What Every Wedding Guest Should KnowYou've gotten the invitation, made the hard choice between chicken and fish, and sent in your "YES" RSVP. As a guest you're set, right?
Well, there's no right or wrong way to prepare your role as a guest at a wedding, but here are a few etiquette hints and preparedness tips to help you out:
Choosing a Gift
- Most soon-to-be married couples create a gift registry usually with a store or two of their choice (e.g. Target, Williams Sonoma, Crate &
Barrel, Amazon, etc.). You can usually find these online by searching for either the bride's first and last name or the groom's first and last name. You
can also head to the actual store itself to print out a registry list and purchase a gift there instead of having it shipped.
- Don't know if they're registered or can't find them online? Consider contacting a member of the wedding party or another person who knows the couple well.
What to Wear
- Usually the date and time of day will give you a few hints.
- Daytime summer or spring wedding? For the ladies, a nice summer dress or cotton skirt/shirt combo should work. For the gentlemen, nice khakis or dress pants with a collared shirt should be just fine.
What to Bring
- Any special needs or medications
- Bug spray
- Camera and film/extra batteries/memory cards
- Cash and quarters (for bartender tips or if no open bar; for parking)
- Cell phone (remember to turn it off before the ceremony!!)
- Extra makeup for touch ups
- Photo ID
- Speech for toast (if you'd like to give one or are asked to)
- Sunscreen (especially for summer outdoor weddings!)
- Water bottle (good to have on those hot days)
- Wedding invitation and directions to ceremony/reception
- Wedding gift/card (if not being sent directly to the couple or their parents)
Other Helpful Tips
- Bringing a guest? Brief the guest beforehand: tell them how you know the groom and/or bride, the names of some of the people you'll introduce them to and any other important details that might help them prepare for the many faces they'll meet.
- Wear a watch. Weddings can be quite ceremonial, meaning certain events will take place at a certain time (ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, speeches, first dance, bouquet toss, cutting the cake, etc.). Look to the wedding program (usually given to you at the ceremony) for a list of important events and their times. It's best not to arrive late!
- Out of town wedding? Plug your hotel's name, phone number and address plus the number for a local taxi service into your cell phone...just in case you're unable to drive.