How to be the perfect wedding guest


Did you know that over 40 per cent of weddings in the UK happen between the months of July and September? That means we’re already in the run up to wedding season! Right now there are couples across the country crossing their fingers and toes for a few days of good weather, clear traffic and placid families.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are opening our invitations and wondering exactly how to manoeuvre the tricky minefield of wedding etiquette. That’s why we’ve pulled together our top tips on how to be the perfect wedding guest. Don’t worry, we’ve cleaned so many wedding outfits over the years and saved so many wedding dresses that we know what we’re talking about…

DO: Take a gift

This should be Wedding Etiquette 101, but you’d be surprised how many people think buying a gift is optional. It doesn’t matter if the groom still owes you money or the bride once crashed your car – you still need to get them a present.

The key to choosing the perfect gift is to demonstrate your generosity simply, but with a personal twist that shows you care. You could just get them the set of wine glasses from the gift registry, but wouldn’t it be nicer to get them their favourite bottle of wine to go with it?

DO: Strike a pose

Not everyone likes having their photo taken, but like it or not it’s the price you pay for a once-in-a-life party with your friends and family – so do it properly. The good news is that this is a skill you’ll be able to call upon again and again!

It’s easier than it may seem to look good on film. All you have to do is turn so that you’re slightly at an angle to the camera, tilt your chin down, look at the lens and smile naturally. Photographers take photos in bursts, so make sure you hold the pose until told to stop!

DON’T: Drink too much

Dinner, drinks and dancing? Weddings can be a great night out, especially if you’re staying in the area and can look forward to a hotel breakfast the next morning. That said, it’s important not to overdo it if you want the happy couple to invite you to dinner in the future.

Why is moderation so important? Because it isn’t your party. A wedding is an expensive, once-in-a-lifetime event and there’s likely to be all sorts of people there. Nobody will thank you for drunkenly barging into grandma or being sick in the toilet, so go easy on the booze.

DON’T: Heckle or overshare

If there’s one thing every guest wants it’s to get through the speeches as painlessly as possible If you’re sat in the crowd then that means sitting patiently through the whole thing – don’t draw it out, no matter how funny your heckling may be.

This rule applies to speech givers too. Keep things light and to the point – one or two friendly anecdotes to raise a chuckle, a sprinkling of sappiness, pledge a toast and finish. Don’t get ambitious and don’t tell any stories that may upset the bride’s grandmother.

Needless to say, you also need to make sure you dress the part.