You’ve been invited to be someone’s guest at a wedding! What fun! Whether you’ve been invited to a wedding as the guest of your significant other or of a friend, it’s a great opportunity to dress up, meet new people, have a nice meal, perhaps do some dancing, and socialize.

But to be a great wedding “plus one,” you must also realize that you are doing your companion a service. You’re being asked to help your friend or partner make a positive impression on the wedding hosts and to contribute to the joy and positivity of the festivities. Knowing good wedding etiquette can really help.

Guests drinking a toast at a wedding party.

Here are some tips on how to be a gracious and helpful wedding guest…and help your date shine:

Check with your host ahead of time to find out how formal or informal the wedding is, so you can dress appropriately. That way, you won’t look and feel overdressed or underdressed.

It goes without saying, during the dinner portion of the wedding reception, your best table manners apply.

And don’t be afraid of small talk! You’ll be meeting a lot of new people for the first time. Contribute to the conversation! And by all means, keep things light. Avoiding hot-button, mood-killing topics like sex, politics, religion is always a good idea. After all, everyone’s there to have fun, not get dragged into a heavy debate or argument.

And if another guest tries to take you down the rabbit-hole of dark family gossip or aunt Jane’s horrible health problems, either steer the conversation in a sunnier direction … or excuse yourself to get a drink!

And speaking of drinking, watch your alcohol intake. After all, you’re there to help make your date look good. So, it’s wise to be on your best behavior. Limiting your alcohol consumption is the best way to avoid any embarrassing drunken mishaps or faux pas. You don’t want to be the train-wreck wedding guest that the bride’s family still talks about ten years later!

When it’s time to hit the dancefloor, have fun, but do your best to keep it dignified. Think sophisticated, not sexpot.

And above all, when you’re talking about your host to the other wedding guests, always portray him or her in the best possible light. After all, a big part of your job at the wedding is to help them look good!

Being a stellar wedding guest is really fairly simple. Just remember that you’ve been asked to help your host look good to his or her friends and relatives—and have a great time. Navigating the occasion with grace, good manners and kindness will help ensure you get many more invitations in the years to come.

Want to get some etiquette training to become a wedding super-guest? Check out Polite Society’s courses!