11 Dos and Don'ts For Wedding Guests

Julia Millay Walsh

Consummate hostess, food writer, and personal chef Katie Sweeney (who pens the entertaining blog Six Twists) shares her expert advice on attending a wedding.

Wedding season is in full swing and chances are you’ve got at least one on the horizon. As someone who has both attended and helped plan a fair share of weddings, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a great wedding guest. Here’s my tried-and-true list of dos and don’ts.

Even if it’s your best friend’s wedding. She took the time (and money!) to send you a beautiful invitation, so do her (and her wedding planner) a favour and take two seconds to fill out the RSVP card and pop it in the mail.

If the bride and groom have politely made it known that they are throwing a child-free ceremony and reception, respect their decision and hire a babysitter.

It’s a wedding, so make an effort to look you best! Wear a beautiful dress or well-tailored suit and splurge on a blowout or barbershop shave.

This is one I personally struggle with, but it’s best not to say anything during the wedding. The bride and groom most likely took the time to think about who you are sitting next to, so accept it.

One of the things I love about weddings is that you can approach anyone at the event, introduce yourself, and start up a conversation simply by asking, “do you know the bride or groom?”

The bride and groom have only been married for an hour, and the last thing they need is to answer pesky questions about starting a family. Same goes for couples who have been married for a few years. Their parenting preferences are only your business if they bring it up with you.

A signature cocktail or glass of champagne will help you relax and feel more celebratory. Don’t forget to toast to the happy couple!

DDTM is an acronym that’s throw around in my Irish, alcohol-guzzling family. It stands for “don’t drink too much,” and you should definitely not drink too much at a wedding,especially if you’re in the wedding party. The bride’s great-grandmother doesn’t need to see you make a drunken fool of yourself getting sick all over your pale pink J. Crew maxi dress. If you want to get crazy and jump in the pool in your lacy underthings, do it at the after-party.

It’s a wedding, and one of the few occasions in life where it’s perfectly acceptable to do your best impression of Beyoncé in “Single Ladies.” Kick off those shoes and shake your groove thing.

We’ve all been in unfortunate situations where you have to deal with an ex who broke your heart or an aunt who obnoxiously tells the same story about you pooping in the pool at age 7. Instead of making a scene or getting upset, be the bigger person and bite your tongue. Let it go and remember what you’re there for: to honour the marriage of a couple you know and love!

Make new friends. Bring up provocative and interesting topics of discussion. Be happy.

Read Katie’s dos and don’ts for hosting a dinner party here, and find more of her expert entertaining and cooking advice at Six Twists.

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