Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, there are many dos and don’ts when it comes to wedding invitations. So to spare your blushes and ensure avoidance of any faux pas at all costs, we divulge the unspoken rules each and every wedding guest should be aware of.

Outdoor Ceremony


From the moment that wedding invite slots through your post box, the race is on to respond with a prompt, ‘yes/no’ answer! Leaving your response on the long finger will only cause stress to an already fraught bride.
Another point to remember, unless stated on the invite, do not assume you can bring a guest along. An unknown plus one could cause tension on the big day within the bridal party and has the potential to play havoc with a painstakingly thought-out seating plan. Thinking ‘the more the merrier’? Well think again!

Wedding guest attire

The timing of a wedding is a great indicator as to appropriate guest attire. If you’re invited to the actual ceremony, you can’t go wrong with a tailored midi-dress (think Victoria Beckham-esque) and the obligatory wedding hat. Anything beyond the 6pm mark, it’s safe to say you can dress slightly more cocktail wear, ready for a fun-filled night ahead. But possibly the biggest no-no for prospective wedding attendees…. Do not, under any circumstances, wear white! Yes, you want to look your best, but ultimately, it is the bride’s special day. So, unless the invite states all-white attire, a la Kim and Kanye, head on the hunt for the perfect outfit and take the opportunity to inject some colour into your formal wardrobe.

The ceremony

As is tradition, the bride is usually late, but remember, you’re a guest, and tardiness is just downright rude. Arriving noisily halfway through the ceremony is not only embarrassing, but distracting from the couple’s happy moment. Once you’re seated, remember to turn off your phone, because a noisy ringtone breaking the peaceful ambiance is the last thing you want. If you’re thinking of bringing a gift…don’t. Bulky presents may be thoughtful on the guest’s part, but an annoyance to carry from the reception for the bride and groom. Cards are a safe option but leave the larger gifts until after the couple’s special day.

The reception

You’ve been the model wedding guest: RSVP’d on time, arrived at the church dressed in a modest number and arranged for your generous gift to be shipped to the couple’s marital home the very next day. So just one rule remains...go easy on the booze! Happy occasions such as weddings are an opportunity to completely relax and enjoy the company around you, but consuming that glass too many of the lady petrol will result in a bundle of forgotten embarrassments and one very sore head the next day. Instead, pace out your drinks and mingle with friends and family in attendance, ensuring you remember every single happy memory the next day.

Leaf place card

- Michelle Storey

Image Credits: Ceremony: Jagger Photography via Green Wedding Shoes | Invite: English Wedding | Autumn wedding: My Wedding | Leaf place card: Geneoh Photography via Southern Weddings