Thursday, January 9, 2014

How To Be a Good Wedding Guest

Related to my previous post on how to be a good wedding host, below I've listed out some top tips on how to be a good wedding guest.

Please, please RSVP on time.

Check your answer then mail in the card--it's that simple! / Image via Crafty Pie
Sigh...this was the one thing as a bride that was THE most frustrating.  Luckily we had a decent RSVP card return rate of about 65% (I think I read somewhere that the average was about 50%) but still!  For those other 35% who didn't respond, I don't know how much easier we could have made it.  We choose RSVP postcards in favor of RSVP cards with envelopes because we figured it was one less step for people.  All they had to do was check their response and pop it in the mailbox (as we already addressed and stamped each one).

On that same note, if you RSVP'd yes but can no longer make it, PLEASE do not wait until the day before or the day of to cancel (and unless it's a life or death situation, never, ever be a no-show.)

Do not be late for the wedding.

Someone's wedding is not something you need to be fashionably late for.  Generally things are running on a specific schedule, so aim to be on time for all of the events that you are invited to.

Respect the dress code.

There is endless information available on the interwebs about wedding dress codes / Image via Brides
Simply put, if you do not understand dress code terminology (i.e. black tie optional vs. black tie), there is a thing called Google--look it up to see what it means.  Or ask the bride, groom, maid of honor, or mother of the bride.  I know I had to look up all of the formal terms because I didn't know what they meant in the early stages of wedding planningAnd beyond that, unless the invite says casual, skip the Hawaiian shirt or an outfit that you would wear to a dive bar and put on something nice!  It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed at a wedding.

Keep it classy.

It's totally fine to let loose and get drunk at a wedding (after all, isn't that the point of the reception?), but remember to keep it classy and don't get stupid drunk.  That means no barfing at your table or on the dance floor (run to the bathroom instead!) or getting too freaky on the dance floor--at least wait until the old folks have left before you start twerking or grinding!
Throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.

BM K and GM Z at my wedding / Photo by Sarelle Photos
You're there to support the bride and groom and enjoy a free meal (and free booze), so have fun!  Don't sit in the corner with a sourpuss expression on your face.  If you hate dancing then hit up the photobooth, play some games or go mingle.
What are your top tips on how to be a good wedding guest?
Monday, January 6, 2014

How to be a Good Wedding Host

Before I officially say my goodbyes as a Bee blogger (can't believe it's almost that time!), I wanted to share some last thoughts in my next few posts.

With many of you recently getting engaged over the holidays (congrats!), I wanted to put together some observations, based on my experience of hosting a wedding as well as being a guest at many weddings, on how to be a good wedding host.

Don't be late to your own wedding.

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! / Photo via Destiny in Bloom
Making your guests wait a long time for the ceremony to start is a MAJOR don't (obviously unless the delay is caused by an act of God and not just because you snoozed through your alarm or decided to sneak in a episode of Orange is the New Black the morning of your wedding).  If you or anyone in your bridal party is notorious for being super late, schedule any morning activities an hour earlier and tell bridal party members that they need to be ready thirty minutes or an hour before they actually need to be.  

Aim to create a wedding day schedule that's seamless so guests understand where and when they need to be somewhere.

On that same note, try to avoid super long gaps if your wedding will be an all-day thing.  If the "Catholic Gap" is a must, either schedule your cocktail hour during that time or at the very least, give guests recommendations on where they can go to kill time until the reception (a local bar, restaurant, casino, etc.).

If something doesn't go right, don't throw a tantrum--especially not in front of your guests. 
Don't make this face at your wedding / Photo via Wedding Party App

Remember to breathe and either ask someone you trust to handle the situation, or just let it go.  Nothing makes guests more uncomfortable than seeing the bride flip out.  Luckily I've yet to see this in person, but I've seen enough episodes of Bridezillas and Four Weddings to assume that this is an awkward situation.

Make sure to thank your guests for attending your wedding (especially if it's a destination wedding!)

You don't necessarily need a receiving line, but either a speech at the rehearsal dinner or toast at the wedding thanking everyone for celebrating your big day should suffice and make guests feel that you appreciate their presence. 

Always send a thank you card within 2 months of receiving a gift--even if you are receiving gifts before the wedding or well after the wedding.

Mind your manners! / Photo via The Sole Mates

I know this can get very overwhelming, but never ever skip out on thanking people for gifts.  Not only is it poor form to not send a thank-you note in a timely manner, but guests also want to make sure you actually received the gift they sent.

Be gracious and say thank you to everyone who helped make your big day possible--from your wedding planner to the coat check boy.  

A lot of time, effort and coordination will go in to making your big day possible, so if you happen to see your vendors throughout the day, make sure to give them a quick thanks.  They'll appreciate it!

But the most important tip of all?   

Be happy and enjoy your big day!!

Smile!  You just got married :) / Photo via Munaluchi Bridal

It's hard to believe (or describe) how fast the day goes by, so make sure to enjoy Every.Single.Moment.

What are your top tips on how to be a good wedding host?