Ever wondered what makes the perfect wedding guest? Probably not, because you already ARE the perfect guest, right?! That time you accidentally wore the same outfit as the bridesmaids even though you sort of knew what their dresses looked like in advance is all forgiven. And literally no-one cares anymore that your boyfriend got so shitfaced before the speeches that he couldn’t even lift his head, let alone his glass, to make a toast.
I’d personally never considered the small details that make the couple happy on their big day until I had a big day of my own. Sometimes it’s the smallest of gestures that makes the biggest difference when you’re in full bridezilla mode and are spending most of your waking hours worrying about getting a spot/whether or not it’s going to rain/if you’re going to have lost those extra few pounds to do up your dress without the help of two people.
So here are the top 19 things you can do to really make a difference to the happy couple.
1. Make an effort
It’s their BIG DAY, remember? Yeah, you might have been to seven weddings already this summer but for them, none are quite as important as this one. Scrub up and look sharp and if possible, wear a hat. Nothing says ‘I’ve made an effort’ like wearing a hat.
2. Offer up your good handwriting skills
You wouldn’t believe how many things you have to write on the lead-up to your wedding day. Invitations, envelopes, place settings…the list goes on and in these frugal times many people choose to do it themselves. Not everyone is blessed with pretty handwriting though, so if you are and have some time to spare, offer up your skills.
3. RSVP well before the deadline
They want to think you’re as excited about their big day as they are. And no, just replying ‘I’d love to come’ to an email doesn’t suffice; reply in whatever way they have asked you to and by the date they’re requested. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
4. Flag up your dietary requirements in advance
Don’t turn up on the day and start spouting about how you can’t eat wheat. They’ve got enough to worry about on the day without whatever diet you’re on at the moment.
5. Don’t bother the bride with constant questions about hotels and maps
That’s what Google is for. And they probably sent all the info you need with the invitation anyway so just work it out for yourself!
6. Help with the playlist
How many times have you received that email asking for suggestions for the playlist, forgotten to reply, and then had to suck it up and pretend you really do enjoy dancing to ABBA and the Grease Megamix? Next time, send some suggestions that would really, genuinely, get you up on the dance floor. Everyone will benefit. (NB: our biggest dancefloor win was MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This. Didn’t see that one coming) Which brings me to…
7. Populate the dance floor at all times
If your hosts have taken the trouble to book a band or make a playlist, you should repay them by doing some dancing. Particularly if you’ve contributed to that playlist! I’m not saying it’s all you should do – pepper your dancing with mingling trips – but if you notice a lull grab a few mates and throw some shapes.
8. Help to organise people for photos
There’s always one poor usher that gets lumbered with this job, and everyone’s so busy drinking and enjoying themselves that they NEVER listen. Help rally the troops who are hiding in the smoking corner for their photographers and the bride and groom will be forever grateful. Because you’ll all get to party again much quicker as a result.
9. Don’t propose to someone
Sounds obvious, but someone at team InStyle witnessed this recently. AT THE ACTUAL WEDDING. Not a good look, guys. Not a good look.
10. Don’t have a huge drunken bust-up
Whatever the problem is, it can wait until after the wedding. Be an adult about it.
11. Make sure people applaud the band
It’s just good music etiquette! Also, don’t get drunk and ask to borrow the guitar so you can do your “brilliant’ rendition of Wonderwall.
12. Be honest if your friend has a sweaty brow
If your bezzie is the bride, be a good mate. Is her brow a bit sweaty before the pictures? Wipe it. Lipstick on her teeth? Let her know. Is she about to spill red wine down the dress of her dreams? Subtly remove it from her hands. That’s what friends are for.
13. Don’t throw up on the hire suit
This member of team InStyle was once charged with keeping an usher upright outside the wedding so that he didn’t puke on his suit. She failed. Although his fail was much bigger than hers.
14. Befriend the people who don’t know anyone else
Imagine if you were the person at the wedding who literally just knew the bride. And let’s face it, she’s pretty busy talking to everyone else. So be nice and make friends. Even if they’re a bit annoying/boring, you’ll probably never see them again anyway, and imagine how much the bride will appreciate it when Sally from accounts tells her about her lovely friend that looked after her and made the wedding more fun.
15. Don’t heckle the father of the bride
He’s probably pretty nervous. And emotional. The last thing he needs is someone at the back of the room to shout ‘WE CAN’T HEAR YOU NEVILLE!”. The bride can hear him, and that’s all that matters, right?
16. Laugh at the best man/woman's jokes (even if they’re awful)
Again, they're nervous. Give them a break.
17. Don’t stand outside smoking all night
Because you literally might as well have not come to the wedding that the bride and groom spent so long planning. Also, see point 7.
18. Provide a surprise pair of comfortable shoes for the bride to change into
Even better, customise them with her new name if she changed it. Try Converse or adidas for customisable trainers.
19. Don’t moan about the chosen social media etiquette for the day
Just respect it. If the bride wants to be the first to post a pic of her in her wedding dress it’s her prerogative.