Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to be a great wedding guest

On average, I spend about 150 hours with my brides and mother of the brides, really this is not an exaggeration, from emails, to phone calls, to text messages, to in person pow wow sessions, to vendor meetings, I spend a lot of time with my clients.  (I wouldn’t have it any other way) Unless you have actually planned a wedding, you have no idea how much time has been spent planning this special day.  As a guest of a wedding, the couple’s main goal (besides exchanging vows) is to give you an experience. Let it happen. Every couple is different, and every wedding is different.
I am going to share a few insider tips on things that I have learned producing events and weddings…you know, to get you some Brownie points.

RSVP in a timely manner – Most invites are mailed out at least 6-8 weeks in advance, and now a days, couples also send out Save the Date cards, so you know the wedding is happening, clear your calendar, look at flights, or kindly decline as soon as you get the invitation. Why do they need the RSVP card so badly? Because they need to know how many tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, china, staff, transportation, favors, menus, place cards, escort cards, and food to provide. Vendors have deadlines to get this all in order. Some items take a month to produce. So the sooner, the better.

Look at who the invite is addressed too – Couples work with stationers, so they know the proper way to address an invitation. If they did not put “and Guest” please do not fill in the blank that you will be bringing someone with you. Besides, if you are single, you will have way more fun on the dance floor with your buds then trying to introduce your date to all of your colleagues. Also, if it does not say “and family” it is probably an adult only affair, so ask Grandma to babysit, or if it is a destination wedding and you have to take junior with you, bring a babysitter to watch them during the wedding. Again, respect the couple’s decision to not allow children.

Enjoy cocktail hour- there is no need to run to the escort table and grab your card to see what table you are at, it will be there in an hour after you have a drink and a few munchies, besides this is when the vendors are mastering the room, florists, planners, band members, photographers, and caterering staff are running around to make sure the big reveal (when the couple see’s their reception for the first time) is “picture ready”. You placing your purse or coat jacket on the table is just something we have to move out of the way so the couple does not have to see it.

Be happy where you are sitting- it is 2 hours tops that you have to be seated in the seat you are assigned, don’t ask to be moved. The couple has spent weeks trying to figure out where people are going to sit. Just sit there, enjoy your awesome meal, then dance with your friends that you were not seated with. Besides, it’s always fun to meet new people right?

Don’t wear white- I know, some brides do not care, but really why do it? Let the bride have her spot light for 6 hours, wear the white dress to a non wedding event.
Go to the Ceremony – If you are invited to the wedding, then go to the actual wedding not just the reception. The reason for a wedding is to unite two families together, the party afterwards is an added bonus, see the vows, you may even shed a tear it is so nice.

Be a conscious drinker – Just because you think it is “open bar” rest assure that someone is footing the bill. Most times, couple’s base bar tabs on consumption, which resembles open bar. So if you order a drink, take a sip, put it down to jump in the photo booth, and walk away and say “oh I will just get another drink, it’s open bar” in Newport, that is $9 you wasted.

Take your Favor- I know you are thinking “another picture frame”. Just take it, they spent the money. If the favor is really good, like something edible, just take one. Couples only order enough favors for each guest or each couple.

If there is a couples website; read it – Couples create wedding websites for a reason. It is great resource to see what is going on for the wedding weekend, hotel accommodations, gift registry, directions, addresses, contact numbers etc. Check it periodically, for things come up. It is the best way to be on top of what is going on.

Leave the Centerpieces- Most of the time, the vessels the flowers are in are rentals from the florist, so walking off with them is not the best idea. If the couple would like people to take the flowers, someone will announce it or ask if you would like to have one.

Any other tips you would like to share with your wedding guests?


  1. Lol, especially at "go to the ceremony" and "leave the centerpieces." It amazes me what some people think is appropriate behavior! I do have one more to add: Stick to what you RSVP'd. If you replied no, don't go. If you replied yes, then you better be there (or have a very good reason why you weren't)!

  2. I love the part about enjoying the cocktail hour. When we work at weddings, we are amazed that people NEED to come in and see the room, put their coat and purse at the table. It's so true!


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