Lucky you, you’ve been invited to share in the special day! Now what? Guest have one of the best roles at a vow renewal. You get to attend a wonderful ceremony and reception in support of two people who want you to share their love. Take your role seriously and be a good guest with these three etiquette tips.
1. RSVP Immediately
RSVP is the French acronym for “répondez s’il vous plaît” meaning “please respond.” It is your most important obligation as a guest, so do so immediately. This is particularity important if you won’t be able to attend. Responding promptly allows the couple enough time to give the caterer an accurate guest count. Formal invitations normally include a reply card. If not, take the initiative and reply with a note or email.
2. Respect the Invitation
The invitation will be addressed to the people invited. Please respect your host’s wishes and don’t try to insist on an exception. They made their guest list decisions carefully and with respect to their budget and vow renewal style.
- If the invitation is addressed to you as a couple, do not ask if you can bring your children. If your children are invited their names will be listed under yours on the invitation envelope.
- If the invitation is addressed only to you, do not ask if you can bring a date. If the couple is allowing for to bring a guest, your invitation will read “Mr. John Doe and Guest.”
And for goodness sake, absolutely do not add their names to a reply card or show up with them anyway! That’s absolutely the most ungracious and rude thing you can do.
3. Be on Your Best Behavior
Be an asset to the event! This means:
- Show up on time, not early nor late.
- Dress appropriately – take your cue from the style of the invitation or ask someone close to them about the style.
- Be respectful during the ceremony and other formal parts of the event. This is not a time for noisy cell phone calls or text messaging!
- Be social and pay your respects to the couple and chat with other guests at the reception.
- Do not drink too much. Even if there is an open bar, it is not your duty to consume as much alcohol as possible. Limit yourself to a maximum of one alcoholic drink per hour.
- Don’t monopolize the couple, it’s their day, and they want to spend it with all of their guests.
- Don’t make a spectacle of yourself. This is not the time to show off your crazy new dance skills or confront old girl or boyfriends.
- Most importantly, have fun and say thank you to the couple before leaving (if possible).