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Wedding Rules for Guests: Wedding Etiquette Every Guest Should Follow

Wedding Rules for Guests: Wedding Etiquette Every Guest Should Follow

close up of Save The Date card on bride's hands

Weddings are fun, special occasions where people witness a couple being joined together in marriage. These are also events where the family and friends of the pair celebrate and have fun to their hearts’ content. However, although weddings are celebrations where you can enjoy yourself, you should still remember the different wedding rules for guests.

Wedding Etiquette

Most people are aware of how a to-be-wed couple should act a certain way during the ceremony, reception, and wedding reception speeches. Some of these rules include the following:

  • The groom should not see the bride before the ceremony.
  • The bride must toss the bouquet and the garter.
  • The bride should be walked down the aisle by her parent, sibling, or an important person in her life.

But some people might ask the question, “How do wedding guests behave?” As a guest at a wedding, here are some of the wedding etiquette rules you should keep in mind to prevent disrupting an otherwise magical moment in a couple’s journey.


What are the Wedding Invitation Etiquette Rules I Should be Aware Of?

One of the most important, but tricky things to consider when attending a wedding is remembering and following wedding invitation etiquette rules. You might have several questions in your mind regarding this precious piece of card or paper.

When Should I RSVP?

You must be wondering how soon you should RSVP once you receive your wedding invitation. The answer, according to the classic wedding invitation etiquette rule, is as early as possible!

As soon as you know your schedule for the day of the wedding, you should promptly let the couple know if you will be coming or not. Doing so gives them enough time to complete their guest list and wedding reception program before they finalize arrangements with various vendors. You wouldn’t want to be the wedding guest that causes undue stress on the bride, right?

Can I List a Plus One?

Attending a wedding where you don’t really know anyone is a tough task. You might find yourself alone in a corner watching other people enjoy their time and wondering if you should have brought a date to the wedding.

However, you don’t always have the liberty to bring a plus one to a wedding. Before doing so, carefully check the invitation if it’s specified that you can bring one. You wouldn’t want to bring a date to an occasion then realize that he/she doesn’t have a place to seat or any food to eat.

Bride wearing flowy dress

What Should I Wear to a Wedding?

Now that you have confirmed your attendance at the couple’s special day, it’s time to think about what you should wear to the event.

It is normal to want to look good when you attend a wedding—considering how important the celebration is. However, you should be careful when choosing your outfit and be aware of some wedding outfit protocols.

Do I Need To Rent a Tux or a Long Gown for the Wedding?         

If the couple requires you to do so, then the answer is yes. Basically, the wedding protocol you should keep in mind in this scenario is to just follow what the couple specified in the invitation.

If they indicated that they want you to wear smart casual, you just have to go along with what they want. However, this does not mean that you can show up at the event wearing jeans and sneakers. Remember that this is still a wedding, so you have to dress your part. It is essential that you dress appropriately and presentably for the occasion.

Another wedding rule for guests that you should remember is following the motif set by the couple. If the to-be-wed couple indicated that they want you to wear a specific color to the ceremony, you should follow them. Apart from making the couple happy, doing this helps you ensure that the spotlight stays on them instead of on your different-colored outfit.

Can I Wear White?

It is understandable that when thinking about what to wear to a wedding, the first color that pops into your mind is white. However, one of the greatest wedding etiquette rules guests should follow is to not wear white to a wedding—unless otherwise specified.

Most of the time, the color white is reserved for the bride on one of the most important days in her life. This wedding etiquette helps in making sure that everyone’s attention is set on the bride only. You would not want to grab all that attention from her by wearing white to her wedding.

wedding gift table

Are There Any Wedding Gift Etiquette Rules I Should Know About?

After choosing what to wear to the wedding, you must consider the present you would give the couple. Remember that celebrations are not only about the program, food, and people involved. Gifts are also a big part of any occasion because they help the celebrants remember the special event.

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Is It Rude to Go to a Wedding Without a Gift?       

The short answer is: YES. Attending a wedding without any gift is a grave violation of wedding gift etiquette. That is why you should always listen to what your mother or grandmother tells you: never go to a party without bringing any presents!

When a couple gets married, they are entering a new stage in life that might require them to purchase lots of new things, such as pieces of furniture, decorations, and appliances, which can become costly. One way you can help them transition is to help them acquire the things they need.

This is where another wedding gift etiquette rule comes in. You should check a couple’s registry before buying a gift. You should follow this wedding gift protocol to ensure that you give the newlyweds a present they truly need and want. It can also help you ensure that the couple does not receive two of the same items.

What if I’m Not Attending the Wedding?

One of the wedding etiquette rules you should always follow is to send a gift whether you are attending the ceremony or not. After all, the couple had you in their mind when they were listing the people they wanted to witness such a special day in their lives. The least you can do is help them build their future by getting them something they need. You can also get them a well-thought-out gift that they will appreciate.

For more ideas, you can search for wedding gift ideas for couples on the web. You can also search for last minute wedding gift ideas if you’ve run out of time to prepare. Surely, the couple will appreciate your effort of getting them a nice present. After all, it’s the thought that counts, doesn’t it?


There are several wedding protocols every guest should follow to ensure that the event goes without a hitch. It might be challenging to remember all the wedding etiquette rules, but you should keep in mind that the celebration you are attending is about the couple. What’s a few days or hours of considering these wedding rules for guests, when it means that two people can celebrate their love along with their family and friends without any problem?


Janeree Coria
Author: Janeree Coria

Janeree Coria is a digital content writer and a full-time fur parent to Bindi (a mini dachshund) and Gunther (a guinea pig). Aside from playing with her pets, she enjoys napping, watching ASMR videos, and snacking.

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