Wedding Guest Etiquette

Northwest Pearls: Wedding Guest Etiquette


As wedding season comes upon us, here's a few little etiquette rules that I try to follow:

RSVP. It's incredibly inconsiderate to not reply, even if you're not planning on going. If you know whether or not you're going to attend, then RSVP.

RSVP ASAP. The couple is probably stressing out about wedding stuff so waiting until the last minute to RSVP isn't very nice. Not everyone has an RSVP date on their invitations, but you should try to RSVP as soon as you can.

Buy a gift. This is a rule that I think may have gotten lost in translation for younger generations (or maybe it's just people that I know in the Northwest), but if you are invited, you should get the couple a gift.

Send the gift before the wedding.

Don't show up with an extra person or two if they haven't been invited. The couple has a head-count for the caterer and if they wanted you to bring the person you've been dating or your children, they would have specified and it would be okay. But if they haven't said "and guest" or listed your children's names, then you shouldn't bring them.

And here's a little tip:

When invited, since you're going to get them a gift, buy them something early. That way, if you're buying from the registry, you have many options to choose from.

You can check out more wedding etiquette from Emily Post.

Is there anything you'd add to the list?

A Few Reminders

Some reminders for us all, myself included, to remember in our daily lives:

  1. It's polite to wait until everyone has been served to start eating.
  2. Similarly, it is polite to wait until everyone has sat down to start eating. (Probably not going to happen at a college cafeteria, but out with friends, or at someone's house? You should wait.)
  3. Your napkin goes in your lap before you start eating. I've noticed that my mom, aunt, and grandmother do it automatically when they sit down. I usually forget until I'm about to be served.
  4. "Excuse me" is nice to say when you need to get around someone/walk in front of them at the grocery store.
  5. Thank you cards are so rare nowadays, that writing one makes you that much more impressive.
  6. Sit up straight.
  7. Don't talk with food in your mouth. We all do it. Let's try not to.
  8. Try not to interrupt.
  9. Cover your mouth when yawning.
  10. Say 'please,' 'thank you,' 'ma'am,' 'miss,' and 'sir' more often. It shows respect.

(Thought through with the help of my wonderful mother, the daughter of a very Southern woman.)

Do you have any other suggestions for little manner reminders?

Thank You Cards

Thanking people for their time or for help or for their generosity is important. Before I left for college, I made sure that I had some thank you cards. But even with my thank-you cards, my birthday cards, and my monogrammed cards, I lacked just a plain thank you that would work for a certain occasion. I needed a card to thank a couple for letting my friends and I use their mountain cabin for a weekend. And I didn't have a plain thank you card that didn't look like summer. And because we went to the mountains, a summery card didn't work. And because all twelve of us wrote on the card, I didn't want it to be my monogram on the front.

Some cards like these would have been good for me to have on hand. As it was, I had to get a nice, plain card from a friend.

Thank You - Foil Many Thanks 50 Ct

Letterpress Thank You Cards

Thank You - Foil Silver Thanks 50 Ct

So just a little something to keep in mind. Plain thank you cards can be very useful (and pretty.)

Have you found any others that you've loved?