What Every Wedding Guest Should Know
You've gotten the invitation, made the hard choice between chicken and fish, and sent in your "YES" RSVP. As a guest you're set, right?
Well, there's no right or wrong way to prepare your role as a guest at a wedding, but here are a few etiquette hints and preparedness tips to help you out.
Choosing a Gift
Check the gift registry — search online at major retailers' web sites (Target, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Amazon) by the bride or groom's first or last name, or go to the store. Print out the registry list and either purchase the gift and have it shipped or hand-deliver it to the event.
Don't know if they're registered or can't find them online? Consider contacting a member of the wedding party or another person who knows the couple well.
What to Wear
Usually the date and time of day will give you a few hints.
Daytime summer or spring wedding? For the ladies, a nice summer dress or cotton skirt/shirt combo should work. For the gentlemen, nice khakis or dress pants with a collared shirt should be just fine.
What to Bring
Here's a quick list of what to bring...just in case.
- Any special needs or medications
- Bug spray
- Camera and film/extra batteries/memory cards
- Cash and quarters (for bartender tips or if no open bar; for parking)
- Cell phone (remember to turn it off before the ceremony!!)
- Extra makeup for touch ups
- Photo ID
- Speech for toast (if you'd like to give one or are asked to)
- Sunscreen (especially for summer outdoor weddings!)
- Water bottle (good to have on those hot days)
- Wedding invitation and directions to ceremony/reception
- Wedding gift/card (if not being sent directly to the couple or their parents)
Other Helpful Tips
Bringing a guest? Brief the guest beforehand: how you know the groom and/or bride, the names of some of the people you'll be introducing and any other important details that might help.
Wear a watch. Weddings can be quite ceremonial, meaning certain events will take place at a certain time (ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, speeches, first dance, bouquet toss, cutting the cake, etc.). Look to the wedding program (usually given to you at the ceremony) for a list of important events and their times. It's best not to arrive late!
Out of town wedding? Plug your hotel's name, phone number and address plus the number for a local taxi service into your cell phone...just in case you're unable to drive.
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