or any large scale event then you will know not everything will go to plan. You will also know that you can’t please everyone. That doesn’t mean you have to tell the bride and groom about it. Usually, staff are on hand at most places to assist with any of these problems and if not, and it is something that needs resolving right this moment, aim for the wedding party. Let the special couple enjoy this day, they may already be extremely stressed and letting them know about more issues is not fair and isn’t going to help anyone.

There’s a saying in weddings– “anyone but the bride.” Meaning if there is any problem no matter how big or how small, you should go to anyone but the bride. Personally I think the groom is also off limits but the bride typically has more stress the day of so I understand the attitude of anyone but the bride.

If there is something wrong with the food, keep it to yourself. Going up to the bride and saying “just so you know, they ran out of desserts before the last table could go up” or “I just wanted you to know the food was cold” etc. is not helpful. A wedding is not a restaurant and the bride/groom are not the management. If you have a problem you think can be solved – talk to the wedding coordinator or the servers. Don’t go stressing the couple out with problems they can’t fix. (And really – what is the point, it comes across as you sh*tting on their day).

Telling the bride about any hitches in the wedding. At my cousin’s wedding, one of the guests told her (the bride) that the buffet was out of roast beef. She’s stressed out enough and she doesn’t need to know. Somebody else should take care of it. Tell the wedding coordinator or the maid of honor.

Although, in some instances, the bride and groom may need to know about these things that have gone wrong – especially as they are the ones footing the bill and this is a big deal. And, as one clever reddit user points out, how can they then leave an honest review for future brides and grooms on the service they received?

The reception hall gets A LOT of money for hosting, and there is a huge mark up. The bride and the family should know about where the hall skimps out. My wife heavily relied on knot and yelp reviews for choosing our hall. It would be a shame if those hitches went unnoticed. They will probably try it again.

So yeah in some cases it is probably quite important that the bride and groom do eventually find out. In these cases bring it up with the bridal party / relevant supplier on the day and let the bride and groom know after.

Make an announcement that distracts from the bride or groom

Maybe it is just us, but we would think this one would definitely be a given and yet we have seen an increase in concerning videos doing the rounds online and a few horror stories. So many so that it has got us starting to wonder do guests know this is actually not ok??

My grandfather announced he was divorcing my grandmother at my parents wedding…. I’d say that should be a NO-NO.

During my wedding, my wife’s cousin used the band’s microphone to come out as gay… and then his boyfriend who nobody knew (and was definitely not invited) strolled in and together they announced their engagement.

I went straight to the bar.

In fact, according to Reddit, any sort of speech that you wasn’t asked to make is generally something that doesn’t go down too well. The speeches are a lovely part of a wedding but time-consuming – if you weren’t asked don’t do.

Are you in the wedding party? No? Then no one wants to hear your speech. We get it – you had a few drinks and you remember this great story about the groom, or you want to tell everyone how you single handily got the couple to go on that first date – keep it to yourself. I’ve never left a wedding and thought “if only Uncle Bob had made a 10 minute toast, this wedding would have been perfect”.

Wear White

OK so, all in all, think it is safe to say that the only person who should be wearing white on the wedding day is the bride. Some brides may not give two hoots but the key here is always to assume she does OR if you really do want to wear that white dress, ask her first. And no, just because you’re related to the bride, that still doesn’t give you a free pass. We are sure you do not want to offend the bride so better to be safe than sorry.

Almost every wedding I have been to, there was a female guest wearing a white/cream dress, even a few wearing a long white one. Like really? You couldn’t be bothered to pick something else out?

My mom wore a white dress to my brother’s wedding. The bride does not speak to her to this day. Obviously, there were some underlying issues long before the wedding.

Don’t wear a white dress mom! You’re 46 you know that a satin cream floor length dress is inappropriate, I don’t care how much weight you lost.

Not abiding by the RSVP rules

Rules of a RSVP are actually really simple. Do it on time, seriously the time limit isn’t there for fun. Don’t amend who has been invited – if this isn’t explicitly clear – ask, certainly don’t just assume and bring them anyway. Don’t say yes and not turn up, unless it is a serious emergency and don’t say no and turn up – really where are you sitting and did you bring a packed lunch? Honestly, when you have to juggle family relationships, finances and an ever-changing seating plan you will realise that this will literally tip a bride over the edge, so just be nice and play by the rules.

RSVP. Don’t assume the hosts know you are coming/can’t make it.

Don’t show up if you rsvp’d no. There’s no spot for you, they paid in advance for the food.

Don’t stay home if you rsvp’d yes. Emergencies are acceptable and understood, but just because you didn’t feel like it isn’t a good enough reason. They paid a shit ton of money to have space and food for you.

Don’t bring your kids if they weren’t invited. How do you know? Check your invite for names and number of seats reserved for you. They didn’t forget that you have 3 kids, they don’t want them there. If you are unsure, ask politely, don’t assume.

We had one family bring their three kids, uninvited, without notice. It was a small event and there was no room for them. Fortunately our wedding coordinator sorted it out (including some kind of kid’s meals), and that my wife didn’t find out they were complaining there was nothing for the kids to do and no one for them to play with.

Still makes me mad 10 years later.

Ugh, this! I had about 125 confirmed people (rsvp’d yes) coming to my wedding and the day of only about 75 showed up. We had catering set to feed 125 people, so needless to say we had a lot of extra food and wasted a lot of money : /

So there you have it, if you want to be the guest from hell you’ll need to wear white, announce your pregnancy, get engaged and bring an uninvited plus one!

No, but seriously although a large portion of this post has been written in jest, you would be surprised how these things can actually damage relationships and nobody wants that. The best bit of advice we could give any wedding guest is if you’re not sure just ask. The couple will appreciate you taking the time to find out without assuming.

5 Things Not To Do As A Wedding Guest

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