Ask Ali: Guide To Getting It Right As A Wedding Guest

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Finally, Memorial Day has officially kicked off summer, paving the way for – you guessed it – wedding season! You probably have received an invitation or two already in the mail. So I’ve compiled some helpful hints on what to do/not do – a refresher course on wedding etiquette, if you may.

Do RSVP by the RSVP date and DON’T assume you can bring a guest. Unless it says “and guest” on the invitation, only YOU should be attending. And no, DON’T call the bride and ask if you can bring a date, either. Chances are if it was in their budget, the bride and groom would’ve extended the extra invitation to you to bring a plus-one. Refrain from being passive aggressive by penciling in your guest’s name onto the RSVP card. The only exceptions are if you’re married, engaged or cohabiting. In that case, modern-day etiquette says the bride should have included your romantic partner in the first place, and you can very diplomatically and politely broach the conversation with her. Just don’t be rude or you may find yourself uninvited all together (keep in mind bridezilla’s do not like being told what to do on their special day).

DO ship your gift to their home. Nowadays most retailers offer free shipping for your convenience and it’s much easier for the couple to not have to deal with the logistics of lugging the gifts home.

DO turn off your cell phone. Better yet, be in the moment and enjoy the celebration without live tweeting the nuptials. A recent New York Times article explored how wedding updates on Facebook can be painful for uninvited friends – yet another reason to leave your phone in the car. I’m not saying don’t post pictures, but just be cognoscente, posting a tasteful amount until the bride and groom share their pics. You don’t want them to feel like they were “scooped” at their own wedding.

DO obey the dress code. The appearance of the invitation should indicate how formal of an affair it will be. Guys should wear a suit or at least a suit jacket and slacks. Ladies: no white/off white/ivory. Even if you are looking better than ever (and are dying to show off your hot new bod to the bride’s cousin who dissed you), a wedding is neither the time nor the place. Keep it classy and don’t show up with enough cleavage to make Grandma blush. Again DON’T wear white – you don’t want to be “that girl.” There are a million color options, you don’t need to upstage the bride and take any attention away from her. Unless the invite indicates a white wedding, where all guests are asked to wear white, go with a nice summer color like peach or sea foam green.

DON’T get too wasted. I’m not saying don’t indulge during the cocktail hour; just hold it together. Nothing is more encouraging to the bride and groom than seeing their guests dance and enjoy themselves. Getting sloppy and making out with one of the groomsmen, who also happens to be the maid of honor’s ex, isn’t well perceived.

Finally and most importantly, DO have fun and celebrate love!

Ask your relationship/love/dating questions to me @Alywaite #AskAliB9N or DM @AskAliB9N. I’m happy to help out!

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