Weddings, parties, and other social events are joyous occasions filled with laughter and memorable moments. As a guest, you must navigate these events with grace, courtesy, and respect —for the people who invited you and the other guests.
Understanding dos and don’ts when attending a wedding or party will help create a wonderful and memorable event experience. If you aren’t sure what to do, check out this article with essential guidelines for the next wedding or party you’re attending.
Most invitations to a wedding, party, or any kind of social event often require you to RSVP. This crucial step helps people plan their event—from seating arrangements to food and more. If they ask you to RSVP, you should do it out of courtesy, even to tell them you won’t be able to make it.
Some parties and weddings ask you to wear a specific color or outfit when attending the event. A dress code stated on an invitation is not an option (unless it says so). It is there for a purpose—to complement the program and make the entire affair look really nice in photos. So whether you’re asked to don a black tie-formal attire for a wedding or a crazy hat for a funky party, be sure to be a good sport and follow the rules.
It’s not cute or classy to show up late and make an entrance after the party has started or after the bride has already walked down the aisle. Whether you’re attending a wedding, a birthday celebration, or any event, it’s best to show up in time.
Guests should avoid wearing white or ivory as that color is often reserved for the bride. It’s the bride and groom's special day, and you should let them be the stars of the show. Unless they specify that they want people to wear white, avoid that color and wear something else, whether you’re a part of the entourage, a guest, or even a member of the bride’s or groom’s family.
Don’t assume you can bring a date to any party or wedding without asking the person who invited you. Check the invitation to see how many seats are allotted for you. If you aren’t sure, contact the bride or groom to ask if you can bring a plus one. If you can’t, respect their decision and don’t bring one uninvited.
You may have seen those weddings where someone suddenly announces they’re having a baby or one of the groomsmen suddenly decides to propose to his girlfriend during the wedding reception. Cringe! There’s nothing as awkward as stealing the spotlight from the couple or person of the hour and putting it on yourself. Keep all major life announcements for another occasion when it’s not someone else’s big day.
Sometimes, when an unexpected situation occurs before or during the event (like your name isn't on the guest list even when you confirmed, or you're seated with a bunch of people you don't know), you might not know what to do. When that happens, respond with as much grace and courtesy as you can muster. Your actions and behavior can leave a lasting impact on other people’s experiences. Embrace kindness, respect, and consideration for those around you, and do what you can to create an unforgettable (for the right reasons!) experience.