Be the best guest!

So in retrospect, this entry probably would have been better suited for the beginning of Spring (aka the beginning of Wedding Season).  However, it’s never too late for a quick little lesson in wedding guest etiquette.  🙂 
As a wedding guest, it might be easy to think all you have to do is show up and tell the bride how amazing she looks when you talk to her at the reception, right?  WRONG!!!   As a guest, there are a few little do’s/don’t you should follow if you don’t want to be “that guest” that everyone talks about after the wedding is over.
1.)  RSVP. Immediately.
RSVP is French for “please respond”.  So, do it!  Your most important obligation as a guest is to respond to the invitation immediately.  Even if you think you don’t have to respond (a-hem, MIL!), you still do!  It’s really not complicated, there is usually a pre-stamped reply card ready to be dropped in the mail.  All you have to do is check a box.  Your prompt reply will be much appreciated.  🙂
2.)  Respect the Invitation.
Do not ask the bride if you can bring a date or your children. The invitation will be addressed to the people invited. If the bride has extended you a “plus one”, that means you can bring a guest.  So your invitation will read “Mr. Joe Smith & Guest.” If your children are invited, they will either receive their own personal invitation or the invitation will read “Mr. Joe Smith & Family”.  And, please, do not add their names to a reply card or show up with them anyway!
3.) Send a Gift. 
If you are invited, you should send a gift, whether you are attending the wedding or not.  Typically, you can send the gift in advance (very helpful if you are traveling to the wedding location) or you can bring your gift to the reception.  If you hear from the bride & groom that they would prefer a charitable donation—as in the case of an older couple or a 2nd wedding—please respect their wishes.  Also, make sure to check their wedding website for store/online registries.  The bride & groom spent a lot of time setting those up, so be courteous and use them.  🙂
4.)  Be on your BEST behavior.
This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised… So how do we make sure we’re on our best behavior?  First, be on time!  Not all weddings start late (this is a nasty little rumor!).  Also, wear appropriate clothing (do NOT wear white!  I don’t care what the bride told you…).  Be respectful during the marriage ceremony (no texting, facebook-ing, whatever-ing). Pay your respects to the bride & groom at the reception.  And my biggest pet-peve — do NOT get trashed at the open bar!  Sloppy-drunk groomsmen are sooo tacky!
If you follow these four quick and easy little rules, you’ll be the best guest a bride could ask for!