10 Ways You’re Accidentally Stressing Out the Bride

You think you’ve got the wedding guest game down pat. You booked a flight, sent a gift (from the registry, no less) and are ready to party. But are you causing the bride to secretly rip her hair out in frustration? Here, ten wedding guest mistakes that are accidentally stressing out the bride.

Can You Wear White to a Wedding If There’s No Bride?

stressing out the bride spilling on her dress

Giving a Play-by-Play of the Weather

More than likely, you’re telling the bride what she already knows. No one needs an hourly update on that 30 percent chance of precipitation. (There are apps for that.) Best not to cause extra anxiety over something she can’t control. Rain or shine, the day will be one of the best in her life...and even better if you hold her umbrella.

Holding Your Red Wine a Little Too Close

You know what’s not a good look? A white gown…with red accents. Considering how much the bride paid to look as stunning as she does (and doesn't she look great?), she’d prefer her dress remained stain-free. As much as you’re loving that Cab, you’ll regret when it spills and you’re picking up the dry-cleaning tab for a wedding dress. Steer clear of the bride with your red wine, or better yet, stick to white.

Sharing Your Unsolicited Wedding Horror Stories

Surprise! Telling the bride about how your caterer gave everyone food poisoning, your grandma cut into the cake early or—gasp—no one danced isn’t going to calm her nerves. Keep those nightmares to yourself (at least until the celebration is over). Bonus: When something does go wrong, you’ll look like a pro when you save the day. 

stressing out the bride not sending rsvp

Sending Your RSVP Late

…or not at all. Spoiler: It’s not fun (or easy) for the bride to chase you down, spreadsheet in hand. If the envelope comes with postage, it’s not that much trouble to drop in the mail. (Right?) Do the couple a favor and get that response back ASAP or at least by the due date. Everyone will thank you.

Asking for a Plus One

Unless your invitation specifically says “and guest,” you should assume that everyone invited to the wedding is included on the envelope. Don’t reach out asking if you can bring a date or your kids. Think about it: The day has been planned for months, and the couple has painstakingly thought out every last detail. To you, including an extra person is no biggie. To them, it not only means re-arranging budgets and logistics or inadvertently upsetting another guest who wanted to bring a plus-one, but it also puts them in a stressful position if they have to say “no” to you. Awkward.

Not Checking the Website

You saw that link on the save-the-date and the invite. Right underneath where it said “IMPORTANT DETAILS,” right? Chances are the wedding couple didn’t purchase that domain just to show off tech skills. Oftentimes, the website has information on accommodations, travel and registries. Better to take a quick peek online than risk not knowing what’s going on. (Or worse, texting the bride for directions day-of.) Oh, and could you show Great Aunt Barbara, please? Thank you.

stressing out the bride misinterpreting dietary restrictions

Reinterpreting the Meaning of “Dietary Restrictions”

Do give the bride advanced notice that you’re severely allergic to shellfish. Don’t give the bride a full report on why you just aren’t a huge fan of cilantro.

Bringing Your Uninvited Kids

Don’t take it personally that your little ones were left off the invite. Whether it’s about space or that they want a more adult vibe, there are a million and one reasons why a couple wouldn’t have kids at their nuptials. And don’t you want an excuse to get a babysitter?

stressing out the bride drinking too much
Poike/Getty Images

Getting Too Tipsy...Before You Give Your Speech

Open bar, yesss. Just because the drinks are flowing freely doesn’t mean you should take that as an opportunity to get sloppy. Best-case scenario, you wind up with a massive hangover the next day. Worst case, you make an utter fool of yourself after giving a drunken toast in which you recount the bride’s most embarrassing stories from high school. (Not to mention requesting the same Cher song ten times in a row and knocking a bridesmaid over on the dance floor.)

Complaining to the Bride at Her Own Wedding

This is her day, and she invited you to share in it. Don’t air your grievances to the bride—not before, not during or after. She's probably worried that you’re enjoying yourself as it is…she doesn’t need to know that you didn’t like the flowers or the music selection or that the chicken was salty. The best way to avoid stressing everyone out? Give the couple a big congratulations and get out on that dance floor.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...