How to be an A+ Wedding Guest this season (Part 1)

We are a little over half way through the year here in Minnesota and wedding season has already been in full force. Like every year I shake my head at a select few weddings guests and wonder, WHYYYY? Then it hit me, maybe they just don’t know better. So here it is, folks. A little insight on how to be a great wedding guest (part 1 -because I’m just getting started). Follow my easy tips on how to get started in the right direction!

Photo provided by Russell Heater

Photo provided by Russell Heater

1.     RSVP… and on time.

 The most stressful time during the wedding planning process is that last 6 weeks- this is when all of the projects that can’t be done ahead of time really start to feel that deadline. This is also when the RSVP’s start coming in and things start to feel real. On top of the natural stressors of this time, friends and family also sometimes add to this stress. Why? Because of your RSVP.

All of the final details rely on your rsvp’ing not only on time, but accurately. The floor plan and food counts depend on this.

I once had a wedding guest that attended a recent wedding of ours and he didn’t have an escort card. I asked him, “Did you RSVP?” His response was, “Yes, I sent it in this week”. Unfortunately for this guest both the bride and groom where from out of state and had been in Minnesota for a week prior, so that RSVP never made it in their hands. This is one reason why there is that magical cut off date.

This should be the easiest step for you. Your couple makes it easy for you by either already adding postage for your convenience or having an easy online rsvp option. So, what do you do when you get your wedding invitation? Step 1: Check your calendar. Is that date open? Do you want to go? Awesome, then RSVP ‘YES’ and put that sucker right back in the mail. Do you already have something going that day? Bummer. RSVP ‘No’ and again, put that sucker right back in the mail. A wedding is a big deal – out of all the people that the couple knows they invited YOU, there is nothing else better that could pop up on that day so unless you have a pending vacation or other milestone then get it on your calendar and don’t schedule anything else. Obviously, life happens and if something, like a funeral or sickness, comes up then you are excused from the following paragraph.

If you RSVP’d No in hopes that you would get invited to the next celebrity wedding and wow, you didn’t. Then don’t go back to your couple and tell them that, actually you are coming because guess what – they already gave up your spot. Keep it at a ‘No’ and watch their love story unfold on Instagram or facebook the next day.

If your invite was addressed to you, and you only, then they have only reserved a seat for you – no guest. If the envelope says your name and another name or “and guest” then lucky you, you get a plus one! Don’t be mad if your couple left off a plus one- odds are they didn’t know you had a significant other or space is limited at their venue.

In a nut shell:

a.     RSVP on time

b.     RSVP with the correct amount of people and names (no adding anyone)

2.    Don’t bring a gift…. You read that right

It’s 2019, every online business offers shipping for whatever gizmo or gadget your couple has registered for. Save them the hassle of having to transport it anywhere and ship that lovely present right to their front door. If you want to have something in hand when you walk into the wedding, gift cards (or cash) are great options!  

3.     Wear the right attire

When getting dressed for a wedding think to yourself ‘is this appropriate for this type of wedding’ and here’s what I mean. If this is a backyard BBQ wedding, then go ahead and wear those favorite shorts you wear all of the time- maybe throw on a button up T shirt to dress it up a tad. If the wedding IS ANYWHERE ELSE than please, check what you are wearing. Does it fit the venue? Will my top, front, or bottom hang out of anything that I’m putting on me? Then maybe don’t wear that. You have no idea how many times I see all of the parts that I didn’t need to see.

Photo provided by Sophisticated Grace Photography

Photo provided by Sophisticated Grace Photography

Photo provided by Russell Heater

Photo provided by Russell Heater

4.     Don’t get greedy

This pertains to the food, bar, and dessert. I literally see the worst in people at weddings. Perhaps this is because I’m playing security guard at the dessert table or watching the buffet line to make sure we have plenty to go around or maybe it’s because I get notified on the bar tab when our clients have reached their limit. Maybe it’s all of these things but here are my tips. DON’T BE GREEDY.

BAR: Think about going out to the bar with your buddies on the weekend. You’ve had a great time and enjoyed a few too many beverages.  Now it’s time to pay the tab- would you be willing to fork up the money to pay for the whole thing? Probably not. Well, a wedding is almost the same except there’s 200 buddies and the couple IS paying that hefty bar tab. Here is my rule of thumb. If it’s a hosted bar don’t take 5 drinks back to your table in hopes that someone is going to drink them because, guess what - They won’t. How do I know? Because I throw all of those full drinks away at the end of the night. Just because a bar is “open” doesn’t mean that it’s free. For every beer poured or wine bottle opened your couple is getting charged for it. So, take one for you, one for your date and then when that’s gone go get another one. While I still have your attention on the bar situation- don’t drink more than you can handle. This isn’t a college party – please be responsible drinkers and don’t drink so much that you are passed out in the parking lot or throwing up all of the bathrooms (true story).

 The same rules go for dessert and dinner- the food is not unlimited. There aren’t secret fairies in the kitchen whipping up desserts until everyone is pleased. Your couple has ordered food based on those handy RSVP’s we talked about earlier. When going through the buffet line take one plate and take portions for normal sized humans – this isn’t an eating contest. Same goes for the dessert. Just because there are 10 different types of dessert doesn’t mean you need to try all of them. If they are full sized desserts take one or two or find a friend to split two things with. If they are mini desserts take two or three and If you have to try the others than find a friend to go halvsies with. DO NOT LOAD UP YOUR PLATE WITH ALL OF THE DESSERTS. Gir, I know you are not “sharing these with the table” I know better than that.  Don’t make me repeat myself.

Photo provided by Sophisticated Grace Photography

Photo provided by Sophisticated Grace Photography

5. Keep it in your pants… these are all true stories.

As a wedding vendor I’ve seen some stuff- most of it I hope to forget. It comes with the territory of being at the event from start to finish. At the end everyone has enjoyed the bar a little too much and their lack of respect has fallen short somewhere between the 10th shandy and the cupid shuffle. So here are my tips:

A wedding is not a place to hook up- sure, the girls look better than usual, and the guys actually did their hair, so you start to feel some stuff. Awesome. Go back to his or her place and explore your options SOMEWHERE else. Please don’t get dirty on the dance floor, in the back of the reception hall, or a “secret” coat closet. For the LOVE OF GOD please don’t lock yourself in a bathroom stall and make it awkward for everyone else being an A+ wedding guest. That coat closet is not secret, and it is probably where I’m hiding all of my stuff and will be going in and out of it all night long. Guess what, I can see you. Even if you ignore me, my eyes still work.

Not only do I mean keep it in your pants when it comes to the opposite sex I LITERALLY mean keep it in your pants, guys. Awesome, God gave you the ability to pee practically anywhere. Great for you. A wedding is not a place to practice that ability. You are a grown up, so use the grownup toilets that are provided for you. Don’t relieve yourself at the park, during the day, in front of a bunch of innocent toddlers OR on my car, yes you, groomsmen who apparently wasn’t educated in the way of American toilets (can you tell I’m still bitter about that one). Use the bathroom, the inside one that’s what it’s there for.

Photo provided by Kendra Oxendale

Photo provided by Kendra Oxendale

There you have it. 5 easy tips to help you be a great wedding guest and keep your couple happy!Rule of thumb? Not everyone at a wedding is drunk or unaware of the things happening around them. There are wedding vendors and eyes everywhere- watching you, and all of the dumb things you do. Keep that in mind the next time you take a heap of mashed potatoes, or 15 desserts to “Share with the table”.