Wedding Guest Etiquette: 8 Types of Guests You SHOULDN’T Be

Our List for Perfect Wedding Guest Etiquette

Wedding guest etiquette is super important! Being invited to a wedding means the couple personally chose you to participate in celebrating one of the biggest days of their lives. If you were chosen to be a wedding guest, you should feel honored and even loved. I’ll bet you’re pretty excited to see your family, friend or co-worker walk down the aisle, enjoy the delicious food and party all night alongside them.

But occasionally, more often than you might think, a wedding guest can actually detract from the bride, groom and even the wedding itself. You definitely don’t want to be this guest. So here are a few of the surprisingly stereotypical bad wedding guests.

orlando wedding photographer

Ellie and Andrew had a small intimate garden wedding at Capen House

8 Types of Wedding Guest you SHOULDN’T be

1. The Over Helpful Bridesmaid

The over helpful bridesmaid means well, but honestly she’s often just in the way. She has photo ideas for days, stops every few minutes to “fix” something, often something the photographer or bride didn’t want “fixed” and just in general intrusive.

2. The Guest Who Brings the Plus One WITHOUT an Invite

Very often weddings have seating charts that the bride and her wedding planner meticulously and carefully planned for months. They know exactly how many chairs, places, plates and even meals have been prepared. Bringing an uninvited plus one means a whole team of people are forced to try and find a way to make this rude decision work. Not to mention, it is going to feel suuuuuper awkward standing there with your guest as they try to find a solution. Don’t do this to the couple and don’t do this to your guest.

3. The Late Arriver

The guests are all seated, the music has begun, maybe even a bridesmaid or two has walked down the aisle and then here they come- the Late Arrivers. Ducking a bit as they clutch their purse or wedding gifts trying to find a seat without disturbing everyone, but everyone is already watching you. The couple wanted you at their wedding, the very least you can do is be on time.

4. The Over-Celebrator

It is perfectly acceptable to be happy and excited for the couple. As long as it doesn’t become more about you and your excitement than the couple. So don’t give an impromptu speech unless the couple asks for that. Obviously, they want you to enjoy yourself and partake in the celebratory libations, but definitely don’t enjoy them so much that you end up making a spectacle, get ill at their wedding, or become a distraction to the reason for the day. (full disclosure- the gentleman in the image below is the groom and he is celebrating the PERFECT amount)

wedding guest photography

5. The Guestographer

Often called the “Uncle Bob”. This person has their own camera or sometimes just a cell phone. They are often found standing uncomfortably close behind the hired photographer so they can also get “the shot”. Sometimes they are even so bold as to try to pose the couple in the precious limited time they have for portraits. But the very worst, Guestographer is the one that tries to get the first kiss photo and sometimes even blocks the view of the hired photographer ruining their photo and often missing the kiss anyway. The couple hired a professional photographer to capture their wedding. They invited the guests to live in the moment and take it all in. Honor their wishes and put the phone or the camera away for one day.

6. The Comedic Groomsman

Being asked to be part of the wedding party is truly an honor not to be taken lightly. The ceremony or portrait time is not your time to be in the spotlight, making the photographer’s job that much more difficult and frustrating or embarrassing the couple. It is also not party time yet and the drinks shouldn’t be your main priority. Yes; it may be hot, your suit may be uncomfortable, you might not even like being in photos, but you agreed to do this for your friend. Also, it goes a lot easier and more quickly when everyone cooperates.

7. The Night Off Parents

Some weddings don’t invite children at all. But if you’re invited to a wedding and they say children are welcome, do make sure you keep an eye on them. Don’t let them run rampant at the wedding. Don’t let them run into the ceremony space or in front of where they are doing photos. Photos of children dancing are always adorable and hilarious, but remember to watch them closely and keep them nearby. There is often very expensive photo or Dj equipment at weddings that might seem appealing to little hands.

8. The One Who Didn’t Show

Every guest who RSVPs to a wedding costs a good deal of money for the bride and groom. Meals can often range over $150 per plate, so if you RSVP for an event – pending a completely unavoidable issue, do your best to attend! Typically, the couple has to give their final numbers 2 weeks in advance (or more), so the proper amount of food and alcohol can be ordered and prepared. If something does change your ability to attend, try to give the couple at least a 2 week’s notice so they can make arrangements with their venue!

wedding etiquette

Don’t be this person at your friend’s or family’s wedding. They hand selected you through much care to be a wedding guest. Honor and respect them by having a great time while still following perfect wedding guest etiquette that the focus of the day should be on them and their union.