I write a lot about how to pull off the perfect wedding or spectacular event but I rarely write about things from the ‘other side’ – being a guest at one of these event masterpieces.
You might think it’s all very easy to be a guest to someone’s celebration, you buy an outfit, a nice gift and turn up ready to party. If you are one of these people then how wrong you are my friend. There are unwritten rules to being a considerate guest and I shall share a few here with you so that you truly do not suck at being a good guest to have around.
1. RSVP – if there’s one thing you take from this then it’s my plea to reply to that invite. How many hours do we event managers spend chasing people who don’t bother to reply, leaving your hosts guessing as to whether they order you a meal or not. Seriously, pick up the phone or write that email and confirm your attendance.
2. Adhere to the dress code. Jeans are not for weddings, trainers are never a good idea unless you intend to jog home. Your host will have taken time to decide the appropriate dress code so do your best to stick to it.
3. Turn up on time – if the invite says 7pm start then that’s the time to aim for, not 8.30pm when the speeches have already happened and your absence has been noted. timings at weddings are crucial if everything is to flow well so please do aim for the time given on your invite – plus you’ll enjoy more of the party!
4. Compliment your host – no matter whether their wedding style is what you would choose or not, be sure to compliment the key people at the party (hint – this isn’t always the bride or groom, traditionally it’ll be the parents you are congratulating for their event planning skills)
5. Thank your host – and anyone involved in putting the party together, a little gratitude goes a long way and these events don’t happen by accident, they take a lot of work so please be sure to express your appreciation for your invite.
6. Don’t get drunk – OK so there’s a free bar and lots of wine, this might be a tricky one. However remember that drunk people cause irritation, mess, damage and bodily fluids on occasion – don’t be one of those guys.
7. Organise your own taxi at the end of the evening – many venues are at the end of a beautiful country lane, surrounded by woodland, in the middle of nowhere. This is what makes the venues so perfect. If you think a taxi will head over at midnight on a busy Saturday to pick you up instead of enjoying multiple fares in the town centre, think again. So get wise and book your taxi in advance, always. Trying to find someone to help you late in the evening will become a losing battle, I promise you.
8. Appreciate your invitation – weddings cost money, lots of it. The guest list is a headache for most organised bride and no doubt names have been debated over many glasses of wine. So with budgets tight and space limited you have still made the cut, be grateful that your name wasn’t one of the ‘let’s not bother’ pile.
9. Don’t complain about the food, venue, drinks menu etc – remember that someone else has paid for your meal, glass of wine, party, gift …. these things have been debated and chosen with all the guests in mind, if you don’t like a certain menu choice then be the 5 year old at a restaurant pleasing her parents, do your best, eat what you can and smile. I get frustrated by the amount of guests that will happily, unashamedly send their meal back and demand a different choice as they ‘don’t feel like lamb today’. This is not a restaurant, this is someone else’s day – so be grateful and enjoy the fact that you are sharing their day with them.
10. Don’t try and get involved or change things when it’s not wanted (don’t swap your food choices on the day!) – again, as above the wedding or party you are attending has been planned to perfection. If you wade in and swap a few place cards around because you prefer to sit with your cousin, then the kitchen will be thrown into turmoil, the gifts will be wrong, the happy couple who spent hours pawing over the table plan will be upset …. it’s not worth upsetting the apple cart. Take the time to appreciate the efforts of others, enjoy the celebration and be an obedient guest – your couple will thank you immensely I guarantee it!
Enjoy the party this summer chaps, let me know your thoughts or if you have any more top tips please share them with me, I love to hear what you think!
Love from Marie x