The Good Guest Guide

The Good Guest Guide

Read our modern wedtiquette rules and learn how to be the perfect guest

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


Hooray, you’ve been invited to a wedding! It means you’re important enough to be invited to the biggest day of your friends’ lives. But there’s more to being a good guest than simply turning up in your best lehenga and grooving to ‘Kaala Chashma’ on the reception dance floor.

Weddings have changed over the years, and so too have the rules. Here’s everything you need to know about being the perfect wedding guest.

Bringing Extra Guests
It’s always exciting getting post that isn’t bills or fast food flyers. But once you’re done admiring your wedding invite, pay attention to the words. If it states just your name, this means only you are on the guest list. You +1? Great, invite a buddy. You + family? Jackpot, bring the entire clan! (within reason, check before dragging along your nanima and all her mates to the ceremony).
Image from Two Mann Studios

How to RSVP
Guests always need to RSVP (and a good one should do it ASAP) but check how the couple wants your response first. Is it via post, email or on a specially created wedsite?
One of the biggest planning headaches is chasing guest RSVPs (couples can’t confirm catering, drinks or organise seating without solid numbers) so take five minutes out of your day to answer.
If, for any reason, you can no longer attend, tell the couple as soon as possible. You may be worried about incurring their wrath for bailing, but trust us; the longer you leave it the more annoyed they’ll be!

Find amazing wedding stationery inspo right here

Weddings tend to be all-day affairs, so delays, even small ones such as running a few minutes late, can knock-on to the rest of the day. If driving, ensure you have the correct postcodes, while guests using public transport (planes and trains) should check they have tickets and keep an eye on departure times. Only the bride reserves the right to be late on her wedding day!

Don't be late! Find the perfect wedding timepieces here

Wedding Wardrobe
Of course you want to look good. If you’re single and looking, weddings are perfect for meeting a future Mr or Mrs, and if you’re loved up, it’s a chance for nice coupley photos in your finest. BUT. Remember this is someone else’s big moment; it’s not about you. Tone it down, and if in doubt, remember the eternal wisdom of Coco Chanel: “Before leaving the house, remove one accessory.”

Find 1000s of W-day worthy outfits here

Present & Correct
Getting married can be seriously pricey. There’s venue hire and décor, plus food, drink and entertainment for a guest list that runs into triple figures – expensive, to say the least! So if you’ve been invited to enjoy all this, the least you can do is take the happy couple a gift. If they’re listed with a gift registry, look for items within your economical reach, or browse unique W-day gift ideas here.

Gifting Money
That said, the most common gift is money. Traditions vary by culture: for instance, Gujarati’s tend to give an odd number for luck (say, £101).


If gifting a cheque, make it to either the bride or the groom, not Mr. and Mrs Newlyweds. It may be cute and fitting for the day, but depositing it at the bank will be nightmare for those who haven't set up a joint account! 
Tuck your cash gift into a stylish envelope with a handwritten note and leave with a trusted member of the bridal party, such as the mother of the bride. 

Personal Announcements
You may think now’s the opportune time to announce your pregnancy/ new job/ house sale or heaven forbid, your own engagement, but it really, really isn’t – so zip it. Your news can wait for a day that isn’t someone else’s Big Day. Ditto for domestic arguments and addressing long-standing feuds. If unsure, kindly refer to our earlier comment: “It’s not about you.”

Phones & (Anti)Social Media
We’re so accustomed to updating the world about our every activity that if asked to turn off our mobiles, or told, ‘No Photos’, it can leave us seriously flustered. However if the couple has clearly stated No Pictures, silent mode or no social media posts during the ceremony, as their guest, you should respect their wishes.
Images from Pinterest

Who knows, you may even appreciate the moment more when not distracted by filter choice. I mean, just imagine the scorn from the aunties if your Kaala Chashma ringtone blares out right in the middle of the sacred vows? Shame, shame!

Online Overshare
While we’re on the subject of social media no-no’s, it’s really bad form to post and publicly share images of the bride before the groom has seen her. The ‘First Look’ is a big deal for couples, so no matter how well meaning your post, it could steal that magical moment from them. 

Don’t Get Wasted
We know you’re a classy lady, but a limitless supply of Champagne + open bar can test even the primmest of characters. Yes, it’s a celebration, but free doesn’t mean free-for-all.


Imagine you’re paying for each drink, or try alternating champers with water, juice or a soft drink to ensure you don’t get too tipsy, too fast.
We’re not saying don’t have fun; just don’t let your good time turn into everyone else’s nightmare. Drunk guests are literally the worst

With Compliments
Tell the couple how wonderful the day was, how beautiful the bride looked, and how much fun you had. After possible months of planning and stress, they deserve a ‘well done!’ for pulling off the day of their dreams.

Adapted from Khush Wedding Autumn 2017 KW16. Buy this issue here

Tags : Wedding Guests  Rules  Etiquette  Invites  RSVP  Behaviour  Manners  Big Day  Wedding 
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