Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

December 2015

10 Wedding Guest Behaviours Couples Secretly Hate

Don’t make any of these 10 wedding guest faux pas that couples secretly hate!

Getting invited to a wedding, whether it’s for your best friend or a distant cousin, is always exciting. You get to dress up, enjoy delicious food, mingle with people you haven’t seen in awhile, and of course, share in the joy of the happy couple.

A bride and groom’s wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest of their lives—the last thing you want to do is ruin it with poor etiquette. Here’s a list of the top 10 wedding guest behaviours that couples secretly hate.

1. Ignoring RSVP etiquette

Hazel and Darren’s Beautiful Handmade Vineyard Hort Park Wedding by Thomas Tan Photography

RSVP, which is an abbreviation for the French phrase, “Répondez, s’il vous plait,” lets the couple know whether or not you’ll be attending their wedding. Whether they include a card to be mailed back to them, a phone number, or an online registry, it’s important to respond to it in a timely fashion. This gives them a head count so they know how many seats they should have and how much food to order.

On that same note, if you RSVP “yes,” you must show up. Barring a death in your family or some other emergency, it would be unpardonably rude to ditch a wedding when the couple is counting on you to be there. You’ll cost the bride and groom a significant amount of money, and deeply hurt their feelings as well.

2. Bringing uninvited guests

Bernie and Aizat’s Sunset Vineyard at Hort Park Wedding by Leslie Photography

The invitation will indicate if you get a “plus one” or not. Don’t assume that the couple is fine with you bringing an extra guest—the invitation will specify whether or not they would like you to bring a date. Try not to feel too hurt if they cannot accommodate an extra person. It’s usually just a matter of budget, and is something you should respect without complaint.

3. Contacting them for logistics

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore by Feldberyl Images

Work out the details of your arrival to the wedding before the wedding day to avoid any last minute confusion. Under no circumstances should you contact the bride or groom on the day of their wedding with questions about directions, parking, or other logistical information. They have enough to worry about (like getting married!) and shouldn’t have to deal with matters like that. If you do have an eleventh hour question, ask another wedding guest or member of the bridal party.

4. Arriving late

Jocelyn and Luke’s Sleek Industrial Chic Rooftop Wedding at Sky Garden @ iFly Singapore by Bittersweet Photography

Sometimes it’s expected that a wedding will start late, and so guests have no problem arriving well past the start time printed on the invitation.

This is a poor habit to get into, and only causes stress for the bride and groom. Imagine they’re ready to begin the ceremony, and only half the guests have arrived? You’re much better off coming at the specified time to avoid any confusion or hurt feelings—or worse, showing up in the middle of the ceremony. If the wedding ends up being delayed, get to know some of the other guests or catch up with a family member whom you haven’t seen in awhile.

5. Showing up empty-handed

Jillian and Elroy’s Warm Church Wedding and Intimate Neon Pigeon Wedding Dinner by Xinning from alone – together

If the bride and groom have been nice enough to include you in their celebration (and treat you to dinner!), then it is only polite to give them a gift.

It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant—even a card with a little bit of money is better than nothing. If you can afford it, though, try to give a gift that roughly matches up to the cost of your attending the wedding. If you are especially close to the couple, you might want to consider a larger or more personal gift. Refer to the couple’s gift registry (if they have one) to find out what they truly want and need, or give a practical gift of cash. It’s also okay to mail large gifts directly to the bride and groom, as opposed to bringing them to the ceremony.

6. Wearing white

Steph and Weilun’s Travel-Themed Capella Singapore Wedding by Bobby Kiran Photography

While it might be an innocent mistake, wearing white to a wedding can seriously offend the bride and make her feel like you’re trying to steal the spotlight. Save white for your own special day; for now, wear a dress of any other colour.

7. Getting too drunk

Si Ling and David’s Modern Peranakan Wedding at EMPRESS by Studiokel Photography by Kelly Fan

The list of things that can go wrong when a wedding guest gets too drunk at the reception is lengthy, from getting sick to saying something that embarrasses the bride.

It’s fine to indulge a little bit; just be sure to keep yourself under control. There will potentially be many toasts that involve drinking. If you find that you’re reaching your limit, simply take tiny sips or only refill your glass a little bit. You don’t want to offend anyone by not participating in a toast, but it’s much preferred to accidentally letting slip how ugly you think the bridesmaid dresses are.

8. Letting unruly children run amok

Li Syn and Abel’s Floral-Filled Wedding at The Fullerton Hotel by Andri Tei Photography

If your child has been invited to the wedding, do your best to make sure he is well-behaved during the ceremony and reception. Bring them to the children’s corner, if the couple has prepared one with activities to keep kids entertained. Of course, kids will be kids and sometimes temper tantrums are unavoidable—but if a situation arises that you cannot quickly quell, remove your child from the room. It will give him time to calm down, and you’ll avoid disturbing the couple.

It’s also a good idea to have a babysitter on call toward the end of the night, as your child starts to get tired (and possibly cranky). If you’re staying in the hotel where the reception is being held, the babysitter can watch him in your room while you continue enjoying the party downstairs.

9. Monopolising time with the bride and groom

Amanda and Eugene’s Vintage Wedding at Masons at Gillman Barracks by Yuili and Wei Zhen from Synchronal Photography

It’s natural that you want to share in the joy of the bride and groom’s big day, and you should definitely make it a point to congratulate them after the ceremony or during the reception. However, avoid taking up too much of their time. They have a lot of other guests to mingle with, so you shouldn’t feel offended if you don’t get to spend a ton of time with them.

10. Oversharing on social media

Amelia and Benedict’s Intimate Colonial-themed Wedding at Goodwood Park Hotel by Smittenpixels Photography

With Facebook and Instagram as ubiquitous as they are, you might not think twice about posting a picture of the bride or of the happy couple getting married. Before you post, though, be sure you know how the couple feels about photos of their wedding ending up all over social media.

Some couples create a wedding hashtag and encourage guests to share photos—in which case, go for it! But if the couple is more private, they may want you to wait until after their wedding day to post pictures. Respect their privacy—the last thing you want is to post a photo of the bride in her dress before the groom has even had a chance to see her.

Credits: Feature image from Geraldine and Kenny’s Pinterest-Worthy White and Green Wedding at The Chapel @ Imaginarium by Andri Tei Photography.

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10 Wedding Guest Behaviours Couples Secretly Hate