Everyone has gone to a wedding at one time or another and witnessed what we all like to call “a train wreck.” Yes, while this always tends to make a good story for the guests leaving the party. The bride and groom, on the other hand, would probably rather do without the huge scene on their big day. And to make sure the person everyone is whispering about isn’t you, we’ve gotten together a little list of proper wedding guest etiquette.

1.) Don’t wear white. It doesn’t matter if the only thing in your closet is a white sheet from a college toga party; don’t wear it. It’s rude, inconsiderate, and the #1 rule of all weddings, meaning there’s no way someone will forgive you for not knowing it. Unless the bride and groom have specifically asked their guests to show up wearing white (which occasionally happens for black-tie weddings), don a frock with some color.

2.) Keep your opinions to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think the bride’s dress looks like a wet poodle, if your place card has a spelling error, or if the cake looks crooked; keep it to yourself. There’s nothing the bride and groom can do about it; your opinion doesn’t matter. She picked her dress because that’s the one she wanted to wear, the cake is as good as it’s going to get, and there are probably other errors you just haven’t noticed yet; the bride probably hasn’t slept in a year, and a half. Just tell her she looks radiant and let them enjoy their day.

Wedding Guest Tips

3.) Be on time. This is the couple’s big day, and your late attendance will only draw attention to yourself. Some couples even have someone man the door after the ceremony has started, ensuring their precious moments won’t be interrupted by the loud squeaking of a wooden door and echoing footsteps and whispers as someone desperately attempts to find an empty seat. The last thing you want to do is walk in during a moment of silence for the bride’s late mother. As a matter of fact, give yourself an extra half hour to get there, just in case traffic or directions prove to be more difficult than you thought.

4.) Get them a gift. Have an old sweater you’ve desperately been trying to re-gift to someone else? Sorry, but you’re just going to have to keep trying. This is not the day for cheap gifts. Get them a gift card or something off of their registry. And if you include a card (of course, you need to include a card), put in the time to figure out how to spell both of their names.

5.) Turn your phone off! Do you really want to be responsible for ruining the moment just before the bride and groom kiss for the first time because your college buddy just had to send you a picture of his new riding lawn mower? That ruined moment will be on their wedding video….forever. Turn your phone off, and don’t even think of turning it back on until the reception is underway.