This was posted on another board, thought I'd share. Right on!
A few things you should know before you RSVP.
Weddings are a joyous, wonderful time for friends and family to gather together. They can also be a stressful, expensive, and hectic time for the bride and groom. Do your loved ones a favor and be on your best behavior. Below are a few points to remember:
RSVP on time! The bride and groom have enough things on their to-do list. Don’t wait until the lat minute to RSVP to the event.
Even if you can’t attend, still send a gift. You have up to a year following the wedding date to get it to them; but if you want to purchase something from the registry, shop early and you won’t keep them wondering if a gift is on the way.
Don’t be tardy. Do attend the ceremony! If the invitation calls for a ceremony to start on the hour, arrive 15-20 minutes prior to that to find parking and take a seat. You don’t want to hold up the bridal party. If you do happen to be late, wait until an appropriate time to enter in the back or along the side so not to disturb the ceremony. Do take note - make sure to attend the ceremony! Arriving in time for cocktails is in poor taste – be there to celebrate the union because that’s what the day is really all about.
Try to follow along during the ceremony. You shouldn’t feel obligated to take communion or participate in any religious ritual you do not believe in, but follow along as best you can out of respect for the hosts.
Don’t ask to bring a date if your invitation didn’t include one. There are several reasons you may not have been given a plus one (or plus family/children for that matter). Many factors play a part in the decision making process for the hosts. So do your best to respect their wishes and only attend with those stipulated on the invitation.
If your children are included in the invitation, be sure to keep them on their best behavior. If the young ones can’t sit quietly through a ceremony, you may consider leaving them home or sitting near an exit where you can leave if need be. Don’t let your kids be unruly at someone else’s event; they are your responsibility even if a nanny has been provided by the hosts.
When you arrive at the wedding, dress accordingly. Follow the guidelines set forth on the invitation, and if the ceremony is in a house of worship, cover your shoulders and chest, do not wear a hat, and in some cases you may want to cover your arms and legs as well. Remember - avoid white! Black has become acceptable wedding attire, but leave the white for the bride.
During the reception, respect the rituals as well. Don’t talk during speeches. Join the couple on the dance floor when encouraged to do so. Cheer during the grand entrance. Stop to enjoy the moment when the couple cuts the cake.
Be careful not to be over-served. A drunken party-goer may be appropriate at the bachelor party, but remember that a wedding is a serious and often times formal event with extended family present. Be considerate when it comes to your alcohol consumption.
Be careful of your environment. Any glass you break, any cigarette butt you leave behind, or trash you toss aside has to be cleaned up, repaired, or replaced. Don’t leave the bride and groom with an extra bill for a messy guest. Treat whatever space you are in as if it were your own home.
Make exit after cake cutting.
It’s appropriate to begin to leave after this point, but prior to that, you’re sneaking out early.
The bottom line – be considerate of the bride and groom and all will be well. Think about how you hope your friends and family will behave (or should have behaved) on your big day, and act accordingly.