Wedding Guest Etiquette – DO’s & DON’Ts of Behavior & Manners at Weddings


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and
our wedding series. Today, we discuss wedding etiquette and the
thirteen do’s and don’ts of guests at weddings. Chances are, you’ve seen a guest behave poorly
at a wedding where that’s being totally wasted or just telling dirty jokes, or just being
a jerk. It’s just that kind of time when all the relatives
are down, everybody’s there and happy and there is that one bad guest that everyone
remembers for the rest of their lifetime and you don’t want to be that terrible guest that
everybody thinks of not so fondly and actually resents. As a guest, you are there to support and celebrate
the bride and groom and here are the thirteen do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind
at any wedding. First of all, do rsvp in a timely manner. The wedding couple and the entire team has
spent a lot of time, money, and effort to plan this whole event and they want to know
as soon as possible who they can expect at their event. if it turns out that you RSVP’d with yes and
you have a major life event and can’t come, let them know as soon as possible so they
can make arrangements and maybe invite someone else or get their money back. Nothing is more disappointing to a bride and
groom to have guests be disrespectful by either not RSVPing or RSVPing and not showing up. If you pull that on them, they will not invite
you to any other event again. Don’t ask to add guests to an invitation. If the invitation says plus one, you can bring
another person, not three others. If it says plus family, it means you can bring
your family. If it says no children and you have children,
you have to find a babysitter or someone who takes care of your kids and you can’t ask
to bring your kids because they specifically don’t want that. It can be hard for them to say no but you
should respect their wishes and if you can’t make it work, simply say no and regretfully
decline but don’t show up with more people or ask for more. The reason is, every wedding couple has to
make hard decisions about their guest list and you just make it even harder on them when
you bring those requests. Do respect the dress code. If the invitation has a dress code, follow
it. If you’re not sure what it means, please check
out our dress code primer video here. Popular dress codes for weddings include cocktail
attire, we have a special video for that here. As well as black tie or black tie optional
and you can find more about that in this video. If the invitation does not state a dress code,
you should definitely ask the wedding couple, of course, you know them, and you kind of
have an idea of what they want and how they dress normally. But weddings are different and so you should
always make an effort to reach out so you know in advance. Four, do buy a gift from the registry or give
them cash. Nobody’s interested in your self-knitted blankets,
your old vases, or your hand me down glasses. Either, get the couple something from the
registry because that’s what they specifically want and just because you like something,
does not mean it fits their home and lifestyle. If you can’t run anything on the registry
anymore that you actually want to give or you think is out of your budget, give cash. As a newly married couple, you need to make
lots of decisions, choices, and purchases, and cash will always help. So how much cash should you give? Well, that really depends on the culture. If you’re in Spain for example, you’re expected
to pay for a very expensive dinner and then it’s not unusual to pay 200-300 euro as a
gift per person. In Germany for example, where I’m from, it’s
not uncommon that you give about 75-150 euros per person. In the US on the other hand, it’s not unheard
of that guests pay about $20 per person for a wedding and in my opinion, that’s almost
worse than not giving anything at all because it’s almost like an insult. In most places, you should try to at least
pay $50-100, that way, it shows that it’s a meaningful event and if you can’t do that,
maybe come up with a creative solution, a gift that you know they’ll enjoy, they invited
you after all and if it’s not within your budget, don’t go into debt but make sure that
you can do the best that’s possible for you. Five, Do go with the flow. Chances are the bride and groom made lots
of plans and this is the time for you to relax, just sit back, enjoy and go with the flow. If you’re supposed to be at a cocktail hour
at five, don’t go somewhere else and show up at six. Just make sure you respect their plans and
show up on time. Six, don’t be greedy at an open bar. In most cultures, if you’re invited to a wedding,
that means you’re not expected to pay for anything and everything is included. In the US however, it’s not uncommon to have
a cash bar where guests are expected to pay for alcoholic beverages. Now sometimes, you’ll find an open bar and
that’s because the wedding couple wants to be very generous and just wants you to have
a good time. That does not mean you should abbuse it and
order the most expensive scotch you can get your hands on. Simply be respectful. Order a drink, someone has to pay for it. Which brings us to number seven, do drink
in moderation. It’s great to have a drink and relax and be
jolly but it’s not okay to have eight drinks and be totally drunk and pass out and maybe
puke into the corner. That’s something you want to avoid and it
really ruins that wedding day for the bride and groom who spent so much time and effort
and money on this event. Nobody will ever forget that you were the
drunk while at the wedding and they may tease you for it years later. Eight, Don’t encourage over consumption of
others. That means, don’t buy shots, not for the groom,
or anybody else, and this is not a frat party, this is a wedding. So don’t overdo it. Nine, do leave the drama at home. This is not the time to rehash old stories
or disputes. This is the time to enjoy and come together. If you have to, swallow your pride. Ten, don’t embarrass the wedding couple by
trying to be the center of attention. That means as a woman, do not wear a white
dress, that’s reserved for the bride. Same as the men, don’t wear shiny dinner jackets,
or big boutonnieres, or top hats as the guest because that’s not about you, it’s about them. Eleven, don’t arrive late or leave the event
early. If you have a major other conflicts with your
schedule and you can’t make it work, simply don’t attend. it’s just very disrespectful to show up late
when they are in the middle of the ceremony or to just leave early because it just tells
the wedding couple you don’t care enough to stay. Twelve, do say goodbye to the bride and groom
in person. It is their day and yes, they don’t have time
to spend an hour and talking to all their guests. The least you can do is say goodbye personally
with a handshake, with a hug, and thank them personally that they invited you. At our wedding, guests snuck out and I never
invited them to anything again and for many others, it’s just a very disrespectful gesture
and sometimes, I even heard people say “Oh, the meal is done. Now I can go!” and that just creates a really
bad mood that you want to avoid as a guest. You want to be a good guest. Number thirteen, do plan a safe ride home
if you had a few drinks. DO not drive yourself. Get a lift or an Uber or even an old school
cab or have someone drive who didn’t drink. That way, you get home safely and everybody
is happy. If you follow these thirteen simple guidelines,
I’m sure you’ll be a wedding guest that is well remembered, respected, and thought of
fondly. If you enjoyed this video, please make sure
to check out our other videos in the wedding series that cover everything from how to buy
an engagement ring to how to wear black tie.

