The worst mistakes wedding guests can make

There’s a lot of pressure on the bride and groom come their big day; the nerves of saying their vows in front of loved ones, the speeches and the first dance. But had anyone given a second thought about the wedding guests? While much of the day hangs in the balance of the bride and groom’s actions, there is many a mistake to be made by the wedding guests. Here are the top 10 most common wedding guest mistakes to be avoided.

Wedding guest slip ups to avoid: Heckling
Amrita Rao at Riteish Genelia Wedding bash
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Thu 27 Dec, 2012 9:30 AM IST

Wedding guest slip ups to avoid: HecklingWedding guest slip ups to avoid: Heckling

The wrong attire

A hat to rival the mother of the bride’s, a skimpy dress in church, or worse, a white dress; there are just so many fashion faux pas to be made at a wedding. If you know the colour scheme of the wedding party, for example, if the bridesmaids are all in lilac, then the biggest mistake would be to wear the same colour. It creates confusion as to who is in the wedding party and it seems like you’re just trying to prove a point. There are so many colours in the rainbow, so don’t be a copycat. 

Getting too merry

Everyone knows that weddings are all about the champagne toasts and the booze-fuelled reception, but pushing the boat out too far and drinking more than your fair share (especially if the bride and groom have allocated a certain number of bottles per table) is not only bad manners, but also runs the risk of lowering the tone of the day by acting like a drunken idiot. Unsurprisingly, dancing on tables or flashing the bar staff are not considered appropriate wedding guest conduct.

Arriving empty handed

The happy couple and their families are kindly paying for you to enjoy a delicious meal and enjoy a fun party, so the least you can do as a wedding guest is bring a gift for the bride and groom. Not everyone can afford a hefty honeymoon donation, but it is considered good etiquette not to turn up empty handed to any party – be it a birthday or baby shower. Even if you just bring a card, it’s not worth the awkwardness when you have nothing to present the blushing bride when she greets you.


Wedding speeches can be dangerous territory, especially if certain wedding guests have had one too many glasses of champers. While the best man, groom and father of the bride speeches are all intended to be interactive to an extent (laughter usually cuts it) they sometimes create a window of opportunity for the less eloquent of wedding guests to heckle the speechmaker and create an embarrassing atmosphere for all. Keep quiet and enjoy the puns.

Making a move

There’s a longstanding notion that everyone has one of those relatives; the sort who always seems to stray from the norm and ends up embarrassing you no matter what the situation. Your eighth birthday party? They were the one making inappropriate shapes out of the balloons. Weddings are no different. Drunk or sober, there’s always one wedding guest who drools over the bridesmaids and attempts to pull the mother of the bride. ‘Oh, but I thought you were the bride’s sister’ just won’t help them in this cringe-worthy situation.

Embarrassing stories

The bride and groom have invited you to share the biggest day of their lives. Keep this in mind before you think it’s wise to embarrass one, or both, of them in front of their whole family, groups of friends and colleagues. Hen and stag party anecdotes must stay under wraps; cringey tales of when you were teens are not to be shared; and worst of all, embarrassing photographs the bride and groom had tried their hardest to forget must stay hidden. Poor Aunt Lillian always thought so highly of the bride before you came along.

Having a spillage

Possibly the all-time worst mistake a wedding guest could make – be they old, young, female, or male – is spilling something on the bride’s wedding dress. Doesn’t it make you shudder just thinking about it? Those of you sniggering, you don’t deserve to be a wedding guest! The horrific slow-motion moment as the bride tries to escape the stains of a glass of red wine or a slippery canapé could be the worst wedding moment ever. Take note; don’t consume food or drink within a five foot radius of the bride.

Not holding your peace

This wedding guest mistake is for the brave (or stupid). During the wedding ceremony, once the bride and groom have exchanged vows and the rings are nearly in their rightful (well, leftful) place, the marriage officiant may ask if anyone knows any reason why the couple should not be wed. This tense few moments is tempting for the comic among the wedding guests, to jokingly state that they do. Don’t put someone you love through this heart-beating-out-of-chest panic on their most special day.


Be careful who you talk to at a wedding. Once you’ve had a glass or two of the bubbly stuff and your inhibitions have bid farewell, you might start to chat a little too honestly; ‘I hate the bridesmaid dresses’; ‘I can’t believe I wasn’t picked to be best man’; ‘the bride was the worst bridezilla’. These are all sly comments which could land you in hot water. You might be chatting to the best friend, the doting godparent, or worse, the parents. If you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all (or lie!).

Bringing a friend

‘Oh, I hope you don’t mind, but I brought an extra pal!’ Cue panic-stricken bride as she tries to quickly calculate the amount of food being served and the number of chairs per table. It is poor etiquette to bring an uninvited guest to a wedding – the guest list is not your call. Unless it states ‘plus one’ on your invite, then don’t make this foolish mistake. 

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