How To Be An All-Star Wedding Guest

April 15, 2024

Wedding season is here, and if you’re like us, there will be a few nuptials on your social calendar between now and November. With couples being more mindful than ever about their weddings, and carefully curating every detail of their day to create an event that’s uniquely them, the guest experience is a variable that’s extremely important. Indulging party goers in an event that’s not only chic, but a fun, joyful, sensorial affair is key. That means an impactful venue, an inspired menu, and cool activations like live fashion illustrators or a pop-up tattoo parlor (yes, really!).

In 2024, saying yes to a wedding invitation means you’re signing on to bring the same A-game level of commitment the couple is putting into their day into being a wedding guest. There’s an art and an etiquette to being a great wedding guest and ICYDK exactly what that entails, we’re here with this primer to ensure you’re an exemplary wedding guest. —Alison McGill

RSVP On Time

It only takes a minute to tick that box and send your RSVP back in the post (even quicker if it’s a digital invite). Chasing down wayward invitees is one of the biggest headaches for couples who are wedding planning. Be a boss bestie and don’t create more stress for them.

Play By the Rules of Plus Ones

If your invite is for one, that means it’s for you and only you. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the wedding alone, you can chat with the couple and ask if you can bring a guest if room becomes available. You can also ask to be seated with people you know, or who the couple thinks you would have a great time sitting with. Never show up at a wedding with a surprise guest in hopes they can be accommodated. Also, never RSVP back with a note that you’ll be bringing a guest and think it will go unnoticed. You will hear about it, and it will become a huge pain point which could cause a major fallout in your relationship with the couple.

Know The Wedding Day Particulars

Everything you need to know about the wedding will be listed on the couple’s wedding website: venues, times, transportation and accommodations, dress code, registry information, social media rules, and more. Take some time to get familiar with the particulars of the event and if you have any questions in advance, don’t be afraid to ask the nearlyweds.

Don’t be Late

For any part of the wedding. Arrive fashionably early for the ceremony and enjoy some time mixing and mingling with other guests. The same rule applies for the reception—cocktail hour is one of the best parts of a wedding and one you don’t want to miss. If you must make an early exit, don’t ghost, that’s entirely bad form. Say your thank yous, congrats and goodbyes to the couple before you duck out.

Follow The Dress Code

Guest dressing is a very important—and majorly fun—part of wedding going. With themes and styles of events getting more detailed and specific, dress codes are also getting more creative, and going beyond standard descriptions like cocktail or black-tie attire (ranch glamour or dark romance formal anyone?). As always, if you have questions about what the dress code means, absolutely ask, but you will also likely see fashion inspiration on the couple’s wedding website via guest dressing mood boards. If there is any specific cultural information about the celebration and what that means from a guest dressing perspective, you will find that info there too.

The Rules of Gifting

The etiquette of wedding gift giving is always a conversation point. If the couple has a registry that’s the perfect place to find a gift. You can also have that gift sent directly to them, so you don’t have to bring it with you to the event. If you are giving a monetary gift, tuck that into a beautiful wedding card and bring that with you on the day.


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