How to be a Wedding Guest

Feb 25, 2014

Everyone concerned wants an enjoyable and successful wedding, but I know, as a celebrant, that achieving this can sometimes prove to be less than simple. What if you are a wedding guest? Well, you know, you can contribute massively. Here’s how.


If everybody leaves it late (or even fails) to respond to the invitation, that will cause enormous problems for those organising all the arrangements. Be one of those who responds as soon as possible.


If you have the honour of being invited to participate in the ceremony, then do make sure you find out well in advance what the expectations are of your role! You may be expected to attend a rehearsal the day or morning before or wear particular attire. It’s far better to check beforehand than cause ripples and embarrassment on the day.

Tweaking The Invitation

You may want to bring your child(ren), but if there is no mention of them on the invitation, then accept it. (It’s not meant as a snub, but there simply have to be limits on the numbers invited.) Obviously, the same goes for other people you may feel should be invited.


Arrive well (30 minutes?) in advance – and don’t upstage the bride by a tardy, flustered entry. If you have been delayed, then you should simply wait until the end of the ceremony – just don’t interrupt it.


You will normally be given guidelines in the invitation. Go with what you are asked to wear, even if you might prefer a different style of attire.

At the Ceremony

Ushers should show you to your seat. If that’s not the case, leave the front two rows free for the family and VIPs.



There will probably be an official photographer in attendance and his/her photos will matter a lot to the couple. It would be far better if they could show your smiling face rather than an iPhone held in the air. Take photos after the ceremony, by all means, and always respect any requests in this regard in the invitation.


It should go without saying that you ought to drink responsibly afterwards (and especially beforehand!). Likewise, don’t trash the venue or embarrass yourself or the couple by loud or aggressive behaviour.

This is the biggest day in your friends’/relatives’ lives, so be grateful that they have chosen to include you. Enjoy the day – and enhance it for the happy couple. Make them glad they invited you!