Guest

Responsibilities of a Wedding Guest
A great wedding guest can make or break your wedding experience.

To be a great wedding guest, make sure that you are polite and courteous.

April showers bring May flowers, but for brides, April showers bring June flowers. Summer is a popular time for weddings, so you might start getting invitations from your friends who are getting married. To survive wedding season, be the best wedding guest you can. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • RSVP by the date requested. Do not put the invitation aside for a few days, because you’ll forget. Don’t make the couple track you down for an answer.
  • Look at the invitation to see who was invited. Do not invite anyone yourself. If your children aren’t mentioned on the envelope, they are not invited to the wedding. It is customary to invite partners, but if you aren’t married or in a long-term relationship, you may have to go single.
  • Show up if you RSVP “yes.” Barring an emergency, don’t change plans at the last minute. The caterer will charge the couple for your plate, whether you show up or not.
  • Do not talk about the wedding with friends who may not have been invited. This means on social media too. You don’t want to come off as boasting or make others feel bad because they were not invited.
  • Be on time for the ceremony. Better yet, be there 10 to 15 minutes early to get the lay of the land. When you arrive late, you disrupt the flow of the ceremony. If you do arrive late, wait for a break in the action to sneak in.
  • Dress appropriately. If the invitation says “semi-formal,” don’t wear jeans. For a beach wedding, dress more casually. Don’t wear white.
  • Put your phone on silent during the ceremony. Let your babysitter know your phone will be off for a half-hour to forty-five minutes and promise to check immediately after.
  • Don’t take pictures during the ceremony. Respect the wedding photographer.
  • Ask the couple if you can share pictures on social media before you do.
  • Send the gift, if you do, to the home of the bride or groom. Don’t make them deal with more stuff at the reception.
  • During the reception, sit where the bride and groom have placed you. Make conversation with those around you. It’s only for a couple of hours. Your phone will wait.

What About the Rights of a Wedding Guest?

Wedding guests also have rights that come with their invitation:

  • You can expect to receive an invitation if you received a save-the-date card.
  • You have the right to decline the invitation if you cannot attend. No explanation needed, just say, “Thank you, I’d love to be there, but I can’t.”
  • You can ask the couple if you need clarification about your invitation. Maybe you want to make sure you understand the dress code or are confused about the plus one.
  • You have a right to not send a gift at all. You also have up to a year to send a wedding gift.
  • If you do send a gift, you have a right to expect a timely thank-you note. You might want to give the couple a few weeks after the wedding to wrap up all their duties, but if you don’t receive a thank-you note within three months, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they received your gift.
  • You should take advantage of the open bar, but don’t overdo it.

Have a Good Time

A wedding is a celebration, and you should have a good time. Thank the host and hostess, typically the bride’s parents, before you leave. Don’t be offended if you don’t get a few minutes with the bride and groom. One of the best things you can do as a wedding guest is to be flexible and gracious, no matter what happens at the ceremony or reception.

Wedding Rules You Might Want to Consider Breaking
Breaking some of the rules during wedding planning can allow the couple to save some funds and allocate them to a different aspect of the wedding.

A couple making a heart because they love saving money by breaking all of the wedding rules.

The demographics of brides and grooms are changing. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for most of the expenses of a ceremony, but according to the Association of Bridal Consultants, only about 10 percent of weddings now are paid in full by the bride’s parents. People are waiting longer to get married too. The average age of brides is 27 and for grooms, the age is 29. This allows people to be more established in a career and foot the bill for their own nuptials. With the average cost of a wedding approaching more than $32,000, one way to save money is to break some rules.

Plan the Date Carefully

While many brides dream of a summer wedding, holding the date off-season can be very economical. Another way to save substantially is to hold the wedding on a weekday instead of Saturday. Technically, there’s no rule that says you have to get married on a Saturday, it is just more convenient for those who have to work.

Watch Your Guest List

There is a rule that you shouldn’t invite someone to the reception who hasn’t been invited to the ceremony. You don’t want to break that rule. It could appear that you are being greedy. However, there are ways to cut some corners when it comes to the number of people you’re inviting. Shorten the guest list. Less guests means less tables, so you cut costs by not having to rent linens, chairs, or flatware, and by not having to provide centerpieces.

Do You Have to Wear White?

White wedding dresses were made popular in the 18th century when Queen Victoria chose to wear white for her marriage ceremony, but in one survey almost half of people feel that a white dress is on its way out. The wedding dress can be one of the biggest line items, so it makes sense to really get the dress you want to wear. The grooms don’t necessarily need to wear a tux either. For a summer wedding, a nice vest and shirt might be formal enough without being too hot. Just because it’s always been done one way, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.

Choosing the Venue

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the reduced costs of a wedding in Windsor. Choosing to hold your ceremony in a larger city such as Montreal or Vancouver can significantly increase the costs of your nuptials. Look for different venues that have the space you want without having the demand of multiple brides. You might be surprised at the cost difference, which could help you have more money for other items that are more important.

Watch Your Bottom Line

Every good entrepreneur knows that every item in the business budget counts. Think like a business owner instead of a bride when you’re having to watch your finances. Go through every item and see exactly where you want to cut costs. If the photography is a priority, then don’t make a trade-off in that category. Maybe you have a friend who can drive you to the wedding instead of hiring a limo. Instead of having a full sit-down meal, could you have an afternoon wedding with cake and punch or a buffet service?

What Is Your Wedding About?

Every bride and groom wants their wedding to be memorable. Sure, the decorations, flowers, and reception are important to making those memories, but keep in mind that the real matter of the day is the vows. It’s about making a commitment to each other to live together for the rest of your life. The rest of the stuff is just that. Don’t be afraid to break some rules about your wedding. Remember what’s important. Be a good host. Rock your vows. Enjoy your day without wondering how you’ll ever pay for it.