1. RSVP as soon as possible. Within the first few weeks, send it back, even if the deadline is way off. It’s only good manners and is essential to determining how much the wedding will cost. Remember it is a real privilege to be invited to a wedding. It costs a lot of money per head to invite you as a guest. Do not decide a week before the wedding that you are no longer going to attend, unless of course you are dying!! If you weren’t invited with a guest, don’t show up with one, that includes the kids.
2. Arrive at the ceremony on time. Leave plenty of time to get to the wedding itself, even enough time to get lost on the way! If you must be late, do not slip in while the bride is walking down the aisle, stand in the back or slip quietly into a back row once the processional is completely finished. If you were invited to the ceremony, don’t just show up for the reception.
3. Dress as the style of the invitation suggests. Appropriate dress is not shorts, t-shirt and thongs or the dress that reveals everything. If your normal style is revealing, tone it down, the other guests do not want to see all that you have and definitely do not wear white. If you’re unsure of the dress code, ask someone familiar with the wedding, perhaps a bridesmaid or member of the bride’s family.
4. Send a gift, even if you can’t attend. Etiquette dictates that if you were invited, you should send the couple a gift, even if you can’t make it to the wedding.
5. Sit at your assigned table. There’s a lot of thought that goes into the seating arrangements. The bride and groom actually have spent a lot of time thinking about the various relationships their guests have to one another and there could be a very good reason you are seated in that spot. So don’t mess with the seating.
6. Be respectful of the couple’s religious and or cultural traditions. This might mean covering your shoulders in a church or temple. And definitely do not talk during the ceremony or ritual even if you don’t understand it. You are not 2 anymore!
7. Do not use your phone. Don’t Facebook, Tweet or Text, and certainly don’t make or receive a phone call during the wedding or the reception. Turn it off.
8. You have been invited to this fabulous wedding; it has cost a lot of money. It is extremely rude to leave the reception before the bride & groom. Most bridal couples will leave around 11:30pm at an evening reception, which really isn’t overly late. If you really have to leave, never leave before the end of the formalities, speeches, cutting of the cake or even the first dance.
9. Do not overindulge in alcohol, just because you’re not paying for the drinks. It doesn’t give you the right to get drunk before or during the wedding. It is extremely embarrassing to both the bridal couple and function staff to have to ask you to leave.