Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding

Since fall wedding season is in full affect I thought I would share some wedding guest etiquette in the form of Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding!

Wedding Guest Etiquette | Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding featured on Louella Reese

A couple of weeks ago Joshua and I attended a wedding of some friends of ours. For the wedding we traveled to New Jersey and stayed with two of Joshua’s high school buddies and one of their fiancé’s. Us two gals got to talking while at the wedding and following the wedding, about wedding etiquette. After attending several weddings, we both had a lot of common stories about people throwing wedding etiquette out the window and kind going to the beat of their own drum. Well y’all, that is NOT OKAY! Weddings are not about you (speaking guest in general) they’re about the bride and groom and their wishes.

After reflecting back on our conversation last week, I thought I would compile a list of Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding that should be common sense wedding etiquette, however seem to have been forgotten. I would say, oh millennials (myself included) as we are often to blame or the ones people like to throw the blame on. BUT most of our stories actually had to do with people within different generations with a couple also being millennials. Therefore, this post is for everyone! Let’s talk wedding guest etiquette…

Wedding Guest Etiquette | Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding featured on Louella Reese Blog
Men's Light Blue Suit | Wedding Guest Etiquette | Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding featured on Louella Reese

Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding

The Dress Code 

A no-brainer right? The bride and groom typically list the dress code on the invitation and if not there, on their wedding website. For the most part wedding dress codes are pretty black and white.

White-Tie: long tail tuxedo for the guys, full-length ball for the ladies. Black-Tie: tuxedo, formal gown. Formal Attire or Black-Tie Optional: dark suit or tuxedo, full length dress. Beach Formal: summer suit, formal summer dress. Cocktail Attire or Semi-Formal: Suit and tie or sports coat, cocktail dress. Casual: dress pants with button down shirt or polo, summer dress. 

So when you attend a wedding you should be paying attention to the dress code provided and dress accordingly. If you aren’t 100% certain, ask the bride or groom or someone in the bridal party. I would be more appropriate to ask then to show up underdressed. 

The Start Time 

The start time of the wedding is on the invitation, on the wedding website, and should be mentally noted or on your phone calendar. Being their on time is extremely important! Weddings are typically on a pretty tight schedule. 90% of the time they are going to start at the EXACT time planned unless something has gone seriously wrong. Therefore, you should not be walking in as the bridal party is lining up or has already headed down the aisle. This is their time and obviously, the brides time to shine. We all know if you come in late or are walking in between bridesmaids, people are going to be staring and they WILL NOT be staring for a good reason. 

If you’re someone who is notorious for running (oh hey!) then place the wedding on the calendar in your phone and make it 15 minutes earlier than the wedding actually starts. 

Phone/Camera Request 

Y’all I have to admit this is my biggest pet peeve! If the bride and groom have requested guests do not use their phones or cameras during the ceremony. DON’T DO IT! Just don’t! Reminder, it is their day, what they say goes! Take a look at any wedding signs around the ceremony site and/or the program. If you see a note requesting phones and/or cameras not to be used, then put the electronics down. If there is no mention of it, well then you’re free to go. However, do make sure you aren’t getting in the way of their photographers or other guest. I recently watched a wedding through the phone of the person in front of me. Not so special. 

Wedding Dress Codes | Wedding Guest Etiquette | Five Things to Remember When Attending a Wedding featured on Louella Reese Blog
Just because the alcohol is free, doesn’t mean you have to drink it all 

We’ve probably all experienced this at one or more weddings we’ve attended. A bridesmaid, groomsman, family member, or friend’s significant other thought it was their job to get your money’s worth out of the bar. By the time the speeches come around their two sheets to the wind. This never ends well for that guest and usually creates some kind of scene. 

Weddings are 100% meant to be enjoyed, a fun occasion, an exciting celebration however, EVERYONE wants to have a good time and not have to take care of someone. As well as hopefully want to remember it and if you’re the person cleaning out the bar, that just isn’t going to happen. Again, as mentioned above, remember it’s their day, not yours. Pace yourself! 

Dance, Dance, Dance

It is your job as a guest to dance your butt off! As soon as the traditional dances, speeches, and dinner are complete get your butt on the dance floor! Shake what your momma gave you and throw being self-conscious out the window. This is where you let loose and enjoy moving it on the dance floor with your significant other, family, friends, and of course the bride and groom. Only warning, know your surroundings – if it’s a little more proper of a crowd maybe don’t show off your twerking skills. 

Find more wedding posts including our wedding ceremony and reception in the wedding tab of Louella Reese.

26 Comments

  1. Annaliese
    October 8, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Totally agreed with the dress code! I went to a semi-formal wedding a couple months ago, and I was DISGUSTED by how the other guests dresses. Men were in jean shorts, and one women wore khaki capris?! The worst of all was a lady in leggings… what??!! I felt so bad for the bride!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  2. October 8, 2018 / 11:07 am

    Those are some good reminders, one would assume it is common sense … but we all know how rare that it. Love your dress there.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  3. October 8, 2018 / 11:37 am

    This is a great list of must-do etiquette! I wish everyone on earth would read this before attending a wedding!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

  4. Dana
    October 8, 2018 / 11:56 am

    This post is SO good, my friend! Love your tips — sometimes I really don’t think people remember that it’s NOT ABOUT THEM!!

    The Champagne Edit

  5. Anna English
    October 8, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    These are ALL such great tips girl. Thanks for sharing!

  6. October 8, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Dance, dance, dance!! YES!!! They want their guests to have fun, and the more people on the dance floor, the better the party!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  7. October 9, 2018 / 12:29 am

    This is such a great post babe and these pictures are so cute! And yes to dancing!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  8. October 9, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    100% on ALL of these! I can’t believe the things I’ve seen people do at weddings– get in the way trying to get photos, wearing white dresses (?!?!) and just throwing etiquette out the window. Totally sharing this and fingers crossed I don’t experience bad etiquette at my own upcoming wedding next year!

    • October 10, 2018 / 8:09 am

      So glad you agree Amanada! Right there with you, it amazes me. And a white dress, that is the worst! I hope you don’t have to experience any of these as well!

      xo Laura Leigh

  9. ashley hargrove
    October 9, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    This is such a great post and I completely agree with everything you said. I don’t know what it is about weddings or events but people turn into selfish weirdos and think everything is all about them! Drives me nuts!

  10. Ruthie Ridley
    October 9, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    So many great reminders on Etiquette! Plus you two look incredible!!!

  11. Stephanie
    October 12, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    With my wedding coming up next month, I’m extra grateful for this post! I may end up sharing it over and over just so my guest get the gist 😉

    • October 12, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Haha girl you absolutely should! Make sure you’re guest understand 🙂 so excited for you lady!

      xo Laura Leigh

  12. Holly
    October 16, 2018 / 12:18 am

    I will have to keep all these in mind next time I attend a wedding!

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