Wedding Etiquette: What To Expect When You’re the Plus One for a Bridesmaid or Groomsman

It’s another week of #CoffeeWithCalluna and we’re so excited to share a few more tips and tricks of the industry. Each week we’ll answer questions from YOU! Send us your questions to or send us a message on instagram at @callunaevents!

Xo, Calluna

Getting invited to a wedding is fun and exciting! It’s a chance to dress up and socialize while enjoying the evening’s festivities. But what happens if your date is in the wedding party? Now, being invited as a plus one can be a little intimidating, especially if you have never met, or barely know the couple. What do you do if you don’t know anyone else at the wedding? How do you spend your time while your date is busy with wedding party duties?

Here are some tips on how to have fun while also being a gracious guest!

Information Is Key

The more information you have, the better chance you have to set yourself up for success. Stick to the dress code! I think it goes without saying, avoid white, and don’t show up in a ballgown if the event is more of a spring garden wedding. Ask your date about the couple and what they’re like. Even better, if you can get your hands on the invitation or wedding website, you can get a definite dress code.  If you can’t get a clear dress code, play it safe and aim for classic dresses that you know you look great in! If you’re unsure of what a dress code means, you can read more about it here!

Manners, Manners, Manners

This one seems obvious, but if you’ve already RSVP’d yes, don’t back out at the last minute. If your date is part of the wedding party, know that you’ll have a lot of down time for yourself. Take some time to enjoy your morning on the day of the wedding, but make sure to be on time for the ceremony!

If the couple has a receiving line at the end of the ceremony, congratulate the newlyweds and thank them for having you at their wedding. If they don’t have a receiving line, find some time to meet them during the reception and offer your congratulations then.

Pitch in for the gift with your date! This is great especially if you don’t know the couple very well. Talk to your date about what they’re planning on giving, and if all else fails, you can always gift something small off of their registry, or give a reasonable amount of cash along with a nicely written card wishing the couple well.


I know we like to use our phones as scapegoats in uncomfortable situations, but try to unplug and enjoy the moment to connect with other guests. Follow your date’s lead and let them set the tone, but don’t be afraid to get out there and mingle. Make your date feel like they don’t have to worry about you! They are there to support the couple, and you’re there as a supporting role for your date.

That being said, being a plus one doesn’t mean you have to be the most poised person in the room. Partaking in the festivities is one of the best ways to be a good guest. Grab a drink and hit the dance floor, just don’t get too sloppy and make a scene!

Overwhelmed? Take a little break!

Meeting new people can take a toll, and can be intimidating to some people. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, find somewhere quiet and take some time for yourself to regroup. You can also find a smaller group to hunker down and chat with so you don’t feel like you’re getting dragged from group to group. 

At the end of it all, weddings are a time to celebrate the new couple and to have fun! We hope these tips help you as we approach the upcoming wedding season!


Featured Photo | Laura Murray Photography


This week, we are featuring a Q&A from our #CoffeeWithCalluna series, where we answer your questions about all things weddings, planning and style! We look forward to sharing our tips and tricks!

Want to have your questions answered? Send them to!

Xo, Calluna

“I’m wondering if you can explain the difference between wedding dress codes? I am not sure what to put on my wedding invitation and want my guests to have an idea of what to wear!”

This is a great question! We know it can get confusing sometimes, so we are happy to lay out how wedding attire is traditionally broken down.

White Tie: This is the most formal of wedding attire options, think tuxedos with a jacket and tails for men, and formal ball gowns for women.

Black Tie: This is the second most formal option after white tie – think a tuxedo for men, and a stylish cocktail dress of chic evening gown for the ladies.

Black Tie Optional (or Formal): This option is less formal than black tie, though still suggests black tie attire would be appropriate to wear. A tuxedo is still an option, though a dark suit and tie would be acceptable for men. For her, we would suggest a long evening dress or a more formal cocktail dress.

Cocktail: Cocktail attire can be interpreted in a few different ways, but normally implies men in suits and women in fun party dresses.

Beach or Garden Party Attire: Beach or garden party implies casual dress appropriate for heat or a spring/summer wedding. Think light summer suits for men, and fun sundresses for the ladies.

