When sending out invitations to your wedding, it probably doesn’t cross your mind that there could be issues with your guests or that they may need some tips on etiquette. Unfortunately, that’s not true because, in reality, many people have never been to a wedding and don’t realize that certain things that would normally be acceptable are not for your special day. Here are some tips for wedding guests in reference to what is and is not appropriate when attending a wedding.

Don’t wait to respond to the invitation. Whether you can attend or not, it is important to let the bride and groom know as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly. In addition, if you say that you are going to attend, do so. Venues have a limited amount of space and couples plan their ceremonies and budgets based on the number of people they expect at their wedding. It’s possible they didn’t invite a distant cousin or a co-worker that they might have, hoping that you could attend.

Don’t bring a guest unless the invitation specifically says you are allowed to. If it does, choose who to bring and bring only that person. Each person who attends a wedding is an added expense for the bride and groom and their budget is based on the number of people who RSVP. If you show up to the wedding with someone who was unexpected, there may not be room for them at the ceremony, not to mention the possibility that there won’t be enough food to feed them.

Don’t wear white. Even if you just got the most gorgeous white dress that you have been waiting to find an occasion to wear it to, it is just not appropriate. The only person who should be wearing white at a wedding is the bride. Clothes come in every shade and any color other than white is perfectly fine.

Don’t be late and certainly don’t miss the ceremony and show up at the reception. After all, the ceremony is the most important part of the day. If the wedding starts later than the invitation said, so be it. Your presence is wanted or you wouldn’t have received an invitation. However, it is insulting to just show up for the party and not attend the memorable and sentimental portion of the day.

Don’t take your gift to the wedding and make sure to respect the couple’s wishes and shop from their registry. That way, you are getting something the bride and groom want and need. They have taken time to select things that are meaningful and will help them build their life together. Send your gift to the address they provided so they don’t have to worry about how to get it home after the big day.

There are many things that guests need to keep in mind when attending a wedding and these are just a few. After all, the focus is on the bride and groom on their special day and no one wants to take anything away from them or do anything uncouth. Countless hours of planning and thought go into a wedding and you were invited because you are a special person whose presence is important. Just remember that it is not just another day and special rules do apply.