20 Wedding Guest Mistakes to Avoid

Don't let an insensitive move on your part turn the best day of their lives into the worst.

Charli Penn May, 28, 2014

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Bridezillas get all the bad press, but sometimes the wedding guests are the real nightmare. Here's your guide to the ultimate wedding guest "don'ts" to avoid.

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The only ones who should stand out at a wedding are the bride and groom. If you're the "other girl" wearing the fancy white dress, it will make it hard for the real stars of the day to shine. Red is the only other color bolder than a bride's white. Even if there is no dress code, skip the red or white dress in favor of something a little less attention grabbing.

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We get it. Everyone likes to drink at weddings. Just be careful not to take too many trips to the open bar. There's a thin line between tipsy and overboard and everyone will notice if you cross it. While others may be laughing with you, the bride and groom sure won't find it funny.

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Whether its your scene or not, rememeber that the bride and groom (and their family) spent lots of time and money planning the day's events. Being overheard badmouthing any aspect of the big day is an even bigger no-no.

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If the happy couple is kind enough to welcome everyone, big and small, to the day's festivities, try to at least be respectful of that and keep a close eye on your kids. This means taking a crying baby for a walk while the ceremony is going on, and not letting them play under the tables or run wild on the dance floor. If your child can't sit still for longer than five minutes, consider hiring a babysitter and making it a grown and sexy night for you and yours.

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Whether a wedding is big or small, it costs the bride and groom a good amount of money to have you celebrate with them. Showing up without a gift or card implies that you only came to party, and not to pay tribute to their love. There's no price minimum here, but you should always give something from the heart.

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If a bride and groom have taken the time to specify a dress code for their big day, it's probably because they have a vision in mind for the optics or there are certain requirements for their venue. Showing up in beach chic when you should be in an evening gown will make you look silly. Plus, it says you either didn't care to read the invitation, or, well, you just didn't care. You don't want either!

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No bride wants to look out into the crowd on her wedding day and spot an old friend strolling in with her ex or arch-nemesis. Please, choose your plus ones wisely.

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You've had too much to drink. You're not in the bridal party. You know some very embarassing things about the bride and groom. Do these sound familiar? If any, or all, apply, you have no business grabbing the mic.

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This isn't opening night at a horror movie on a Friday night; it's a wedding. Being on time is both respectful and neccesary. Anything else is just unacceptable. The happy couple is paying for every second of their time with you, so why would you want to miss a minute of it?

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Unless your life is in danger, there isn't any wedding-night problem big enough to be taken right to the bride or groom. Tell someone else. Work it out. Leave. But, whatever you do, don't stop the bride in her tracks to rant about having locked your keys in your car. (She wants a day of bliss, not drama.)

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Any guest who shows up for the reception after skipping the ceremony, has only one thing on their mind: partying. If you don't want to hear the happy couple exchange vows, you don't deserve a spot on the guest list. Case closed.

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If you can't afford to give a cash gift, pick up something more affordable from the couple's registry. Sometimes it can take couples weeks to get around to depositing their gift checks, and in come cases, if those checks don't clear, that couple is charged a fee. Awkward!

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If you are one of the honored guests asked to toast the bride and groom, please stay sober prior to delivering your speech. And do keep it classy. Old stories are fine, as long as they're PG-13, and the punch line is something grandma wouldn't gasp at. Remember, what sounds funny in your head won't always go over as well in front of a captive audience.

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Accidents happen, especially at weddings. This is why you should steer clear of the bride and groom whenever you're holding something that stains. (Like red wine or cake!) Also, makeup and white gowns never mix, so be careful when you're hugging the newlyweds too. A major stain in a hard-to-hide place could ruin her wedding photos.

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A wedding ceremony is most heartfelt when everyone can hear what the bride, groom an officiate are saying. Happy occasions make us want to share, but it's a good idea to save the small talk for the reception festivities.

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This should go without saying, but we have heard a few stories about this one from brides before. Unless you're attending a buffet style dinner reception, it's safe to assume that the bride and groom are paying per plate. This means you get just one. Ordering two meals means the newlyweds may be handed an additional bill on their way home.

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Planning is everything when it comes to weddings. Each seat and every plate are accounted (and paid) for. If you don't RSVP for their big day, but plan to show up anyway, there may not be a seat for you. This sends the planner or venue coordinators into a state of panic, which will inevitably get back to the bride, and she won't love that news.

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Weddings are all about the romance of the moment and there is no bigger mood killer than a cell phone ringing right in the middle of the couple's vow exchange. Silence your phones, ladies.

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Weddings are a great place for singles to meet other singles, but try not to come on too strong. If your over-the-top flirting is attracting attention from more than just the guy you're eyeing, you're probably overdoing it a bit. Relax and enjoy the evening. Remember, it's a wedding not the club.

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Just because you're an Instagram junkie, don't assume the bride and groom want their wedding photos floating around all over the Internet while they're still taking their portraits. Ask before you share!


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