Photography | Jill Houser Photography

The Etiquette Series- The Wedding Day

In the heat of summer weddings are on the mind, which is why we’re presenting part two of our etiquette series for couples, guests, family members alike can use as a resource. Last week we covered the basics in our pre wedding etiquette – invites, budget, kids or no kids? Today, we’re tackling that big, sparkly, dreamy (but maybe a wee bit stressful) day… a day that can run flawlessly with some preparation.

Whether you are a bride or groom, guest or member of the bridal party, we hope our guide to wedding day etiquette is useful.

xx, Calluna

Bride & Groom:

Tipping: Like most other service oriented employees, tipping is a cost to budget when paying your hard working vendors. Questions about proper tipping etiquette are frequently asked; see below for industry standards:

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Making the Rounds: It is important to greet and meet with your guests meaningfully, but don’t forget this day is about celebrating your newly established martial commitment – not all about you play host/ess. Make an effort to engage with guest (they did come out just for you!) and then ENJOY yourself! You’re there to dance, celebrate, eat the cake, and bask in you hard earned glory of the beautiful wedding you just planned. If you’re feeling like your personal connections still won’t suffice, a welcome toast is a great way to express your gratitude.

The Bridal Party

The Speeches: The Best Man & Maid of Honor are traditionally responsible for reception speeches. Varying in tone by each personality, we find this can be a highlight of the night for the entire wedding roster (how great is it to see a sentimental + hilarious side of the bride/groom in 3 minutes flat?!)

If you have a case of writer’s block, consider the following: speeches show showcase your friendship, a meaningful memory, a hope for the future. If you’re going the slap stick route, keep it light & playful. Major embarrassment does not look good on anyone. Let your personality shine!

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Be Helpful: Yes the bridal party should absolutely enjoy themselves at the wedding, as they are an integral part of the wedding fun. Why you’re kicking up your heels, make sure to check in with the newlyweds throughout the night. If the bride or groom expresses the need for something whether it be calming words before the ceremony, help getting their dress or suit on, or escorting Mr. I’ve Had One Too Many away from the bar area, don’t hesitate to make them as comfortable as possible.

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Wedding Guests:

Act Responsibly: Just because there may be an open bar doesn’t mean that you need to completely booze it up. While weddings are fun and do call for celebration, be aware of your alcohol consumption and keep in mind that any outrageous behavior could lead to an unhappy bride and groom. **This especially applies to Colorado weddings. Altitude can lower alcohol tolerance, so drink plenty of water throughout the night. 

Listen to the Invite: It is imperative not to assume that your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or children are invited just because you are. Some couples have to make tough attendance decisions so do you best to not be personally offended if the affair is “adult only.” Do not show up at the wedding with any unexpected guests or children for it could cause tremendous problems with the couple as well as seating and organization.

Be Social Media Savvy: Some couples highly encourage the use of social media at their weddings, and sometimes even have a special hashtag to be used for Instagram or Twitter. If this is the case, post fun and beautiful pictures and utilize social media to make the pictures easy to access. However, if the couple doesn’t make their preferences clear, either ask the wedding coordinator or bride and groom if you can post pictures. Some couples may be upset if they don’t get to see the pictures before everybody else.

Photography Credit: Ali Vagnini Photography || Color Me Rad Photography || Kate Holstein ||

Cynthia Kain Photography || Chris Humphreys Photography || Tess Pace Photography

The Etiquette Series – Pre Wedding Preparations

In a cultural moment where the rules of wedding etiquette tend to be in flux, it can be confusing to keep up and stay confident with what is expected. Following every single “rule” written by our friend Emily Post will definitely produce some tension, so let us take the reins on the research so you can get informed on all wedding etiquette & expectations. First up – pre wedding preparations. Stay tuned next week for part two, we’ll be discussing guest and hosting etiquette the day of the event.

Happy planning!

Xx, Calluna


The Invitations:

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The Engagement Party: 

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Guest etiquette for engagement parties

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The Bachelorette & Bachelor Party:

Bridal party etiquette for Bachelor & Bachelorette parties

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Photography: Laura Murray Photography || Tess Pace Photography || Kmulhern PhotoGraphy || Rachael Grace Photography

Vendor Love : Lana’s Shop || Cured



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