Six top wedding etiquette tips for guests!

There are very few formal occasions that require the grace and decorum a wedding requires. Whether the bride and groom to be are close friends or mere acquaintances, you don’t want to risk making any mistakes that will permanently damage your relationship or remove you from the Christmas card list.

There are lots of resources online advising couples of ancient wedding protocols but few giving any clues for the guests.

As a luxurious wedding venue, our staff are often asked questions from wedding guests about the formalities of the day and what they should or shouldn’t do. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most common queries so you can prepare ahead of the day.

While they might seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many errors of judgement are made. Here are some of the most important rules:

Never wear white

It might seem old hat to banish the female guests from wearing solid white but this unwritten wedding rule is still as strong today as it’s always been. Turning up in a floor skimming white dress is not going to make you flavour of the month and will invite a barrage of criticism from the other guests – particularly the Mother of the Bride. Leave it for the next Black Tie event.

warley park golf club wedding venue brentwood essexDon’t assume you can bring a guest

Wedding invitations are very explicit as to who is invited and unless it says so, don’t assume you can bring your new partner or a plus one because they’re not invited. If you’re brave enough, you can alert the happy couple of your new partnership status in the hope that they extend the invitation but don’t count on it. Every seat at a wedding is worth its weight in gold and they probably won’t be overjoyed at your forthrightness.

You must attend the ceremony

It sounds incredulous but some day guests actually think it is acceptable to turn up to a wedding breakfast without having attended the formal marriage ceremony whether it is a church or civil ceremony. You’re not going to be able to pull this one off without anyone noticing and why would you? Attending the marriage isn’t optional – it’s the whole deal or nothing.

Arrive at the marriage ceremony before the bride

Another obvious one but again another clanger that wedding venues see on numerous occasions. The whole point of a wedding – as far as the bride/groom is concerned – is that moment they walk down the aisle. If you’re not there – or worse, you stumble in halfway through their vows – they’re not going to be over the moon at paying for your three-course dinner.

Don’t be overzealous with your camera during the ceremony

Unless you’ve been specifically hired by the happy couple to take snaps of their big day, don’t risk spoiling the service by constantly clicking your camera or standing up and down like a jack in the box. As well as annoying the people behind you, it’s also likely to be off-putting for the bride/groom.

Don’t go home until the wedding cake is cut

If you’re invited to a wedding celebration, you’re expected to stay until the evening party. If you must leave early (which will raise a few eyebrows whatever your excuse) make sure this is after the wedding cake has been cut. And don’t try and sneak out of the back door, make sure you wish the happy couple well.

If you would like more information on Warley Park’s wedding packages click here.


We hope you found this article on ‘Six top wedding etiquette tips – for guests!’ useful. If you have any queries, then please do not hesitate to contact us here at Warley Park.