Everyone has heard of the fabled "Bridezilla:" an entitled, bratty creature who loses it at even the slightest hint of anything not going her way. But you probably didn't realize that there's another rare (or not so rare) being that has haunted weddings from the beginning of time: the Guestzilla.
The Guestzilla is a special breed of wedding guest...one who gets wasted and makes a scene at the reception. It arrives late to the ceremony after pre-gaming with reckless abandon, making tons of noise as it stumbles toward its seat mid-ceremony. It never RSVPs, then shows up anyway -- without a wedding gift. It gets on one knee and makes a show of proposing to a bridesmaid right when the bride and groom are exchanging vows. It talks about the bride with her in-laws behind her back, wears an ultra-revealing cocktail dress and flirts with the groom. Basically, it makes the wedding awkward and miserable for the bride, groom, and everyone else involved.
Being a great guest is easy with a little knowledge of wedding etiquette, however. And most "Guestzilla" behavior is more subtle than the faux pas I just outlined above. So, to be the best possible wedding guest you can be, just follow the tips below!
RSVP as soon as possible. The sooner the bride and groom can get a reliable headcount, the better they can plan. If you forget to RSVP, sorry...you've basically un-invited yourself from the wedding. Make this easy on the bride or groom you hold so dear, and just get it out of the way as soon as you get the save-the-date. It only takes five minutes! Of course, emergencies can happen from time to time. If you RSVP "yes" and then something comes up, let the couple know as soon as you can.
Mind the Plus-Ones
If the bride and groom are allowing guests to bring plus-ones, they will say so on the save-the-date and/or on the invitation itself. Don't assume you can bring one just because you're invited! It will be made clear if you can, so if no plus-one is mentioned, assume that the bride and groom haven't budgeted or allotted the space for it.
It's widely-known that on the wedding day, guests shouldn't wear white -- this color is reserved just for the bride. Similarly, you shouldn't dress in anything too revealing, or will take attention away from the ones getting married. Similarly, different weddings have their own particular dress codes for the wedding itself, reception, and pre-wedding events...so be sure to have an appropriate outfit for each.
Bring a Gift
If you can make it to the wedding, you've gotta try to bring a gift! Even if you can only afford something small or home-made, you don't want to neglect the wedding present. Sure, etiquette dictates that you have a year after the wedding to send the gift, but it's better for everyone if you get it done quickly. Unless otherwise instructed, send the gift to the address provided on the couple's wedding registry. If they want you to bring the gift on their wedding day, the bride and groom will have a table to pile with boxes and cards wishing good tidings.
Dance Your Pants Off
The bride and groom have had their first dances, and it's time for guests to hit the dance floor...but everyone just sits and stirs awkwardly in their seats, fiddling and sticking their hands in thir pockets. An awkward middle school dance vibe at the reception is pretty much a bride's worst nightmare! People are supposed to be celebrating and having fun, so a lame reception can really take the wind out of the old post-nuptial sails. Just be sure to follow the lead of the bride and groom for when it's time to dance. And when the dance floor opens, be sure to use it! Just don't do dances that are too outrageous or sexual, or things could go south.
Manage Your Drinking
The sauced wedding guest is an all-too-common sight at wedding receptions. In the best case, the person gets sloppy but gets through the night without major disruptions or humiliations. In the worst cases, well, let's just say that it can get pretty bad. If you're the type of person who always seems to have one too many, take extra care. You might not only embarrass yourself, but put a damper on the biggest day of the bride and groom's lives as well.
Be a Mingler
Some folks are shy, and would rather just talk to the other guests they know. We get it! But the perfect wedding guest is a mingler, getting to know strangers and other sides of the family and friend groups. Challenge yourself to come out of your shell. You might not see any of these people ever again, so just pretend you're playing yourself in a movie and have fun with it!
Be On Time
From the ceremony to the reception and beyond, be punctual! Arriving late is disruptive and disrespectful, both to the marrying couple and to the rest of the guests. If you're the type of person who usually can't make it to things on time, take special care to prepare early. This is even more important if there is a shared shuttle or other transportation you need to catch, in which case being late will mean that literally everyone else has to wait on you.
Make Sure to Say Hi to the Bride and Groom -- Then, Move On
You definitely want to take the chance to greet the bride and groom -- but remember, they have a LOT of people to greet, so don't take too much time. They don't want to feel like they're neglecting anyone, and you can make it easier on them by not using it as a chance to catch up on the entire last year or trying to have a long conversation about all your hijinks back in college.