Michael Martin

45 Responses

  1. I hope you will be done with this whole wedding guide soon. I can't say this series has been my favorite. Sorry

  2. Here in India none of these rules matters 😉 bcoz its like disrespect to guests and they might feel bad for something written like no family or no children pls!

  3. Hey Sven, I have been enjoying your channel and videos for over a year now and think you have some of the best knowledge and details of all the big style channels! keep up the amazing work sir and if you have the time to look at my new channel, please do! I am ordering several things like lighting, backgrounds, and better mic for camera to make much more professional! I simply needed to start and do something now and get content out lol. Please excuse the amateur nature as I'm learning as I go!

  4. I love this series, keep the videos comming. It would be fun if you Raphael just stuck out a wedding afterparty video as a last video just to spite the haters.

  5. I don't really get the hate for this series. I think it provides a lot of useful information for everyone and I mean a bit of manners never hurt anyone. I think Raphael did a great job as always.

  6. Finde die videos cool aber finde nicht dass man nicht kommen soll sondern sagen dass man zu spät kommt zum beispiel zum essen nach der kirche…

  7. Great video Rapheal! 👏 can totally relate, we had guest asking to if they could bring x,y,z with them to the party. Not really something we considered polite. 😉

  8. Sir i although dont find your voice and face attractive…. But you have a strong and superior knowledge about styling…. I appreciate it😊😊😊

  9. I went to a wedding 3 weeks ago. My job requires to dress sharp which means I have tailored clothes.
    So I went to that wedding and many of the guests looked sloppy, and terribly dressed. I saw adult person wearing a dirty pre tied tie…
    Most of the guys dont even have pocket square and I felt uncomfortable because I was way better dressed than the guests.
    I paid attention to not to overdress the groom and I did not.

