Wedding Talk: Wedding Guest Etiquette

Hello lovelies. So we’ve compiled a small but (we feel) crucial list of wedding guest etiquette.  We’ve all been a little guilty of a couple in the past (ok, more than a couple), so we shall be taking note of these also…..

Wedding Talk - Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Talk: Wedding Guest Etiquette


If the B&G have created a gift list, or registered at a store in particular, unless you’re going to go for a monetary gift instead, don’t stray from it! They have chosen items for a specific reason.  If there is no cheese board on the list, its not that they have forgotten, its that they don’t want one!

Plus one

Our rule at our wedding was ‘if you’re not in love, they’re not coming’.  The last thing I wanted was to have a face in our photographs whom none of us (even the guest who brought them) could remember!

If there isn’t a plus one written on the invite, they haven’t banked on your bringing one. Don’t make it awkward by calling them to ‘check’ they haven’t forgotten.

StationaryStationary by Love-Lee

If the children haven’t been included on the invite, they’re not invited. This is always tricky as kiddies are wonderful. But at the end of the day, if there are 25 children in total that could be invited, thats 25 friends and family that you can’t invite.  So if they’re not on the invite, treat it as a lovely day for you to enjoy just celebrating your friends, and not being on duty for a change.


For girls, its always been said that as a guest, you don’t wear white (or similar). I have to agree. Rocking up to a wedding wearing the same colour of the bride is a massive no no. I also find it a little odd when the mother of the bride wears a similar dress to their bride daughters!! Really!? You’ve had your day my love, now pipe down and stand back!

I have to say, the B&G shouldn’t have to stipulate what the attire should be on the day unless they are wanting a specific look, like black tie.  Its a wedding. You don’t roll up wearing leggings and flip flops.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on a new outfit, but you should definitely look smart for their big day.

Image by Maria Farrelly


Always send your RSVP back.  Being invited to a wedding a very wonderful thing and it was a decision that the bride and groom did not take lightly. It may have even meant that a member of the family isn’t coming because they would like you to instead. So don’t leave it to the B&G to chase you for acceptance. They are crazy excited about their big day, as well as stressed about the organising. The least you can do is make sure they know you’re coming.


Stock ImageRSVP RSVP

Here are are few more things to consider too:

  • Don’t be late! Running up just behind the bride as she is entering the venue to get married, and quickly scrambling to your seat, is pretty much a no no.
  • Be respectful during the service. If its not to your tastes, religious or otherwise, tough. Its the B&G’s day and this is what they chose.
  • Don’t go bonkers with social media! Just check before you go plastering the bride and groom all over Facebook etc. They may want to set up a private group where you can all add your photographs.
  • Don’t sit wherever you want. Planning the seating is a political nightmare! So just go with it, and sit where the B&G suggested, I guarantee there is avery specific reason you are where they have put you!
  • I’m saying this next with guilt in my voice, but don’t get too battered.  I did get a little too tipsy the other week and ended up falling over in front of people I don’t know. Not the end of the world, but if it goes too far, its just awful. Ive witnessed a brides dress get ripped by a drunken guest, and the bride get thrown up on, and its just grim. Don’t be the one they talk about after the big day!

Having said that..sometimes, getting tipsy with your friends can be great fun and just really funny (especially in a photo booth)

Behaviour Image by Maria Farrelly

So there you have it – some wise words there me thinks! Weddings are amazing days, we just need to bare in mind that as much fun as we’re going to have, for the bride and groom, its one of the biggest days of their lives. Lets not give them anything to worry about!

8 Top Wedding Etiquette Tips from Weddings by Rachel

It’s time for our next post from Weddings by Rachel – a professional wedding planner based in South Wales. Each fortnight she’ll cover a different wedding planning topic and this week she’s talking about wedding etiquette :)


Wedding traditions are everywhere. Many traditions have changed or been completely forgotten over the years, however, brides often ask me about wedding etiquette and the expected protocol in certain situations.

