18 Rules All Wedding Guests Should Follow

Weddings are way less stressful when the guests follow the rules. Why not share this list with your guests so they know exactly what to do?

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Our wedding planning forum is often visited by stressed brides typing anguished messages about guests and their bad behaviour. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you! In honour of hitched’s 18th birthday, we’ve come up with 18 wedding guests rules for you to share…

We dare you to include a print-out in your wedding invitations!

1. RSVP on Time

Hi guest! You’ll notice on your wedding invitation there’s a date for RSVPs to be in by. That deadline is there for a reason, so please make sure you get back to us by then. The seating plan is hard enough to sort without all of the RSVPs!

Make sure you RSVP on time! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

Image credit: Paper Willow

READ MORE: What to Write in a Wedding Card

2. No Kids Means No Kids

You might notice your wedding invitation is addressed to just you and your partner. As much as we love little Cosmo and Chrysanthemum, we’ve decided to have a child-free wedding. No exceptions. Not even for children as delightful as yours. Don’t ask. (This goes for everyone – if the name isn’t on the invitation, they ain’t invited.)

No kids means no kids! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

3. Don’t Wear White

Or ivory, or cream. Steer clear of those colours, and even more so if lace is involved too. You can wear your nice white lace dress to any event of the year. Brides get one day to wear their nice white lace dress. Don’t ruin it.

4. Don’t Wear Black

Black is a bit funeral-esque, and traditionally wearing black was a way to protest against the marriage. So unless you not-so-secretly wish the bride was marrying you, put your black tie back on the rack and pick out a more jaunty floral one.

Dress appropriately! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

Image credit: RJH Photography

5. Just Obey the Dress Code in General

Unless the wedding invitation states that there’s an informal dress code, don’t assume there is one. That means no jeans! Yes, they’re comfy and you can do an awesome slide-across-the-room-on-your-knees in them, but it’s not the time or the place.

6. No Last Minute Change of Plan

If you’ve said you’re going, unless it’s a serious emergency or you’re horribly, contagiously ill, do not even think of cancelling. Likewise, if you said you’re not attending, don’t even think about rocking up to the wedding breakfast unannounced. Even if you bring an awesome gift. Come to the evening party (with the gift).

7. Switch Your Phone Off

Picture the scene, the registrar is guiding the couple through their vows, the bride is delicately wiping tears of happiness from her eyes and…what’s that? ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears starts blaring out. Oh, that’s your phone? TURN IT OFF.

8. Don’t Get in the Photographer’s Way

So you have over 500 followers on Instagram? You’re still not the photographer the couple hired for their big day, so don’t get in their way, wielding your iPhone. Or iPad. But no one would actually bring an iPad to a wedding, right…?

Don't get in the photographer's way! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

9. Think About Your Hat

If you’re wearing a hat to the wedding, good for you. More people should wear hats. But be considerate when choosing it – a tall hat will block views at the ceremony and a wide hat will eclipse guests during the group pictures.

Think carefully about your choice of hat...18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

10. Don’t Smuggle in Alcohol

You’re not going for a night out in Oceana. You’re going to a fancy wedding, where the couple have paid a considerable amount to host you, and may be limited by corkage charges. Don’t risk getting them fined or getting yourself thrown out for the sake of a few Malibu miniatures in your clutch bag.

11. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

There’s a fine line between dancing with your friends and taking some hilarious photo booth pictures, but if you start to cry, swear or be sick, you’ve gone too far. No one wants to be the person who wrote a rude message in the sentimental guest book after one too many Sambucas.

12. Behave Yourself

You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and decide to steal some of the décor (at least we hope not), so resist the urge to make off with one of the carefully assembled centrepieces or inhale the helium from a giant balloon before giving an impromptu speech. Unless you’re invited to, in which case, knock yourself out.

Don't mess with the decor! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

Image credit: Eve Dunlop Photography

13. Do Not Touch the Seating Plan

I know Uncle Jerry is a bit boring, but if you’re sat by him – tough luck! The couple have spent hours working out their seating plan and you can’t even begin to imagine the logistics. If you switch place cards for whatever reason, all hell could break loose.

DO NOT mess with the seating plan. 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

Image credit: To Have & To Hold

14. Try Not to Sulk

There’s a thing about wedding season – lots of wedding tend to happen. If you’re marrying at a similar time to a friend, don’t be upset if they, like you, have gone for a rustic theme or a similar dress. It happens! No one will notice, unless you point it out.

15. Consider the Environment

Everyone loves the confetti shot – it’s so much fun! But be considerate and choose biodegradable confetti. It’s nicer for the environment and avoids the happy couple getting whacked with any fines for flouting the venue’s rules.

Use biodegradable confetti. 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

Image credit: Eve Dunlop Photography

16. You Get What You’re Given

Don’t moan about the menu choices to the couple. It’s their wedding and they’re footing the bill, so it’s only fair they’re allowed to eat their favourite foods. As long as they’ve catered for any dietary requirements, you can’t complain. And don’t try and ask for different food on the day anyway. It won’t happen.

Don't moan about menu choices. 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.

17. Try Not to Be an Entertainment Hog

It’s fine to request a song or two, but be wary of being the guest who hassles the DJ or band with an endless stream of requests, or commandeers the iPod playlist to introduce everyone to your favourite experimental jazz band. It’s quite likely the couple will have a playlist worked out – now is not the time for experimental jazz. We’re not actually sure there’s ever a time for experimental jazz.

18. Have Fun!

It seems like a lot of rules and diva demands, but really it’s just courtesy and common sense! Be happy for the newlyweds and enjoy yourself!

Have fun! 18 rules all wedding guests need to follow.



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