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Wedding Guests: 5 Wedding Guest Myths -- Busted

Photo: John Griffin Photography

You may think you're a wedding etiquette pro, but here are five commonly held beliefs that are really more fiction than fact.

Myth #1: You can't wear black.

Good news: Your favorite little black dress is appropriate for a wedding. Many people pick their outfit with the misconception that anything black would exude gloom (rather than glee), but don't worry -- no one will think your dark attire is better suited for a funeral than a wedding. Though black might not be the best choice for a mid-afternoon ceremony in the spring, black is perfectly fine for any evening wedding.

Myth #2: The bride is your point person for all wedding-related questions.

Don't assume that the to-be-weds should be your first stop with all your questions simply because it's their wedding. Not sure where they're registered for gifts? Wondering about transportation? Need to know if there will be a babysitter at the wedding reception? Don't pick up the phone and immediately call the bride or groom -- chances are, they've got enough wedding stress of their own. First try the bridesmaids and groomsmen, or the couple's parents. Find out if the couple has a wedding website (look on the invitation), which could very well have all the information you need. If you still have no luck, it's okay to contact the couple -- just make sure you've tried other avenues first.

Myth #3: Shopping from the registry is impersonal

It can be tempting to buy a couple a wedding present that's not on their registry. Something that shows how well you know them (and how great a gift giver you are) is way more creative than selecting a present off a list, right? Not really. Most couples prefer gifts from their registry -- that's why they registered in the first place. For a personal touch, pick an item that has some significance for you and the couple (like buying them stemware to replace the glass you broke at their last dinner party), and include a letter that lets them know you put some thought into their wedding gift and got them something they really wanted.

Myth #4: An invitation means you can bring a date

Unless your wedding invitation includes a phrase like "and guest," don't assume you're free to bring a date. Couples are often working within certain restrictions (be it space or budget), and expanding their guest list might not be an option. In one poll of Knot brides, nearly half said that at least one guest had responded for someone who wasn't invited.

Myth #5: The couple is responsible for your accommodations

No matter how far you've traveled to attend a wedding, the couple isn't required to pay for your hotel -- or even let you crash on their couch. Many couples will reserve blocks of hotel rooms to get a good rate for their out-of-town guests, but don't expect them to foot the bill. If you're not sure where to stay, ask a member of the bridal party for recommendations.

-- Miles Stiverson

See More: Going to a Wedding?