At every wedding, there are certain unspoken rules that you should keep in mind as an attendee. The couple in question has cared for you enough to share their special day with you, so shouldn’t you be gracious? Well, duh, of course.

As someone who is engaged to be married (and who loves weddings, in general), I want everyone in attendance at my wedding to have a good time. Sometimes, I fear about seeing someone sitting alone in the corner, being a negative nancy, and ultimately letting it annoy the hell out of me. And I know I am not alone in this thought.

There are some wedding guests who just can’t leave their negativity at bay. To be a perfect (or tolerable) wedding guest, we suggest the following to you:

Do: Say Thanks!
While the newlyweds are making their rounds saying their own, “Thanks!” to everyone, make a point of getting to them first. Tell them how happy you are for their marriage, how beautiful the wedding/reception is, and wish them luck in the future. But mostly, tell the couple a simple, “Thanks so much for inviting me!” It might not seem that it matters to them at first, but believe me, it’ll be remembered down the road.

Don’t: Act like a single sourpuss
Alright, so this is something we’re super serious about, twenty-somethings. If you happen to be attending the wedding Han-Solo, do not be that girl (or guy) in the background who is secretly fuming about still being the only single person left in your group of friends. Attending weddings should be fun and you’re not showing anything positive by being a sourpuss. The couple getting married won’t appreciate it, so just have a good time (or at least pretend to). Who knows? Maybe you will meet someone at the reception and fall madly in love. Or maybe you’ll give Magic Mike another watch when you head home after the festivities are over. Just leave the negative attitude at home. Please.

Do: Take lots of pictures (and share them!)
The bride and groom will thank you for this immensely. Even though the couple will have their own professional photographer mozying around all night, share your personal photos with them on Facebook or other social media site. Doing this shows how much you really care for the couple–create a hashtag for them on Instagram if you’re taking photos with your phone. Easy access for anyone!

Don’t: Sit in the corner and gossip all night long
This also goes along with not acting like a single sourpuss. Sure, you’re at a wedding to chat with people you haven’t seen in a while, but don’t make gossiping a huge part of your evening. Eat some cake, dance, and have a drink or two. There’s more to life than bad mouthing others.

Do: Dance, sing, laugh, and have fun!
The bride’s family (and the happy couple) have spent thousands of dollars to make their special day beautiful and fun for everyone around them. So, get up and have fun! Dance to the Cha Cha Slide, sing along to classic rock songs, and have a good ol’ time.

Don’t: Don’t wear a white dress
Simple. Just don’t do it. The only person who should be wearing white is the bride. Today’s not the day for you to outshine anyone. Remember this more than anything.

Do: Give an awesome gift to the couple
They’ll love you for it later. Money always works–especially if the couple getting married are in their twenties. Help them out with a few extra bucks to spend on their honeymoon. You’ll be dubbed the best guest ever!

Don’t: Don’t get too drunk (and share extremely embarrassing moments with family)
Self-explanatory, right? Not so much. Weddings are great for having some drinks with friends and family, but don’t go overboard! Don’t be that drunk guest who starts telling family secrets to everyone… or hangs from the ballroom’s chandelier. Just don’t.

Weddings are a time to celebrate a couple’s love and commitment. Avoid ruining their special day (and your own experience) by simply following our do’s and don’ts of being a wedding guest.

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Photo via GeorgeDrake