Wedding etiquette is an unwritten (though sometimes written) list of traditions and guidelines to follow in the planning and execution of a wedding. Generally, this type of etiquette can be traced back through centuries of tradition and routines, and most of it will play a big role in the weddings and marriage ceremonies of today.

Wedding etiquette is important because it is there to ensure that weddings progress smoothly and that all guests are treated with care and appreciated for attending the wedding. It also really does impact just about every aspect of your wedding, from the invitations to the thank you cards.

Here are 8 top etiquette tips to help guide you through your wedding day.

1. Paying For The Wedding

Fotos para pauta

Traditionally: Traditionally it will be the parents of the bride that will pay for the majority of the wedding, with the groom paying for suit hire, rings and the honeymoon.

Modern Equivalent: Nowadays many couples are paying for their weddings themselves or even splitting the cost between both families. It is a difficult subject to approach when starting to plan a wedding but it is important to sort this out early on so you know what, if anything, each family would like to contribute.

2. Setting Dress Codes

Traditionally: A formal engraved invitation used to mean that guests were expected to wear morning dress.

Modern Equivalent: When it comes to dress codes, traditions have changed. Nowadays dress codes are much more varied but are still known to be quite formal. If you do wish to set a dress code this is fine, just make sure that any invitation wording is simple and clear.

3. Invitations

Maine Ocean Wedding Invitation

Traditionally: This is an age-old question of who sends the invitations and when? Traditionally invitations are sent from the bride’s parents.

Modern Equivalent: It’s becoming more common for couples to send their own or for the wording to be from whoever is paying for the wedding. If a number of people are contributing, it is best to send it from the couple. Order your invitations four months before your wedding and post them approximately 10 weeks before the wedding.

4. Arriving at the ceremony

Traditionally: The groom and best man should arrive at the venue at least 30 minutes before the bride. This is also true of guests who would usually arrive half an hour before the start of the ceremony. The groom traditionally does not mingle during this time but sits quietly at the front of the ceremony room waiting for the bride to arrive.

Modern Equivalent: Times are changing and this is often not the case any more, with the groom usually greeting guests while waiting for his bride to arrive.

5. Walking down the aisle

Wedding Shoes

Traditionally: The bride would enter first and bridesmaids would follow, sometimes with the flower girl going before the bride.

Modern Equivalent: In the States it’s the other way around, and this is becoming more and more popular in the UK. There’s no set rule for this so go with your instincts and what you would prefer.

6. Favours

Traditionally: Favours are not necessary, especially if you are on a tight budget. The most traditional wedding favour is sugared almonds. These are usually given in a box or bag in sets of five, representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness.

Modern Equivalent: Couples are becoming more creative with their favours, providing guests with all sorts of gifts. Edible favours still remain the most popular, though, and charity donations are also a lovely option for those who don’t know what to give.

7. Speeches


Traditionally: The speeches are usually made as coffee is being served. The father of the bride usually speaks first, followed by the groom and best man.

Modern Equivalent: you could have the speeches before the meal so that the speakers can relax and enjoy their food, or hold them later on when your evening guests are also present. Also, these days anyone can make a speech – the bride, a bridesmaid, a grandparent. If you want to do a joint speech, do! If your dad is freaking out about giving a speech but your mum loves to talk then switch the roles :)

8. Gift Lists


Traditionally: Register your gift list sooner rather than later, especially if you’re planning to use one of the popular department stores. Some will let you register online early, but otherwise 12 weeks is about standard. If you’re sending your invites out eight to 10 weeks before, you can include information about your gift list with them.

Modern Equivalent: Although it’s more acceptable now to ask for money as a gift, some guests may still prefer to buy you a present. A compromise could be to set up a small wedding list and suggest that vouchers for a variety of retailers would be just as useful.

Although lots of couples like to stick with traditional wedding etiquette, times are changing and there are no hard and fast rules for this any more. Use these tips as a guide but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and be a little bit different.

For more tips on wedding etiquette, or if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Rachel xx