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A Few Rules For The Guests

Updated: Sep 23, 2018

Don't assume that the couple knows you're coming to their wedding. Send back your reply cards anyway, before the "Reply by" date.

Wedding Guests

If the invitation is declined, you are not expected to send a gift.

If you arrive at the church during the procession, you should wait until the bride has gone down the aisle before entering. Also, don't peek through the doors to watch because you'll be in her photos.

If you are late for the ceremony, you should walk down an outside aisle and find a seat quickly and quietly.

If you are of a different faith, you are not required to participate in the rituals, but if you want to that's fine.

You are expected to buy the couple a gift.

By convention, the gift should be something that they can both use.

If you have sent a wedding gift through the mail, then you don't have to bring another one to the reception.

It's wise to give a cash gift to couples that are getting married out-of-town because they will have to ship everything back home and that's an added cost to them.

Many couples that have lived together for awhile will not register for gifts. That's because they already have everything they need. In this case, cash in a wedding card is appropriate.

Guests pay for their own transportation and accommodation.

When your friends or family get married, there are all kinds of wedding etiquette and rules that govern their behaviour. But did you know there are rules for wedding guests too? To ensure that you don't inadvertently commit a faux pas or do anything mistaken at a loved one's wedding, follow these simple rules.

Don't be late! If a wedding invitation says that the ceremony will begin at 5, be sure to arrive there by 4:45 so as to give yourself time to find a seat and get settled. You wouldn't want to interrupt the processional.

Avoid taking photographs during the ceremony. Leave that to the professionals and respect the sanctity of the ritual in front of you.

You don't need to bring a gift with you to the wedding. In fact, you have up until a year after the wedding to give a gift. Bringing a gift with you means that someone in the wedding party will have to worry about how to get it home.

If you are unable to attend the wedding, it is customary to still send a wedding gift.

Don't bring a date unless your invitation specifically says their name or "+ Guest" Remember that the cost for each person attending a wedding is generally high, so bringing unexpected guests is very impolite. This includes your children or other relatives!

Many ceremonies have parts where the congregation alternately stands and sits. The program or usher may tell you when to do so; if not, follow the lead of others around you. If you are physically unable to stand, remain quietly seated.

RSVP promptly. The couple will be making many decisions based on the number of people who will be there. Additionally, if you must cancel after you have accepted, do so as soon as possible.

While a wedding is a time to enjoy yourself, no one appreciates a drunk guest embarrassing themselves. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Above all, enjoy yourself, and tell the happy couple that you are so pleased for them.