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- There are a number of ways guests can ruin people’s weddings.
- INSIDER spoke to wedding planner Amy Shey Jacobs of Chandelier Events to find out the worst things she has seen guests do.
- They include staring at their phone during the ceremony, sharing a photo of the bride’s dress on social media before the groom has seen it, and hooking up on the dance floor.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong if you’re planning a wedding. But it’s not just the bride and groom who make mistakes.
Being a wedding guest comes with certain responsibilities – and there are a number of ways you could be ruining someone’s big day without even realizing it.
INSIDER spoke to wedding planner Amy Shey Jacobs of the New York City-based company Chandelier Events to find out what things guests should never do, based on what she has witnessed at weddings.
Here are the worst offenders.
You forget to RSVP.
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No one really mails anything anymore. But if there’s one thing worth paying postage for, it’s the RSVP card to a wedding invitation.
Sending it late is bad manners, and not replying at all is even worse.
“It’s easy to goof on getting your reply in on time. But leaving a couple in the dark about your intentions with attending/not attending is more stressful to them than one might think,” Jacobs told INSIDER. “For couples planning a wedding, so much depends on getting RSVPs on time. So if you forgot to reply, let them know ASAP if you can or cannot be there!”
Her solution: “If you get an invite, make it a practice to RSVP right away (email, text, DM, whatever) and follow up with the real snail mail card.”
You ignore the registry.
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“Wedding registries are there to pretty much guarantee that you’re going to buy a gift that they [the bride and groom] are going to want,” Jacobs said.
You can go an extra step and make your run-of-the-mill registry gift more personal.
“Sometimes a bunch of $10 kitchen gadgets don’t always seem so impressive but you can personalize them by bundling them together and gifting with a monthly meal prep membership,” the planner said. “Get creative and never re-gift! It’s totally obvious.”
Your invite doesn’t give you a plus one, but you ask for one anyway.
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Weddings are expensive, and couples don’t always have the budget or venue space to invite as many people as they would like.
“Unless your invitation specifically invited you with a plus one, never make the assumption or ask if you can bring a date,” Jacobs said. “If you aren’t invited with a guest, never complain about it to the couple. Chances are, the couple has thought through their numbers based on a lot of factors such as room capacity, budget, and even the fact that they want to keep things a certain size.”
For unattached wedding guests, it’s not so bad. In Jacob’s words, “Smile and enjoy that singles table!”
You treat the couple like your concierge.
“Often wedding guests forget that the couple is not responsible for every travel arrangement, hair appointment booking, [and] itinerary planning for your stay,” Jacobs said.
“I always work with my couples at Chandelier Events to make sure we offer guests tons of detailed things-to-know and things-to-do information,” she said. Still, couples come under a lot of pressure to make their guests happy. “Remember, use GPS, Google and Glamsquad – if you need directions, a dinner reservation, or a blow-out, don’t bother the bride!”
You post a photo of the bride’s wedding dress on social media — before the groom has seen it.
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If you’re in the bride’s wedding party, or you get to see the gown before the wedding has started, keep any photos offline.
“Whatever you do, don’t post a photo on social media,” Jacobs said. “I promise, she does not want you to show the world her gown before she walks down that aisle. So resist and #latergram.”
You make these fashion faux pas.
There are so many fashion mistakes you can make as a guest.
Jacob’s absolute number one rule: “Never wear WHITE.”
Brides have worn white wedding dresses since Queen Victoria made it popular. So unless the bride has explicitly said guests can wear white, don’t do it.
When you pick your outfit, other things to avoid include “anything too sexy, or too scene-stealing or distracting,” Jacobs said.
“Don’t blow off the dress code: if the invite says Black Tie, wear a tuxedo. If the invite says semi-formal, do not wear khakis,” she said. “And unless it’s a hoe-down, never wear jeans to a wedding.”
You talk or stare at your phone during the ceremony.
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It’s obvious, but it’s worth saying again.
“Refrain from talking during a ceremony,” Jacobs said. “Even if you think you’re whispering, they can hear you.” This is especially true in an indoor setting, where the acoustics might make your voice louder. To be on the safe side, just don’t say anything.
Answering a phone call, or staring at your smartphone is also rude.
“You can live for 30 minutes without an email or social media distraction,” the wedding planner said. “Nothing feels worse than seeing a wedding guest they cherish with eyes down on a football game when you are standing at the altar. (True story.)”
You end up in the professional wedding photos… because you’re taking photos.
Many couples hire a professional wedding photographer, so their guests don’t need to take photos all the time – yet many still do.
“There is nothing worse for a couple than when they get their wedding photos back and they see tons of cell phones, guests in the aisle, or – dare we say it – a guest with a phone or a camera from behind the altar, in view of the money shot,” Jacobs said.
“So put your phones away until they say I do. And if you just have to have a snapshot, be discreet.”
You do any of these things on the dance floor.
While there are bound to be some embarrassing dance moves – especially if there’s an open bar – some things are never OK on the dance floor.
You should avoid “moshing, bumping, grinding [and] hooking up,” according to Jacobs. “There’s no room for TMI and PDA on the dance floor.”
It’s best to “keep it PG… and if you want to sneak a kiss with your sweetheart (or the new guy you met at the singles table) find a room.”