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Be the best guest at a wedding

TIPS AND TRICKS  |  JAN 31, 2019


Your guide to the perfect wedding attendance 

Attending a wedding is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones, share in a special moment and celebrate the love between the people close to you. But even though you’re only attending, there are still some factors to consider. From what to wear, what to bring and general expectations, follow this wedding guest guide and ensure that your participation in the special day is appropriate.

Understanding the dress code

Your wedding invitation will most likely stipulate a dress code for the festivities. For a dress code between casual and semi-formal, ladies can opt for a cocktail dress while gents can wear suit pants, button-down shirts and either a blazer or sports coat. Beach weddings call for comfortable yet smart attire. A summer dress for ladies and a linen suit for the gentlemen should suffice.

On rare occasions, wedding dress codes call for exceptionally formal attire. Formal dress codes call for evening wear – evening attire for ladies and suits and ties for gentlemen. Black tie indicates a step up from formal attire – formal gowns and tuxedos. White tie is even more formal – ball gowns for ladies and long-tail tuxedos for gentlemen. Whatever the dress code, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed rather than underdressed.

For a clearer understanding of the theme and dress code, consult the wedding website if there is one. The style will provide an indication of how formal it will be. Also, pay attention to the colours used as this will likely mirror the wedding colours. Try to avoid wearing these colours. The last thing you want is to match the table decorations. Visit Canal Walk and find your perfect outfit at stores like H&M or Woolworths.

Buying wedding gifts

Attending a wedding comes with the expectation of giving a gift. The happy couple will have paid for the entire event, so a gift is an opportunity to thank them and show that you appreciate the effort they’ve made. The wedding couple will likely have a gift registry to give you an idea of what they want and need. Peruse the registry and identify items within your budget. If the list is made up of expensive items, don’t panic. You can always opt for a combined gift with some of the other guests. This way, you’re able to give the couple an extravagant gift they wouldn’t be able to afford while keeping the cost as low as possible for you. Lately, it’s become customary to send the gift after the wedding instead of taking it with you. The couple won’t have to worry about collecting and transporting all their gifts from the venue. Shop wedding gifts at Home Etc. or @homelivingspace in Canal Walk.


Your RSVP is important to the couple as they’re planning budgets and seating arrangements based on guests’ responses. If your invitation allows for a plus one, ensure that your date is aware of and has agreed to attend the event. If you RSVP for two, don’t show up alone. And, vice versa, if you RSVP for one, don’t bring a date at the last minute.

Attendance Etiquette

From the ceremony to the wedding reception, you’re actively taking part in someone’s big day so your behaviour should be respectful and appropriate. While it’s a celebration and lively affair, going overboard is not advised. Have a good time but make sure to gauge the overall atmosphere and other guests’ behaviour. The last thing you want is having to apologise to a loved one for drawing attention away from them or making a scene. 

Ultimately, your goal when attending a wedding should be to take part in celebrating their union and adding to the success of the event. Enjoy the day with your loved ones and leave knowing it was a pleasure having you there.

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