20 Wedding Rules You Should Definitely Follow (No, Really)
13 Sep 2023 •3 min read
Hey, we're all for rule breaking... most of the time. While there are plenty old-school rules that need not apply to today's weddings, there are some guidelines you should pretty much stick to no matter what. So, whether you're a wedding guest, bride, or groom, here are twenty-two rules you should definitely follow.
If you're the couple...
Don’t invite someone to a pre-wedding party if you don't plan on inviting them to the wedding.
Inviting someone to your shower and not the big day? That's a no-no (and it's likely to lead to seriously hurt feelings).
Don't include your registry information on your wedding invitation.
Instead, add your registry to your wedding website and include a link on your save the date and invitation. You never want to look like you're soliciting gifts...
Never invite a guest to your wedding via text message or social media platform.
A little bit of thought goes a long way. And the same goes for thank you's!
If you send someone save the date, you must send them a wedding invite.
Yes, even if they've already told you they can't make it on the big day. Not sending an invitation suggests that they are no longer invited, and that's surely not the case.
If you know the name of your guest's plus one, include it on the invitation.
It'll make them feel truly welcome. Of course, if you're simply offering someone a plus one and don't know who they'll bring, "and Guest" is fine.
Your RSVP return card should include postage.
It's common courtesy to pre-stamp your RSVP envelopes or postcards so guests don't need to purchase postage to send their reply.
Get your marriage license well before your wedding day.
Check the laws in your state, and be sure to get your marriage license before the big day. The window is often relatively small, so make sure not to get it too early either.
Always feed your wedding vendors.
From your wedding planner to the band, your vendors are working hard for you all day long and with very few breaks. Make sure to speak to your caterer about supplying them with meals.
If someone sends you a gift, you must send them a thank you card.
No ifs, ands, or buts! A thoughtful handwritten note is always best.
If you're the wedding guest...
Don't RSVP "yes" if there is a chance you won't be able to make it to the wedding.
If you're uncertain or need more time, have an honest conversation with the couple. An empty "yes' can cause major headcount headaches.
If you get a plus one, RSVP with the person's name.
That way the couple can include his or her name on the guest list, escort cards, and any other printed materials.
Always send your RSVP card back in a timely manner.
If nothing else, make sure it's sent by the RSVP date listed on the invitation.
If the invitation specially says no children allowed, don't ask if you can bring your kids.
Feel free to reach out to the couple about local babysitters or other childcare options. If it's unclear if children are invited or not, you may just need to politely ask.
If your invitation specifies the name of your plus one, and that person can't make it, don't bring a friend instead.
Unless the couple has given you the green light, the only people invited to the wedding are those addressed on the envelope.
If you don't get a plus one, don't bring a plus one.
If your invitation doesn't say "and Guest," then it's safe to assume that you've been invited solo. You're best off not asking the couple to make exceptions.
Arrive at the wedding events on time.
It's just common courtesy, right?
Don't skip the ceremony.
Sure, everyone's excited to party. But your presence at the actual "I dos" is a must.
Turn the sound off on your phone during the wedding.
While some couples may be okay with smartphone photos, turn off the flash sound, ringer, alarms, vibration, and any other disruptive alert.
Don't wear a white dress (unless asked to).
White is reserved for the bride. Steer clear of whites, creams, and ivories unless the couple has specifically given you the go ahead.
Don't get too drunk.
Make the most of the open bar, but know your limits. Don't cause a scene at the wedding and be sure you can get yourself home safely at the end of the night.