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12 Important Terms Every Wedding Guest Needs to Know

Attending a wedding? Read this first!
12 Important Terms Every Wedding Guest Needs to Know
Attending a wedding? Read this first!

Attending a wedding isn't just about finding the right outfit and showing up for the couple. It also means obliging with a few key important wedding (and pre-wedding) rules and requests. If you want to be a model guest at your best behavior, study up on a these 12 important terms below!


A French phrase that means répondez s'il vous plaît. Simply put, it means "please respond." Weddings are expensive, more so if you count the number of guests a couple invites as proportioned to the amount of food they'll be serving. Every penny counts, so they'll need to know in advance if you're attending or not so they can prepare the headcount for meals accordingly. Never leave them hanging. Otherwise, if your schedule suddenly frees up, you can't just decide to show up at the very last minute because your seat may have already been assigned to another guest.


2. Unplugged

To unplug means to refrain from using your phones, especially during the ceremony. So do hide them away unless you're explicitly told otherwise. The couple already hired professional wedding photographers and videographers to capture the day's events. Don't ruin their shots by busting out your phone for a quick snap or Instagram story; instead, just be in the moment with the bride and groom.

3. Adults-Only

If the celebration is specified to be an adults-only event, make sure to keep your little ones hushed and behaved during the ceremony. Better yet, find a babysitter in advance to take care of them so you, or the couple, won't have to worry about them disrupting the solemn affair.

4. Save the Date

A save-the-date is the wedding announcement for invited guests before they're sent the formal invitation. Often designed with the couple's engagement photos, it's a courtesy heads up for you to block off the wedding date no matter how far the given date may seem.

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5. Dress Code

A dress code is a set of direct and explicit rules on what you should or shouldn't wear to the affair. If you want to put your own twist to it, make sure to check in with the bride first. After all, you wouldn't want to be excluded from the official photos now, would you?

6. Black Tie

While most weddings follow a fomal dress code, black-tie specific invites call for you to dress fancier than you normally would. For ladies, that means a floor-length evening gown or a formal pantsuit. The men of the party, on the other hand, are expected to don a tuxedo, complete with a waistcoat and black dress shoes. 

7. Black Tie Optional

A wedding dress code classified as black tie optional means that tuxedos are highly encouraged but aren't mandatory, especially if you don't exactly have one ready in your closet. Meanwhile, women are allowed formal cocktail dresses if they're not comfortable with evening gowns.


8. Head Table

The head table is where the couple, along with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, sit during the reception.

9. Gift Registry

A gift registry is a list of practical gifts chosen by the couple, often done through online websites. Those part of the list are usually items they truly need or desire in building their home, as opposed to taking the risk of receiving gifts that they might not end up using anyway. The list is more of a courtesy for the guests, rather than an outright demand, so don't feel too pressured by it.

10. Eat and Run

It may sound humorous on paper, but you have to admit, it's something you or your parents have already done before. That said, all couples ever ask for is that you spend one night with them to celebrate their special day. Don't just show up for the free food and bolt right after. Understand the sentiment of being invited to a wedding, which means that you're part of a group of select people they find important in ther lives. It's only respectful to give them the same courtesy by staying for the program.


11. Processional

The wedding processional is the formal entrance of the bride and her entourage into the ceremony venue. It's her big walk to remember. Hence, if you hear the term while the wedding coordinator is ushering people into the church (or venue), make sure to oblige immediately and avoid being a cause for delay.

12. Recessional

The wedding recessional signals the end of the formal ceremony, and sees the couple's exit from the venue as they're officially deemed husband and wife (or wife and wife/husband and husband).

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