6 Faux Pas Wedding Guests Make — Without Even Realizing It

Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
There are many dos and don'ts of being a model wedding guest. Some of them you're probably familiar with — don't wear white! — but others are far more nuanced. In fact, you may not even realize that you're committing a faux pas in the first place.
Ahead, we've detailed six common mistakes wedding guests make, from bombarding the couple with last-minute questions to failing to RSVP on time. These things may seem small, but to those who are juggling the endless number of tasks that go into wedding-planning, they're not. The couple cares about you enough to include you in their big day; try to make their lives easier, not more difficult.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Asking the couple last-minute questions.
The invitation provided you with all the important information: the whens, wheres, whats, and in most cases, the what-to-wears. So when you text the bride the night before her wedding asking what time you should be there, or whether it's black-tie, she's going to be justifiably annoyed. In the event that there really was crucial information missing from the invitation or wedding website, consider asking someone else — a family member, another guest, or a member of the wedding party. Brides and grooms don't have time to walk all their guests through the details at the eleventh hour. That's why they provided all the info in advance.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Asking to bring a guest.
In an ideal world, in which venue capacity and money are no object, the couple might be happy to have your bestie, or your new Tinder match, or your upstairs neighbor, or even your pet cat tag along to their wedding. But that is not the world we live in. If you weren't invited to bring a guest, there's a reason. The couple may be trying to save money, or there may be limited space at the venue. Or maybe they're just trying to minimize the number of strangers with whom they share this personal event. Either way, asking to bring an uninvited guest puts them in a very uncomfortable position. If not bringing a guest presents an insurmountable dilemma for you, then politely decline to attend — and be glad you don't have to shell out for a gift or a new outfit.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Getting too trashed.
Most people go to a wedding expecting to take full advantage of the open bar. No harm in that. But if you get so tanked that you cause a scene, have to be escorted from the premises, or are generally behaving in a disruptive, belligerent manner, the couple probably won't be so forgiving. They want their wedding to be remembered for many things — but you making a drunken scene after one too many celebratory shots of Patron are not among them. Keep it together.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Incessantly taking cell phone pics mid-ceremony.
It's great that you're excited about this wedding, and it makes sense that you'd want to capture it on your iPhone, just as you do every other pretty, shiny thing you come upon. But wedding ceremonies are different. Firstly, the couple is (likely) paying a professional photographer an ungodly sum of money to document every second of this affair, so they're covered on that front, thanks. Secondly, when they look out at their guests, they want to see their guests — not a bunch of people waving cell phones around.

If you can take a few subtle snaps at an appropriate moment, excellent. Otherwise, stay in your seat, don't block the view for other guests, and take solace in knowing that watching something with your own two eyes can actually be an extremely effective way to preserve a memory.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Not RSVP'ing by the requested deadline.
You can barely get out of bed without multiple reminders, let alone be expected to send a reply card via snail mail within four weeks of receiving a formal invitation. We get it. Nevertheless, where there's a will, there's a way. And when it comes to letting people know whether you'll be attending their nuptials, you ought to summon the will. Don't be the person who waits until the last minute (or lets the deadline pass altogether) for no good reason.

Many details of a wedding depend on having a final headcount, and once the invitations go out, the couple will desperately be trying to finalize their guest list, make seating charts, and even invite other people to fill spots if some people decline. Don't add to the chaos by making them follow up with you because you couldn't get your shit together. They're spending a lot of money, time, and effort on this thing; show them the respect of responding to their invitation within the requested time period.


6 of 6
Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Not notifying the couple if you move.
Did you recently move to a new house? Congrats! Moving is stressful, but it's exciting stuff, right? Well, weddings are like that, too. And unless the bride or groom possesses psychic powers, they probably won't know that you have a new mailing address unless you tell them.

Most couples recognize that while their engagement changes everything for them, the rest of the world keeps on spinning. But if you're close enough with people to be invited to their wedding, and you've previously supplied them with a mailing address for wedding-related correspondence, then it's nice to shoot them a quick note if that address changes. You'll save them from paying a calligrapher or printer to address an envelope that will just be returned, not to mention the anxiety of wondering why you haven't RSVP'd.
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