How to be a good wedding guest with Stefanie Cove

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Wedding etiquette has come a long way from when your parents tied the knot. What’s the deal with wedding hashtags? When can you start drinking on the day of the wedding? We asked Stefanie Cove, who plans the weddings we always seem to be bookmarking, to share her tips on what to do…and what not to do if you’re a wedding guest this summer. She let us in on everything from what to do if you have questions to why you should take it easy on the dance floor.



Do: Try to respond as soon as possible; otherwise, you may forget—which makes planning difficult for the hosts. 

Don’t: Ask to bring a guest.  If it is not on the invitation, you are being invited solo. 

On dress codes 

Do: Follow the dress code but incorporate your personal style.  I love when the guests’ personalities shine through the typical black tie or formal attire. 

Don’t: Wear white or anything that could really steal the show. 

On bringing your children

Do: Confirm if they are able to join (when invited) and if they have any dietary needs.  

Don’t: Assume. If your kids aren’t listed on the invite they are probably not invited and you should check in with the hosts if you have questions.

On timing 

Do: Arrive on time! And turn off your cell phone before the ceremony.

Don’t: Show up half-way through the ceremony and walk right in. If you must, quietly make your way to the very back of the room as in as subtle a way as possible.  


On Photography & Social MediaPlanner Stefanie Cove's tips for wedding guests Photographer:  Abby and Lauren Ross


Do: Be respectful of what you post. Not every bride and groom wants to publicize their wedding on social media, or sometimes they like to be the first to get it out there.

Don’t: This isn’t a rule, but my personal preference is that guests don’t use their cell phones for photos during the ceremony. This way, the professional photos don’t show everyone with their phones in the air! 

On Speeches

How to be a good wedding guest with planner Stefanie CovPhotographer: Stefano Santucci


Do: Address both people in the couple—not just one or the other. Also, I always think it is nice to thank the families hosting the events when applicable. 

Don’t: Speak too long.  2 – 3 minutes is the perfect time for toasts! This keeps peoples’ attention and allows the night to continue without delays.

On Drinking

Do: Drink and have a wonderful time but maybe avoid mixing different types of alcohol, so your hangover isn’t terrible.

Don’t: Get so drunk that you might embarrass yourself or the bride and groom, remember these are memories that last a lifetime. 

If you have food allergies & preferences

Do: Let the wedding planner or hosts know ahead of time.  

Don’t: Wait until the wedding for very specific requests. Vegetarian and gluten-free are fairly universal, and the chefs can usually accommodate, but anything more specific is best to give a heads up. 

If you have questions

Do: Reach out. It is always best to ask! 

Don’t: Assume. It’s always best to check with the hosts if you are unsure about anything and this is where event planners can be super helpful so no one is unnecessarily stressing the bride and groom.

If you’re in the wedding party

Do: Show up and on time to scheduled bridal party events. 

Don’t: Drink too much before the wedding begins…once all the scheduled events and toasts are out the way then it’s time to party! 

The least thoughtful things you can do

Show up late or bring uninvited guests. 

Get too adventurous on the dance floor and end up at the hospital (I have seen this happen!) 

The most thoughtful things you can do

Help grandma down the stairs! 

Introduce yourself to both sets of parents if you haven’t met them before.

Ship your gift, so the couple doesn’t have to bring it home that night……


Stefanie loves to create an atmosphere that is cozy and inviting for guests and doesn’t feel like a typical white wedding.  Adding a little bit of edge makes the difference—think of it more like the interior of a home or living space, where the guests will never want to leave. Thanks Stefanie


Wondering how much do wedding invitations cost? Head to our helpful guide. 

“Ars Botanica” by Oscar de la Renta. “Cortile” by Venamour. “Ambras” by Cabana.