There’s a certain social contract that exists between a newlywed couple and their wedding guests. The couple is expected to show their loved ones a good time complete with food, cake, music, and dancing. The guests are expected to enjoy themselves appropriately by showing up on time, wearing something suitable, and not causing drama throughout their dear friends’ wedding day.
If you want your wedding to happen without a hitch, it’s important that everyone respects this social contract—and that means making sure everyone knows what to do. Before you can take that walk down the aisle, you’ll have to answer a lot of questions from your guests about your big day. Here are some commonly asked questions from wedding guests, and a few tips for helping you answer them easily.
1. What Should I Wear?
Every wedding has its own unique vibe, from the traditionally formal to the totally laid back. And because every wedding is different, every guest has to make sure they are aware of the dress code. You’ll probably have a lot of guests asking you what they should wear; after all, no one wants to show up to a black tie affair in a sundress and flip flops!
Obviously, you don’t want to go through your friends’ closets and choose their look for them, so stick to common attire terms when you’re answering this question. This way, your guests can do a quick Google search and understand what you’re looking for. And just in case you’re not familiar with these wardrobe categories, here’s a quick explanation:
- Black tie means tuxedos and formal gowns
- Formal or black-tie optional means suits and ties and formal dresses
- Semi-formal mean suits and ties and cocktail dresses
- Cocktail means suits (ties optional) and party dresses
- Garden party means summer suits (linen shirts and khakis) and sundresses
- Casual means button down shirts or polos and sundresses or pants with a nice top
2. Where Can I Stay?
If you have a lot of out-of-town guests coming to your wedding, this question is going to come up a lot. While answering it again and again may get tiresome, it’s a perfectly valid question; for some, this trip may mean visiting a brand new city (and shelling out quite a bit of cash to do it). Every little piece of advice you can give will be helpful!
The best way to answer this question quickly and easily is to give your wedding guests as much information as possible upfront. You can either send a note with the wedding invitation detailing information about any hotels reservations or room blocks you’ve made for your guests, or include all this information on your wedding website.
3. Can I Bring My New Boyfriend / Girlfriend?
So, one of your guests is feeling the fire of a new relationship, and they want to bring this brand new bae to your wedding. This question can leave you and your future spouse in a bit of a pickle: you want your friend or family member to be happy on your big day, but do you really want a stranger attending your wedding?
If one of your guests wants to bring a new plus-one, it’s important that you talk to your partner before making a decision. There are many elements that can influence your choice, from the logistical (can we afford to get another plate from the caterer?) to the emotional (do we want a stranger popping up in our wedding photos?). Once you and your future spouse have reached a mutual decision, simply explain your reasons and stick to them! After all, it is still your day.
4. What About My Kids?
This is a pretty tricky one. Unlike with new boyfriends and girlfriends, your guests with kids can’t just say “I’ll call you tomorrow” and leave for the night. For parents, sometimes a kid-free day just isn’t an option—even if it is your wedding day. However, if your heart is set on an adults-only wedding, you don’t have to give up on that dream.
Once again, the best way to answer this question is by deciding with your partner what kind of wedding you want to have. If you don’t mind a few toddlers in tow, let your guests know their little ones are welcome. But if you’d rather have a mature event free from children, don’t be afraid to tell your guests that’s the way it is (and don’t be hurt if some of them can’t make it to the ceremony).
5. Speaking of Kids…When Will You Two…?
Look, you’re getting married. Someone’s going to bring it up. Is it a silly question, bordering on prying? Yes. Should the decision to start a family be only between you and your spouse? Yes. Should you have a quick answer prepared for when the question comes up? You bet.
If you and your spouse are hoping to start a family soon, just smile and say, “Soon!” If you’re going to be waiting a while (or living that child-free life), say, “Not now” and offer your guest some cake or a chance to hit the dance floor. By keeping your answer short and sweet, you can get back to enjoying the moment—and after all that planning, this is one moment you should really enjoy!