You received an invitation to your friend’s wedding which means that the couple would like to share their special day with you. While most wedding etiquette tips are meant to guide the bride and groom through the planning process, there are also etiquette guidelines for guests to follow. If you want to be great guest, keep the following tips in mind:
1. The Invitation Specifies Who is Invited
. The invitation is addressed to the people who are invited to the wedding. This means that it is not in good taste to ask the couple if you can bring a guest or your children. If the invitation does not include “and guest” then a guest is not invited. Likewise, if your children’s names are not included on the invitation and they have not received their own separate invitation, they are not invited.
2. RSVP as soon as possible
. When you receive your invitation, it most likely will have a response card for you to complete by a certain date with a corresponding envelope. The response card should be filled out and returned to the couple as soon as you know if you can make it, but no later than the reply date. Keep in mind that the couple has to make seating arrangements and has to give a final count to their venue so timely replies are necessary.
3. Bring or Send a Gift.
When you are invited to a wedding, you should either send a gift or bring a gift with you. In some areas, it is customary to bring a monetary gift to the reception while in others, gifts are send to the bride in advance of the wedding date. If you cannot attend, etiquette dictates that you still send a gift to the couple. Here on Long Island, monetary gifts are the norm so you can send a check to the couple or if you prefer a gift, then you select from the couple’s registry. Wedding websites such as www.theknot.com
allow you to enter the bride or groom’s name and run a search to see where they are registered.
4. Be a Great Guest
A great guest is someone who is on time, appropriately dressed and who enjoys the reception without being disruptive or rude. You should congratulate the couple and their parents and mingle with the other guests at the reception. Most receptions have assigned seating and you should respect your seating assignment. If you do not know anyone at your table, introduce yourself to them. Do not ask to change your table. When the toast is being given, be respectful and quiet. Of course, while you should have a good time, you should refrain from overindulging at the bar.