While guests don’t have to do much but show up to a wedding and have fun, there are a few common mistakes they should avoid to make sure everyone has a good time.
1. Not RSVP’ing. This is the biggest mistakes guests–and it drives couples crazy. “They are trying to get a head count on food and beverage costs and decor costs, so don’t make them call you to follow up or just show up at the wedding,” says Brit Bertino of Brit Bertino Event Excellence.
2. Arriving too early. While you want to be punctual, showing up too early to the location can add stress to the bride, the planner and anyone else involved. “Nobody wants you there before everything is ready!” says Kim Sayatovic of Belladeux Events.
3. Showing up late. If you are late to the ceremony don’t be surprised if you are asked to wait outside until the processional is complete, says Bertino. Or you may even have the pleasure of standing in the back of the ceremony and not have the opportunity to sit. Leave a buffer and come a few minutes before the scheduled time.
4. Bringing an extra guest. Most invitations specify a request for total number on the RSVP, but often guests may send in their response before confirming childcare or even a date, says Marilisa Martel Schachinger of Martel Event. “Just as you would notify the hosts with a last-minute cancellation, it’s imperative to do the same with any last-minute additions. Any increase in guest count (even slightly) affects number of place settings, chairs, seating charts, etc.”
5. Drinking too much. Yes, it is great to have free wine and beer and possibly a signature cocktail, but don’t go all crazy on drinking, especially if you are driving, says Jennifer Taylor of Taylor’d Events Group. “If you are going to go to town on the drinking, then make sure you have Uber ready to take you home or you have the phone number of the local cab company. Just be sure to take responsibility to figure out how you are going to get home before you get to the wedding.”
6. Complaining to the bride. Whether you’re not happy with the accommodations or can’t find a ride to and from the venue, don’t overburden the bride with too many questions or requests. Instead, ask the planner for help (if there is one) or the bride’s parents for assistance.
7. Requesting songs. The couple primarily has a list of song selection that they want to hear throughout the celebration, they also have a do not play list. “There is nothing worse for the DJ to get the requests from guests to play a do not play song,” says Bertino. “Also, the DJ reads the crowd really well, if everyone is on the dance floor, let the DJ do his thing, he is most likely in a groove and so are the rest of the guests.”
8. Taking too many photos . “Guests, please stop taking pictures with your phones and iPads during the processional and recessional,” says Mike Busada of Mike B Photography. “At almost all of the weddings I have photographed over the last few years, at least one guest has invariably stepped into the aisle between my clients and me or they have held their phone out in the aisle to get the shot of the bride walking down the aisle. We spend way too much time trying to edit out guests and phones after every wedding now and, sometimes even with Photoshop, we can’t repair a great photo that was ruined by a guest.”
9. Moving seats at the reception. Just because your friend’s date didn’t come, please don’t shift your seat pre-dinner, says Jyl Deering, Chancey Charm Boston Wedding Planner. “The venue, as well as the bride, has made a seating chart, with meal requests ahead of time for the venue staff. Please stay at your assigned table until dancing starts!”
10. Wearing the wrong attire. To avoid any fashion faux pas, brides should make sure their attire request is very clearly written on their wedding invitations, says Brianne Noonan of Pretty Polite Print Boutique. “Whether it’s a casual beach wedding, or a snazzy black-tie affair, let your guests know. This way, no one is confused by the wedding theme and can dress accordingly.”
11. Not sharing food restrictions. Guests should make any dietary restrictions and food allergies known ASAP so that they can be accommodated, says Noonan. “If they wait until the day of the wedding, there’s no guarantee the catering company or venue can handle their needs. It’s also good for brides to put multiple entree selections on their RSVPs and ask guests to choose in advance what they will be served at the reception. You can also provide a line for guests to write their allergies or foods they need to avoid.”
For more wedding tips, check out mistakes brides make when planning a holiday season wedding and how to personalize a classic wedding.
[Photo: Erich McVey]