  10. This is a fantastic video. So practical and doesn't cost anything to know these simple rules. I'm certain you've made an impact with this video by saving a couple or two the headaches arising with these "don'ts".

  11. Have you done a video dealing with the etiquette FOR the newly married couple rather than the guests? Believe me, these days I encounter far more ridiculous behaviour from the bride and groom than I do from the guests. Yes, it may be THEIR wedding, but it is not an excuse to act boorish and foolish.

    Of the points you raised, I must strongly disagree with the one regarding RSVP. The happy couple really do not care whether you attend or not. What they DO care about is that you provide a gift of substantial value. Once you satisfy their sense of greed and entitlement, the couple does not care if they ever see you again.

    Welcome to 2017 where even the most refined make a conscious effort to be trashy.

  12. The people hating on series dont understand that Gentlemen chooses to be well rounded in all all situations. A little etiquette goes a long way.

  13. About the gifts… My cousin and her fiance asked for lottery coupons instead of flowers. I think it's a smart idea because imagine getting over 100 flower bouquets at your wedding…

  14. I live in the US and we don’t give $20 a person for a wedding. It is very rare that that happens and if it does it is very rude. I always give at least $100-$150 per person. So when my boyfriend and I go to weddings we give $300 together.

  15. As an officiant who has officiated over 1,000 ceremonies, I can share that Raphael's words are spot on! I want to loose my mind when guests arrive 5-10-15 minutes late for a wedding, when they won't stop taking photos with their cell phones, or when they forget that they were invited to be guests, not to critique, or be a planner. It is about having some decorum. Well said!

  16. How should one present money as gifts? Regular envelope? Fancy? Only one? Or: Envelope inside another envelope? Thanks><

  17. This is a great video. You touched on many things that we see wedding guests take for granted. I especially love your RSVP comments and your “leave the drama at home” statement.

  18. In Greece, where I live, weddings are wayyy more relaxed than ones in America or the rest of Europe. We never have a dress code (most people wear just jeans and a dress shirt), there is no chance that children are not welcome (in fact everyone tends to have a lot of fun with them), there is no bar or open bar, and it is much more disrespectful not to attend a wedding than to leave early. And there is no rsvp either. You just contact the host but only if you will not be able to attend.
    That's not hating in any way, I'm just highlighting some cultural differences! I love this series!

  19. The last wedding I attended both bride and groom got wasted and passed out, then left without saying goodbye, lol

  20. Mostly great suggestions, but the only one I sort of went "WTF?" on was the one about gifts. Gifts, by definition, are never owed, and in the same vein, they are not supposed to be "payment" for their invitation/reception dinner, and that mentality (common, sadly) is tacky. You give what you can and what you like… and a tasteful, thoughtful inexpensive gift is never an "insult." A lovely framed photo of the couple would be something special, and costs very little.

  21. I have a question, but not sure where to ask it . My sister is getting married at the end of the month and I am one of the groomsman. I have never met the groom or his family as I live in Montana and she is in Alabama and I don't want to offend anyone. Now my question is can I refuse to participate in the garter toss? I am not only single, but the kind of single that has quit on relationships of the romantic kind entirely and resents weddings and many wedding traditions. I don't dance, go out, and don't want to ruin the wedding bring the mood to a halt because they will tell I would rather not even be there to begin with. So would it be wrong for the sake of everyone's happiness just avoid the situation by polietly declining to get involved?

  22. I behave just fine at 💒s, but it’s hard to deal with 😵 💒 guests these days. It wasn’t pretty to see my cousin’s friends get 😵 at the Halloween 💒 3 years ago and that irritated everyone else around us.

  23. Good points; about 30-40% of the ettiqute videos content seem like things hes seen or incidents that ticked him off. Lol…

  24. I went to a wedding in the mid 1990s. The couple had a "buffet" with picnic foods, subs, snacks. 🙄. The wedding had approx 150 guests, family. I thought it was a bit tacky.

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