Wedding season is in full swing (although weddings in San Diego seem to happen all year, May is really the start of the busy wedding season). There are tons of blogs out there about planning your own wedding, but what if you are a wedding guest? Today I’m chatting about a few things you should know if you are attending a wedding. Spoiler Alert: There’s a story in this blog about when I was the worst wedding guest imaginable.
Always RSVP, and always RSVP on time
Seems simple enough right? Make sure to RSVP by the date on the RSVP card. Not RSVPing is truly rude as this can affect so many things… like seating charts, menus, catering services, ceremony seating etc…. It’s essential that you RSVP in a timely manner. I know some people feel guilty saying they can’t make a wedding, but honestly, while your friends may be bummed, they are more concerned with getting that final head count for their caterer .. I know it sounds so harsh but planning a wedding can be stressful!
DON’T GET DRUNK
Ok, here is that embarrassing story you were waiting for:
I had just turned 21 and was attending a friend’s wedding. It was so fun because our entire group of friends was there. They had an open bar… dream come true to all us starving college students! I definitely took advantage of the free booze (and we actually “pregamed” in the parking lot before the wedding too… I know so classy) and my friends and I were having the time of our lives on the dance floor. My high heels had gotten really annoying so I decided it was a good idea to fling them off… in the middle of the dance floor. When I say “fling” I mean I kicked them off like I was trying to score a field goal. Well guess what? On the other side of the dance floor was the Bride and Groom’s sweetheart table, which they weren’t at THANK GOD when you hear the rest of this story! My high heel flew through the room and hit the Bride’s champagne glass (which was crystal and engraved for their wedding- a $100 glass) and broke it in half. It was HORRIBLE. Of course I offered to replace the champagne glass but there was really nothing I could do, it was their wedding day and I had broken something that couldn’t be replaced. I… FELT…. AWFUL. To make matters worse, the Groom was my friend, not the Bride and my best friend had actually dated the groom a while back… so it looked extra bad that I was the one to break the champagne flute! :/
I have since forgiven myself, but I will tell you that I held so much guilt from that day for a long time. It eventually became a joke amongst friends a few years later (after the Bride stopped hating me) and another couple who got married in our friend group actually had metal glasses at their wedding “because of Nikki’s affinity for kicking off her shoes".” EMBARRASSING to say the least.
I tell you this story to remind you that I am human (haha!) and also to share one of my biggest tips to people wanting to be a good wedding guest… DO NOT GET DRUNK.
Please enjoy yourself, but don’t get out of hand. I’ve been to about 20+ weddings as a guest and I can tell you from experience that I have seen the worst things happen when people drink too much. At one wedding I was at the Sister of the Groom got drunk and totally disrespected his new wife in her speech by talking about all the girls he loved before her (it was so uncomfortable for everyone). At another wedding a drunk Best Man speech went on for an entire hour, which included him saying the same thing over and over…. everyone was annoyed. I’ve seen people cry, fight (a bride punch a groom)…. get thrown out… all because they couldn’t control their drinking. Have a good time, have some drinks, but know your limits!
Don’t Assume Your Significant Other or Children Are Invited
If your invitation doesn’t clearly state that you can bring a date, or your kids… then assume the answer is no. If the envelope of your invitation is only addressed to “Mary Greene” and not “Mary Greene and John Mark” assume that John Mark is not invited. Same goes for children, if the invite doesn’t say “The Smith Family” but reads “Jane And Roger Smith” it means that Jane and Roger are the only ones invited. If you are really concerned you can always very politely ask the couple getting married if your children are invited, but be ready to accept whatever answer they give.
If your invitation does say “and guest” a good rule of thumb is to avoid bringing someone the couple has never met before.
Bring A Gift
The Bride and Groom (and often times their parents) are paying for you to be at their wedding. On average the cost per wedding guest can range from $80-$250 per person. It is customary and respectful to bring a gift, or to donate to their honeymoon fund. If you can’t splurge on a large gift, even a $25 gift card and a sweet card is enough to show the couple your gratitude. In fact, if you can’t even afford to get a gift, make something or give them a heartfelt card. The worst thing you could do is say “I purchased a gift for you but it’s going to arrive in a week” and then it never shows up… like ever, because you lied, because you felt bad. I’ve seen this happen, it’s just not good. If you aren’t getting them a gift just don’t say anything haha!
Also, side note…. it is acceptable for guests to buy gifts after the wedding, in fact this is sometimes very common. I heard “traditionally” you can send a wedding gift up to a year after the wedding.
The Wedding Is Not About You
Often times weddings can bring together people who wouldn’t necessarily come together normally. You may be tempted to confront someone you’ve had an issue with that you haven’t seen for a while but a wedding is not the place to do this. Just be a kind, easy going person and remember that this day is about the Bride and Groom. If someone says something that upsets you, walk away. If Aunt Marsha drives you insane, just talk to her for a short amount of time and move on. This is a day about love and happiness and you need to set your feelings aside.
I hope you enjoyed my embarrassing story and that it inspires you to be the best wedding guest you can be! And remember, only you know your alcohol limits ;) Do you have an embarrassing wedding story? Please share it below and make me feel better haha!