1 Not sending back RSVP cards
Don’t think you can just text or Facebook your response. The bride and groom have gone to a lot of trouble to have the RSVP cards printed for a reason. When they’re doing the last-minute count before confirming the final numbers for the venue, they don’t have time to be checking texts, Facebook, email, carrier pigeon responses. It’s so much easier to just count all the cards, so get on the bandwagon and just post it back.
2 Bringing an unannounced plus one (or bringing someone who isn’t a partner)
If you haven’t been allocated a plus one, you don’t get a plus one. The couple will usually spend weeks agonising over the guest list and changing numbers last minute is every bride’s nightmare. Similarly you can’t just bring any old plus one. When the couple allow guests a plus one, what they’re saying is “you are special to me, so please invite someone special to you.” And since each place at a wedding can cost up to $200 a head, it’s an unspoken rule that the plus one IS actually a partner or significant other. If your partner can’t come, then RSVP for one rather than bringing a mate who’s never met the bride or groom.
3 Giving unplanned toasts
The bethrothed pair put a great deal of thought into who they’d like to speak on their big day (and probably gave them the rundown on what topics to steer clear of if they value their lives, too). Giving a speech without permission is just plain rude. Not only are you going against the wishes of the bride and groom, but you run the risk of upsetting those who weren’t asked to speak, if they think the bride asked you but not them. This is one event where it isn’t about you.
4 Not listing food allergies
Don’t wait until the salmon is placed in front of you to tell someone you’re allergic to fish. If you can’t eat something, then make sure you note it on your RSVP card. Which you will DEFINITELY send back. Right. RIGHT?!
5 Crashing the wedding
You don't know a single person there! Go home!
6 Wearing white or black without checking with the bride
Some brides don’t care about what their guests wear, but some hold the dress code up as a holy document as sacred as the Bible. Traditionally one should never wear white (it’s the bride’s colour) or black (it’s seen as funereal) but some brides are flexible with this. As a rule you should avoid white (well, unless you follow our advice on how to pull it off), and always check with the bride whether black is OK or not.
7 Getting a non-registry approved gift
You might think it’s impersonal to get a gift from a registry list, but we can guarantee you the happy couple picked their presents for a reason. Going rogue on the gift (or worse still, not getting a gift at all) is bound to annoy someone, whether it’s the couple themselves, or Great Aunt Louisa who has to lug all the gifts back to the car at midnight.
When the priest or celebrant asks if anyone objects, it’s a rhetorical question. DO. NOT. DO. THIS.
9 Broadcasting the wedding on social media without permission
You might be thrilled to post the first pics of Mr and Mrs Smith #justmarried #wedfest, but the bride and groom might want to be the first people to show the world their newly hitched status. Best to check if it’s OK first.
10 Drinking too much
No one wants to be that guy or gal, barefoot on the dance floor, throwing his or her limbs so violently into the Nutbush that everyone leaves the dance floor rapidly. Getting drunk can lead to small mishaps (falling over) or large mishaps (scratching someone’s eyes out while screaming like a banshee when diving for the bouquet). If you wouldn’t want it to end up in the wedding album, don’t do it.
11 Being late
The only person who’s allowed to be late to a wedding is the bride. If perchance the bride is on time, you don’t wanna be the person squishing past everyone whilst whispering “Sorry. Sorry! So sorry. Excuse me. Sorry,” and then knocking over one of the floral aisle decorations that had been precariously perched on a pedestal, and having the whole congregation stare at you in disapproval. Not that we’ve done that, or anything.
Follow these rules and you'll ensure you're not put on the banned guests list for the next wedding. And if you’ve been called up for bridesmaid duty, here’s how to survive it, friendships intact.