We have had some great warm weather here in Colorado lately. And all of this warm weather has me thinking that summer is right around the corner. With summer, comes a lot of sunny days, late nights, and of course weddings!! So today I thought I would change things up a bit and instead of a post of brides, we’re doing one for guests. Although we’re sure our brides will want to forward this to their guests since we’re talking all about wedding guest etiquette.
Being invited to a wedding is exciting and fun! Out of everyone the couple knows, they picked you to be there. And chances are they are so excited to celebrate with you. As a guest though, there are a few rules (some spoken and some unspoken) to follow.
As a wedding photographer, there are very few things that bother me when it comes to weddings. However, one thing that does bother me, is when guests are not present during the ceremony. Out of everyone they know, they picked you to be there. So when guests talk to each other during the ceremony. Or when guests sit on their phone playing a game during a ceremony. We have even seen guests who took selfies for the majority of the ceremony. So as a guest at a wedding, be sure to give the couple your full attention, ceremonies are becoming shorter and shorter, you can have your phone in your bag for 15-20 minutes and be fine–we promise!
Couples put a lot of thought into guest books these days, be sure to find and sign what every option they have chosen. Guest books mean a lot to the couple, I know Greg and I love reading ours around our anniversary.
If you have talked to any bride, one thing that causes a lot of stress is not getting RSVP’s in a timely manner. Another guest issue that can cause a lot of stress is when guests ask for a plus one. When a couple makes a guest list, it is typically based on budget and venue restrictions, so they have to pick who they invite carefully. If you did not get a plus one, don’t ask for one.
If you show up without sending one in, there is the chance there will not be a seat for you and there is also a chance you’ll be costing the couple extra money. Some vendors may charge extra for last-minute meals that are added after the final count.
This is one we have seen, and one we have seen shut the wedding bar down! We have seen a groomsman swipe a bottle of alcohol from the bar because ‘the couple paid for it’, this is a huge no-no. Bartenders do have serving rules they have to follow, so instead of swiping a bottle, order your drinks one at a time.
While most couples will put a 15 minute buffer time on the ceremony invitation, don’t bank on that! Be sure to arrive a few minutes before the ceremony start time to ensure that you are there and seated before the event kicks-off. If you do happen to arrive late, hang out in the back so that you don’t create a distraction for the guest or couple.
We all have opinions, but comparing a wedding to yours (or someone else’s) and criticizing wedding details is a big no-no at the wedding. Each couple works hard to put together the wedding they envisioned, the last thing they need to hear is how their cousin had better food at her wedding or that their friends had better florals. Enjoy the day and the wedding, and keep your opinions to yourself.
As a wedding photographer, I have a very strong stance on cell phones/cameras during the ceremony. Any other time during the wedding, I really don’t mind them, but during the ceremony, they can be distracting. Nothing is worse than trying to capture a moment, only to have a guest step in front of me to capture it too. So if the couple makes an announcement for no photos during the ceremony, or there is a sign requesting no photos, please follow the couple’s request.
That being said if the couple does not have an announcement or sign. Use your phone to your heart’s content. However, try to keep the flash off, since it can interfere with the photographer’s images.
Theresa Bridget Photography is a Colorado and destination wedding photographer. Be sure to read this wedding guest etiquette guide before attending your next wedding!