Wedding Etiquette for 20-somethings

By Lynn Adams

Spring and summer weddings are approaching, and for many young adults, it will be their first time attending such a special occasion. If you haven’t been to a wedding before, you might have a few questions about what to expect. Derrick Valenti, wedding planner for the Warwick Allerton Chicago, offers advice for 20-somethings on how to navigate the wedding day like a pro.

Invitations & RSVP Etiquette

Receiving a wedding invitation is a kind gesture that comes with certain expectations of the recipient. It’s ok to RSVP ‘no’ if you’re unable to attend. However, if it’s a close friend, you should send the couple a card thanking them for the invitation and a gift.


At many weddings, guests are asked to sit on either side of the bride or the groom. However, be sure to check with a member of the family. Be respectful of your seating assignment at the reception. You may not know the other guests sharing your table, but this doesn’t give you permission to sit elsewhere.

Social Media & Photography

It’s natural for 20-somethings to share significant life events on social media. If you’re taking photos of the big day, it’s important to be conscious of the official wedding photographer.

The Open Bar

Many weddings offer an open bar at the reception venue, meaning you will not have to pay out-of-pocket for drinks. While an open bar is a definite wedding perk, you should proceed with caution. Act like you’re at a gala, not a college party.

Gift Giving

Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money on a wedding gift, but you also shouldn’t show up empty-handed. A nice card with a small check is a thoughtful present that won’t break the bank. If you don’t bring money, you should buy something on the registry.

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