How to Be the Perfect Plus-One at Any Wedding

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If you've been invited to a wedding as someone’s date, it's important to be on your best behavior! So leave your favorite white dress and your awesome twerking skills at home, and read on for our advice on how to be a perfect plus-one and a gracious guest.

1. If you RSVP "yes," show up.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of guests RSVP to weddings and then don't show up. The couple has paid in advance for your food and drinks, so when you don't attend as planned, you cost them money. If something comes up after you've sent in your RSVP, you (or your date) should be courteous and let the couple know.

place cards
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2. Know the dress code and stick to it.
Attending a formal ballroom wedding? Don't wear last night's cocktail dress. Ask your date about the dress code well in advance of the big day and pick out something stylish yet appropriate. And yes, the old rule not to wear white is still in effect!

cotton candy
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3. Don't be late.
If you're meeting your date at the ceremony, arrive early. The only thing worse than a latecomer at a wedding is a plus-one who the marrying couple doesn't know barging in during a meaningful moment.

bride and groom wedding
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4. Don't block the photographer during the ceremony.
You don't really need to capture the perfect picture of the couple's big "you may seal your vows with a kiss" moment, but the photographer the couple hired to capture the day does. Keep the ceremony snapshots to a minimum, and don't block the aisle just for a blurry Instagram.

blocking photographer
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5. Congratulate the newlyweds.
If the couple has a receiving line, participate with your date. Offer your congratulations and thank the couple for having you at their wedding. If they skip that tradition, make a point of meeting them during the reception, shaking hands, and offering good wishes.

bride and groom holding hands
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6. Pitch in for the gift.
You don't have to get the couple something on your own, but it's nice to give your date some cash toward a wedding gift and put your name on the card.

wedding gift
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7. Stay until the cake has been cut.
You don't have to dance the night away and go wild at the after party, but don't leave the reception early. Stay at least until the wedding cake has been cut (who'd want to skip that anyway?) and say goodbye to the newlyweds before heading out the door.

cutting the cake
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8. Dance, mingle, and have fun!
Just because you're a plus-one doesn't mean you can't have fun at the wedding. In fact, getting out on the dance floor and enjoying the festivities is the best way to be a good guest. As long as you don't get sloshed and make a scene, the marrying couple is sure to appreciate your energy!

guests dancing
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—Stephanie Hallett

Featured: David Tutera on How to Keep Your Reception Fun. See more Q&As with David