Wedding Guest Etiquette 101

This one’s for the guests! There’s nothing more heartwarming than a wedding invite from your soon-to-be hitched friends or family - and then, it’s the stress of finding a gift, an outfit, a plan. We’re answering a few of the most commonly asked questions by guests.

This will be a handy list for the brides- and grooms-to-be out there - you might be able to field off these questions by including a bit of extra information in your invites or wedding website!

CAN I BRING A PLUS ONE?

This might be stating the obvious a wee bit - but your best bet is to check the invite. There are plenty of reasons a couple might not be allowing plus ones - they might have venue restraints with a cap on numbers, or be working with a small budget and only inviting their nearest and dearest. Don’t be offended if you haven’t been offered a plus one - and if you’re unsure, it’s best to ask the couple for clarification.


HOW ABOUT MY KIDS?

Same rules apply here - the couple will let you know if you can bring your wee ones along for the day. Some couples prefer to keep it adults-only - if this is the case, make the most of having a night away and enjoying the company!

WHAT SHOULD I GET AS A WEDDING GIFT?

Again, this will usually be included on your invite - and many modern weddings ask for nothing but your attendance at their special day! They might provide a bank account number, and ask for a small contribution to a honeymoon fund, or a link to a charity they’d like donations to be made on their behalf. Alternatively, they might have set up a wedding registry to give you a helping hand when deciding on a gift.

Photo via   Matai Huka

Photo via Matai Huka

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

There are a few thinks to take into account here. First up, the dress code is usually indicated on your invite - and most New Zealand weddings tend to opt for cocktail attire. Secondly, think about the venue and likely weather - if you’re heading to a beach wedding, stilettos are probably not the most comfortable choice, and likewise, if you’re going to a mid-winter wedding, you’ll need to remember a couple of extra layers to keep you toasty in the crisp evening. Keep it wedding appropriate too - while the deep-plunging neckline combined with a super short cut might be very flattering, it might not be the right choice for a family-focused day. Similarly, the white ball gown you’ve got in your wardrobe is probably not a good idea. You can always ask other guests, if you’re worried.

As for the guys, keep it tidy with a suit or blazer and smart trousers. Without a doubt, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Play with colours and patterns - you’re certainly not limited to just black, so why not go for a lighter blazer, or a tartan pattern?

WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T MAKE IT?

Life happens - and sometimes you need to pull out of an event last minute. Let the couple know as soon as possible if you aren’t able to make it - and it’s worth sending a proper apology after the day as well, so they know you truly missed being a part of their wedding!

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WHAT FOOD AND DRINK SHOULD I EXPECT?

Generally, you’ll see canapés being brought around post-ceremony - usually combined with a few glasses of bubbly. This will keep you going through the afternoon, and then begins the reception! Whether they’re doing a three-course plated meal, or a buffet or family-style dinner, you’re sure to be well fed by the end of the night. Stock up with a big breakfast - even as a guest, weddings are high-energy days!

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

This is entirely dependent on whereabouts the wedding is being held, and it should all be explained to you in your invite. If it’s a tricky spot to get to, the couple may have arranged a shuttle or bus to take guests to the venue at the start of the day, and take them home sometime near midnight. Alternatively, you might wish to carpool, or catch a taxi. Ultimately, the most important thing is that everyone travels safely - and has a sober driver.

CAN I TAKE PHOTOS?

This has been a big question, especially in recent years. If the couple is opting for an unplugged wedding, absolutely respect their wishes. They might specify no photos during the ceremony, but the rest of the day is fine - and they might ask that no images be posted to social media. Our best words of advice here? Enjoy the day with your own eyes! There’ll be a pro taking photos on the day - so set aside your screens and get amongst the love-filled, energetic atmosphere! (Although, if you snap a selfie or two, we won’t judge…).

This post was brought to you by our wonderful blogger in chief, Deanna Walker.

Deanna Walker