1. How do I know if I get a plus-one? If you get a plus one, your invitation envelope will say “Mr(s). and guest”. If there’s no guest listed, there’s no plus one.
2. What about my kid and/or other family members? Can I bring them? Unless their names are listed on the envelope or it says “Mr(s). lastname and family”, no. Get a babysitter and leave the family at home.
3. You mean I can actually just…not go? Absolutely! You are in no way obligated to attend a wedding just because you received an invitation. Don’t have time off work, it’s a far drive, or you just don’t want to? Just RSVP no!
4. But on my RSVP card it’s asking me to write in how many people are attending. That means I can bring a date or three, right? No, no please no. RSVP cards are printed in bulk so you, as a single person, received the same invite as the brides sister who has 3 teenagers. Refer to the invitation envelope to see if it’s for you, or your plus a guest.
5. OK, my invite was just addressed to me, but I’m sure the couple would rather have one extra person than have me not come at all. Wrong…. weddings have carefully planned out seating charts and budgets, and there is no room for uninvited guests.
6. Ugh, fine. So, weddings are just parties. I don’t really have to send back the RSVP card, do I? Weddings are the ultimate parties and they take months, sometimes years of planning. If you don’t RSVP, the couple can end up paying for an uneaten meal. Don’t do that to your friend, just return the little card.
7. Ugh, I said I could go, but I don’t know if I can anymore. Can I just bail? If you are deathly ill, or there is a legitimate family emergency, you are excused. Otherwise, you have given your word that you would do and you should do. Refer to #6.
8. I just won’t tell the couple that I can’t do. It’d just stress them out. It will stress the couple out a lot more when they find out they wasted a $200 plate of steak because you bailed. Do the responsible thing and let them know.
9. You know what, I can’t go, and I’m going to say that on my RSVP card. Do I still have to send a present? That depends who you talk to. Older generations will say yes, but we’re going to challenge the books and say to use your best judgement.
10. OK, I’m going. So now I have to buy them a gift from their registry? They registered for a Soda Stream and a Kitchen-Aid mixer and that’s way out of my price range. Most registries now have some sort of group gift card option where you can give money towards a store gift card. Plus, who doesn’t love opening a nice new check.
11. They opted for a honeymoon registry, what even is that? More and more couples are moving away from registries for pots, pans, and blenders. Instead, they are registering for what they really want, an amazing honeymoon to a fabulous destination! Couples can register instead for plane tickets, a sunset cruise, or diving with dolphins. Way more fun than steak knives.
12. I’d love to get them something amazing, but money is tough right now. Am I a terrible friend if I get them something cheep? Not at all! We’ve all gone through times with less and times with more, what counts is that you are there to celebrate with your friends.
13. I don’t mind spending money, but I hate registries so much in principle. Can I get them something that’s not on their registry? I think they’ll like it… Use extreme caution when moving away from the registry. There’s a reason the couple registered for these items, and no one likes getting stuck with a gift they don’t need or can’t use.
14. Can’t I just write a check and be done with it? Yes. Checks are always a nice gift.
15. They don’t have a registry at all; what do I do? See #14. Write a check.
16. I’m going to just send the gift in the mail. When should I do that? Technically you have until a year after their wedding ceremony, but honestly, the sooner the better. That way they get a gift and you don’t get distracted and forget.
17. What about all those pre-wedding parties? Do I have to attend them? And give gifts for those, too? You never HAVE to attend anything. But if you choose to, gifts are up to you. Engagement parties are more of a bring a treat than a gift sort of thing. Bridal showers are definitely a gift sort of event.
18. Yeah, I don’t know if I can even go to the bridal shower. That’s fine! Just RSVP no and send your friend a “hope you had fun” card.
19. There’s a dress code on this invitation and I have no idea what it means!!
- Black tie: Tuxedoes, long gowns, and formal cocktail dresses.
- Black tie optional or formal: The same as black tie, but you can swap a tuxedo for a nice, dark suit, and a long dress for a simpler dress with ~fancy~ accessories.
- Cocktail attire/Semi-formal): Dark suits and party dresses for all! If no dress code is specified, consider this the default.
- Festive attire: This is generally used for holiday or seasonal weddings, and it indicates that you should wear something sparkly, red, velvet, or all of the above. Or just wear something two steps up from what you’d wear ordinarily.
- Dressy casual: This is an invitation to have fun with color! Wear a cool tie, pick some fun, bright accessories; either way, definitely dress like you’re ready to party.
- Casual: Just don’t wear flip flops and ripped jeans.
20. Real talk: Is it really uncool to wear white? Yes. Don’t steal the brides show. At weddings, most people wear dark colors and two figures in light bright white will stand out. Just don’t.
21. Fair enough. May I pretty please wear black? Of course! Black is always acceptable. LBD or classic black tux, it fits every occasion.
22. Weddings never really start on time. Being a few minutes late doesn’t really matter, right? Wrong! Weddings start whenever the couple wants it to and there’s nothing as distracting as guests coming in right when the march begins or trying to sneak quietly down the aisle during the ceremony.
23. What’s the deal with all this “no phones” stuff, anyway? While we love a good selfie, it is a big distraction and a good portion of the time, guests trying to take their own cell phone snaps get in the way of the professional photographer and prevent them from getting the perfect shots. Ultimately, it’s all up to the couple. Abide by whatever they ask of their guests and be respectful even if you don’t understand the request.
24. After all of this, I need a drink. How drunk can I get at a wedding, really? Weddings are known for having great open bars. That being said, no one likes a sloppy guest. Have a great time but be respectful of the event and the couple.
(Header: Brit Perkins Photography from Tasha and Mike’s wedding)