Wedding season etiquette 101

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I had a super exciting four-day weekend celebrating my brother’s wedding in downtown Baton Rouge!

It was such a beautiful night near the state capitol, and our family and friends had an amazing time ringing in the new couple! It’s crazy to think now that my brother has a wife, but I’m so happy for him. And I couldn’t have asked for a better sister-in-law.

In the midst of wedding season, all the bridal showers and engagement parties have really made me realize the importance of wedding etiquette.

Through the whirlwind of parties throughout the past year, a wedding does take a lot of work for the bride and grooms’ friends and families. It’s one of the best days of their lives and they want every detail to be perfect. Even though mishaps are bound to happen, the guests need to bring happiness to this special day, not added stress. And…I think sometimes guests forget that and leave the RVSP cards collecting dust in their kitchen drawers.

Here are some tips I’ve learned throughout wedding season & although you might have heard a few of these, a refresher course is always good each year!

Do pay attention to dress code.

No one wants to be the guest that shows up in a sundress and the wedding is black-tie!

Here’s a wedding guest attire cheat sheet from The Knot. Here are a few of the most common wedding attires and a few style options.

Semi-formal/dressy casual

Guys: A suit and tie with dress shoes or loafers. Colors can vary depending on the season or time of day.

Girls: A cocktail dress, a fancy jumpsuit or a nice skirt and top. Dressy heels or wedges are appropriate!

Formal/black tie optional

Guys: Tuxedo or dark suit and tie with dress shoes.

Girls: A cocktail dress, a long dress or a dressy suit are all appropriate and should be in shades of either black, gray or brown.

Beach formal

Guys: No ties required for this one! Guys can wear a summer suit with a linen shirt and loafers or sandals.

Girls: A pretty sundress at tea or knee length with sandals or wedges.

And remember…wearing white is out of the question. It’s a no-brainer, but just don’t go there. You have a plethora of colors to choose from! 🙂

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Do RSVP. Seriously. 

Why are people so bad about RSVPing? And this is not just for weddings…it’s pretty much every kind of occasion. Dinner parties, home shows, bridal parties, you name it. Someone will forget to RSVP, and the bride is basically guessing who is going to show up.

As soon as you get a wedding invite in the mail, take a look at your calendar and RSVP as soon as possible. If someone sent you a text asking you if you’re going to that party this weekend, wouldn’t you respond? The bride needs to know who will be attending and how many to accommodate for the reception! It’s the least we can do!

Don’t assume you can bring a date 

Most weddings send out invites indicating whether the person they’re inviting can bring a plus one. But that’s not always the case. Smaller, more intimate weddings, for instance, might not give that option. So make sure you read the invite carefully and if you’re unsure, ask the bride or groom!

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Do show up on time & silence your phone

It’s always good to give yourself enough time to get to the wedding ceremony and reception. Make sure you arrive for the wedding ceremony 20-30 minutes early, and also consider how traffic or weather will be on the wedding day.

Also, silence or turn your phone off during the ceremony. So many people forget to do this, and the bride and groom could end up hearing “Hotline Bling,” during their vows. Don’t be that person!

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Do give gifts, gifts…and more gifts.

Even though we love showering the bride and her future husband with presents, wedding season usually means bankruptcy for a lot of us! We bring gifts to the engagement party, the bridal shower and the wedding reception. But the easiest way to make the gifting process less stressful is to order from the bride’s registry.

If the bride has a registry, order from her registry. After all, if that were you, wouldn’t you want to receive gifts that you picked out? Gifts that hold sentimental value are important too, but maybe that’s when you decide to give the bride two gifts instead of one. Also, give yourself plenty of time to buy the gift, so you have a wide range of items to choose from that are in your price range.

Another note: Don’t bring a large gift to a wedding! Instead, save the bride and groom the hassle and ship it to their home.


I hope these tips were helpful and will get you ready for the next wedding you attend! If I left any good tips out, feel free to share in the comments below.


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4 Comments

  • Caitlin

    April 14, 2016

    This is great! Wedding season is in full swing around here! I will be traveling all spring it seems for friends weddings and I am so excited!!! This list is great! I wish some of my wedding guests last year had seen it. . . lol! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      April 14, 2016

      Thanks Cailtin! I know, it seems like everyone is in the same boat with weddings almost every weekend. But it’s such an exciting time. And I know, why can’t people just RSVP? Drives me crazy! haha.

      xoxo – Kathryn

      Reply
  • Natalie

    April 21, 2016

    Love these tips! Thank you for sharing, I know a lot of people often have questions about wedding and etiquette and having it all right here is so helpful 🙂

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      April 22, 2016

      Thanks Natalie! I know, I always have questions about what to do and what not to do. My number one is just don’t wear white to a wedding…haha!

      xoxo – Kathryn

      Reply

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