The Complete Guide to Wedding Guest Etiquette

As wedding season approaches, it’s important to brush up on your knowledge of wedding guest etiquette to ensure you’re not committing any major faux pas. This guide covers everything from RSVPing to gift-giving, dressing appropriately, and more. By following these guidelines, you’ll show the utmost care and respect for the couple you’re celebrating.

Wedding Guest Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts: To become the best wedding guest, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  1. RSVP as soon as possible to help the couple with their planning.
  2. Buy a gift early so that you have plenty of time to wrap and send it.
  3. Pay careful attention to the dress code and dress accordingly.
  4. Arrive early, aiming for approximately 30 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  5. Show respect for the couple, other guests, and the venue by behaving appropriately.
  6. Keep your interactions with the bride and groom brief.
  7. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the celebration.


  1. Assume you can bring additional guests unless specified on the invitation.
  2. Be late; respect the couple’s time and plans.
  3. Take or share photos and videos on social media without permission.
  4. Steal the spotlight with long-winded speeches or personal announcements.
  5. Forget to participate in wedding activities such as signing the guest book, dancing, and taking photo booth pictures.
  6. Drink excessively and cause disruption.
  7. Change your plans at the last minute; honor your RSVP commitment.

Wedding RSVP Etiquette: When it comes to responding to a wedding invitation, here are some essential tips:

  1. Follow the directions provided on the invitation regarding how and when to respond.
  2. Avoid assuming you can bring additional guests unless indicated on the RSVP card.
  3. Select your meal preference if prompted to do so.
  4. Share any travel plans and hotel arrangements if necessary.
  5. Respond by the indicated date to help the couple make necessary arrangements.

Wedding Gift Etiquette: Navigating wedding gift etiquette can sometimes be challenging. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Consider following traditional rules, such as spending approximately what the couple is likely spending on hosting you, typically around $100 per adult guest.
  2. Give with love, considering your relationship with the couple and your financial situation.
  3. Read any instructions carefully, such as whether the couple prefers gifts from a registry or personalized options.
  4. Be creative and thoughtful, considering personalized gifts, experiences, or well wishes inside a beautiful wedding card.

Wedding Card Etiquette: Sending a wedding card is a lovely gesture. Here are some simple rules to follow:

  1. Share a positive and personal message, including meaningful memories and optimistic hopes for the couple’s future.
  2. Keep your message brief yet thoughtful, whether funny, religious, or formal.
  3. Sign your name at the bottom for a personal touch.
  4. Consider a unique touch with a beautiful pop-up wedding card that will leave a lasting impression.

Wedding Guest Dress Etiquette: Choosing the perfect outfit for a wedding can sometimes be challenging. Here are some tips:

  1. Consider the weather, season, and location when selecting your attire.
  2. Dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the dress code and dress accordingly.
  4. Avoid wearing white or loud patterns that may divert attention from the bride.
  5. Choose colors that do not confuse you with the bridal party or clash with the wedding colors.
  6. Unless the dress code specifies, avoid wearing jeans and opt for khakis or slacks.

Wedding Reception Etiquette: Once you’re at the reception, keep the following in mind:

  1. Arrive on time to witness important moments such as the couple’s entrance, special dances, and cake-cutting.
  2. Dress appropriately, respecting the dress code.
  3. Keep any speeches concise and focused on the couple.
  4. Drink responsibly and avoid excessive intoxication.
  5. If bringing a gift, present it nicely if not mailed in advance.

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