Graciously Greeting Your Guests: Wedding Day Etiquette For The Couple

Happy November, friends!


We are officially entering the final full month of SoCal wedding season. Yay! For those of you who are getting married this fall, your big day is closely approaching and we know you’re probably aching to kick off your planning shoes and finally slip into your dancing shoes! As soon as you say your “I-do’s”, you and your new spouse will be ready to eat, drink and be merry. However, before you get carried away in all the festivities, it is crucial to remember to be gracious hosts and practice strong bride and groom etiquette. Luckily for you, we’re here to help guide you through the process of gracefully greeting your guests by answering a few key questions regarding the responsibilities of the bride and groom on the wedding day. These suggestions will make your duties as the king & queen for the day fit seamlessly into a night of celebrating!


Do we have to spend time with every guest?

Yes, you do need to spend a few moments connecting with each of your guests. This is pretty much the most important responsibility of the bride and groom on their wedding day. The very best parties are ones in which every guest is actively participating and having a ball! To make sure this happens at your fête, it is up to you as the host to not only have a great time yourself, but also to greet and mingle with each of your nearest and dearest throughout the party. Doing so, will increase your guests’ happiness and ensure a more successful celebration. Beyond just saying hi to everyone, make sure to take some time to thank your guests for attending. Recognizing each and every guest will make his or her experience at your wedding more personal and enjoyable.

When is the best time to greet guests?

You have a few different options regarding when to greet your guests. If you are doing a “first look” and don’t need to spend the majority of your cocktail hour taking photos, we suggest making the rounds during this time. This way you get to be a part of cocktail hour while simultaneously making sure to mingle with all your guests early on in the party. If you aren’t seeing each other before the ceremony, then we suggest that the bride and groom make table-visits at some point during dinner service (usually between the salad & entrée courses). This is the most traditional way to greet your wedding guests. That being said, you are encouraged to speak to guests at other times during your party too! For instance guests love to be greeted by the groom before the ceremony. This gives them the chance to wish him luck and see a familiar face before taking their seat.


Can we split up the greeting responsibilities?

It is understandable to want to split up your duties saying hello to each and every guest at your wedding. However, we suggest that you stick together. It is important to remember that your guests are attending to celebrate the joining of the two of you as a married couple and that it is possible that some of your guests have yet to meet your other half. It is good etiquette to introduce these guests to your significant other and to make your greeting rounds together as a couple. With that being said, it is always better for your guests to see one of you than not be recognized at all. Therefore, if your guest list is so long that it simply isn’t possible for the both of you to see everyone together, then make sure all of your guests have at least spent time with one of you.


How long should we spend talking to each guest?

As we noted earlier, it is important to say hello to every guest at your wedding. However this process can get extremely drawn-out if you have a high guest count. To help you stay on schedule, we suggest spending only a few minutes with each group of people or table during the designated guest greeting time frame. Guests will understand that you have a ton of people to say hello to and won’t be offended when you need to move on. Give yourself an out with especially chatty guests by thanking them for coming and saying that you’d love to continue catching up a later point. If all else fails, say that you hope to see them out on the dance floor! This will encourage them to continue having fun during the remainder of the evening.


Is there a way we can thank all our guests at once?

We encourage you to take a quick moment to thank all your guests and family at some point during the evening. Usually we recommend that the bride a groom either do this in the form of a toast during their reception (we usually suggest just prior to the cake-cutting) or at the end of the meal. Taking a moment to speak during these times won’t interrupt the natural flow of your evening. If you choose to say thank you at the very end of your meal, make sure to invite guests to continue enjoying themselves by joining you on the dance floor. Even though we recommend that you recognize all your guests together at least once during the evening, remember that this is not meant to replace individual greetings.


We hope that our answers to these commonly asked bride & groom etiquette questions will help you on the day of your wedding. Following these suggestions will guarantee that your guests feel special and have a good time. Ensuring that your guests understand what their presence on your day means to you and that they are having a fun will simply make for a better party atmosphere. As a result, you’ll be enjoying yourself more too! If you can’t accomplish all of our suggestions, don’t sweat it too much. Ultimately your big day shouldn’t feel like work, and is about you and your groom enjoying yourselves with your closest family and friends.


Photo Cred:

Image one by Booth Photographics, Image 2 via Makeup by Jodie, image 3 by Amanda Suzanne, Image 4 by Mic Belle, Image 5 by Jen & Chris Creed, Image 6 by Chloe Moore Photography, Image 7 by we heart photography, Image 8 via Makeup by Jodie.

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