Both of us can attest to doing some of the "wrong" things in our early twenties and seriously cringing about it now. Weddings are weird and emotional events, and so much of what's considered "OK" to do is cultural and regional, but as Meg Keene of A Practical Wedding has written, "at its most basic form, etiquette is just about providing us enough of a common rule book that we can all be kind to each other." With that in mind, we asked friends, family, and fellow Buzz Feed staffers their ~burning questions~ about going to modern American weddings to break down the basic dos, don'ts, and GTFOs once and for all. It sucks when this happens at weddings where you won't know anyone, but it happens.*If your invitation came in an envelope..you opened only to immediately discover another envelope — which is totally A Thing — the names on the inner envelope are the ones to pay attention to, per the Emily Post Institute.
Let's handle this one — arguably the mother of all wedding woes — early. You're free to bring whatever significant other, hookup, friend, roommate, or family member you want. If you're not dating anyone, but still want to have a someone to dance with (or judge people from your table with), you can bring anyone you want, unless it's, like, the Zodiac Killer. If the envelope includes your kids' names or "and family" or something of that sort, then yes.
If it's a really close friend, you could send them an email and let them know why you won't be able to make it, but you don't have to. That's mostly meant for guests whose spouse and/or kids were invited.
It really means "Of the people included in this invitation, how many will be coming?
If you don't feel comfortable asking them directly, test the waters with someone in the bridal party or a sibling and ask how they think the couple would feel about the non-registry gift you have in mind. If you want to go off-registry to buy a different version of something they actually registered for, hold up.
If you miss the RSVP deadline, you may sit at a table of strangers, because the seating chart (aka the devil incarnate of wedding planning) is already set.If you're wondering (or have ever wondered) if you can bring a plus-one, look at the envelope your invitation came in.* Does it say "[insert your name here] and guest"? But if you can't or don't want to leave your family behind, then it's OK to RSVP no.A wedding invitation isn't a jury summons, and in this case, there's no need to abandon your love ones to serve. And you don't have to write in your excuse on the invitation either.If you want to go off-registry, proceed with caution.If you want to skip the registry to give them something cool and special — think: local or handmade objects, vintage items, art — and you know their tastes well, then go for it.
Oh and PS: If you find a better deal on that exact chef's knife, you can buy it from a different store.