Tag Archives: guests

Polite Guestures

Expectations are placed upon everyone both consciously and subconsciously in everyday life and the closer those individuals are to you, their significance increases and the more disappointing it is when they are not met. Under many circumstances, such expectancies are unwarranted but there are occasions when they are absolutely reasonable. One of those times is your special day and no one should be either angered by or less than accepting of your requests.

You don’t typically invite people to your wedding unless they mean something and/or are close to you. Each guest is chosen thoughtfully and for a particular reason especially if you’re getting married in a small venue but even if you’ve chosen a larger one as the numbers go up the costs do too.

While most people don’t immediately respond or even give much thought to what they get in the mail, it is appropriate for guests to RSVP promptly to your invitation as the attendees are a large factor in the size of venue required, number of favors to be purchased, amount of food necessary etc. Even if you do quickly receive an RSVP, conflicts sometimes may arise but it is only polite to be given notice if something comes up rather than simply not take part in the festivities. On your part, no offense should be taken on if it turns out that someone cannot attend despite the fact that your guests are chosen wisely and hold special meaning to you.

Aside from the obvious inclusion of your ceremony time on your invitations, it is always a good idea to add (in the fine print) a separate expected arrival time for your invitees. Unlike dates or family gatherings, tardiness to your wedding is both disrespectful and distracting as it takes the focus off your vows and the permanent merging of your life with that of your fiancé.

Consider suggesting appropriate attire (no matter how formal or relaxed your ceremony may be) as it is YOUR day and the focus should be on YOU. Unless you specifically request so, it is not appropriate for women to wear white for example. Additionally, perhaps someone just purchased a new and beautiful gown they’ve been waiting to wear and opt for your wedding as the place to do so. That is completely inappropriate so you need to kindly insinuate the motif of your affair so as to insure you are not outshined.

Let it be known that the only one taking photos of the ceremony is the photographer. If attendees want copies of their favorite moments, they can get them at a later time. If guests are taking shots during your ceremony at random times, flashes will be going off from every angle and not only distract and you and the officiant but also interfere with the professional pictures.

It goes without saying that one of the most important days in your life is one to be shared with those who are closest and most important. Being that they are just that, all should understand and even appreciate how important each (even the smallest) details are to you. You should not feel any sense of guilt, embarrassment or regret for assuming adherence to those things which will help make your day play out as flawlessly as you dream of.

Guest Wishes

 

When it comes to your wedding day, it is inevitable that not everyone you wish could be there will be able to be, whether due to budget constraints, prior commitments, etc. However, there are ways in which your friends and family who are not in attendance can take part (aside from sending a gift) that will let them know they are valued and that their presence is missed. Here are a few ideas to achieve that as well make those who can be present feel special and appreciated.

Send a fabric square along with each invitation for your guests to decorate and return with their RSVPs. Let them know that they can sew, paint, glue etc. a wish for your future, a favorite memory, story or anything else they would like to share. When you get them back, they can easily be sewn together to create a quilt which can either be used for warmth or hung on a wall as decoration. It will serve as a whimsical, yet sentimental reminder of not only your wedding day but also of the people and relationships you cherish.

A similar idea (perhaps for guests who are a little bit less crafty) is to, in lieu of a fabric square, include with your invitations a blank puzzle piece. Have everyone write a wish for you both or a word that comes to mind when thinking of you, etc. Not only will your guests feel as if they were able to participate, you and your husband will have a wonderful time putting it together.

If you are going to have a yard, a great idea is to place a basket of different rocks at the entry way to the church and an empty basket next to it. Request that every guest, as they come into the ceremony site, pick up one of the rocks and make a wish for you and your fiance before placing it into the empty basket and proceeding to their seat. All of the rocks can later be used to decorate your yard or as part of a garden. Although you will likely never know what the wishes were (unless your invitees disclose them to you), each time you see the rocks, you will be reminded of your wedding day and it will be fun to spend time wondering and guessing.

Depending on an individual’s relationship to the bride or groom, there are people who might feel as if they were invited out of a sense of etiquette or obligation. Taking the small amount of extra time to show your guests, both in attendance and not, will not only be appreciated by each one of them, but it will leave you with tangible memories of both your relationships and your wedding day.

Lest You Forget…

Without fail, every couple has people they would like to have at their wedding who cannot be present physically for a variety of reasons. Some are not in attendance due to budget constraints or prior commitments etc., but whatever the reason, they by no means are less important to either the bride or groom. Additionally, they are certainly sharing the occasion mentally and/or spiritually. Here are some creative and different ways to include absent friends and family in your ceremony.

Depending on whose friend or family member is absent, it is simple to take a swatch of clothing from one of their garments and stitch it inside either your wedding gown or your fiance’s suit or tuxedo. Not only is it a very personal way for either of you to feel close to that individual but it is something that can be removed and act as a keepsake of your wedding day.

Another unique way to keep someone close who is physically distant nearby is through a locket. You can take a photograph and enclose it in a small locket which can be attached to your bouquet, either to the ribbon or on the flower stems. This is another private reminder that will only be known to those you choose to share it with. If the person is someone who is of importance to your future spouse, the small picture can easily be incorporated into a pair of cuff links. Both of these, much like the swatch of fabric, can serve as keepsakes for you.

Some couples would rather their guests be aware of those who are absent, yet in a subtle way. A perfect way to accomplish this is by including each name and a small, general explanation as to why they are listed at the bottom of the wedding program. If you prefer, you and your fiance can write a few words about each individual in reference to their importance.

Flowers are yet another simple method and can be done in a variety of ways. On one end of the spectrum, you can plan all of your floral arrangements around the favorite flower of the special person/people. A less extreme way is to include a single flower in your bouquet or have it act as your future husband’s boutonniere. If you are not aware of that person’s preference or are looking for something clever and unique, include a single Forget-Me-Not in your arrangement or as the flower your fiance wears.

Although there are countless reasons people may not be at your wedding ceremony, as you can see, there are many ways (of which these are just a few) to honor those individuals and show that you remember them. However, by far the best way is simply knowing that they are occupying a special place in your heart.

Do I Know You?

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and usually, the most, to date. A lot of brides want to share it with everyone but eventually realize that doing so comes at a high price so they find themselves asking the question “Who should I invite?” Here are some things to keep in mind to simplify the guest list and cut down on costs.

You don’t have to allow invitees to bring a guest. You can ask each person to come individually or invite some and tell them they are welcome to bring someone with them and not mention it to others.

If you haven’t spoken to someone in a year prior to your wedding, you shouldn’t invite them. Even if you used to be close, there is a reason that you haven’t spoken and there is no need to extend the invitation.

Decide if you want to have a child-free wedding. Some of your friends may have several kids and inviting the husband and wife means their 6 children are coming along too. These days, saying that you love children but your wedding is an adult only affair is perfectly acceptable.

Think about whether or not you would have the potential invitee over for dinner. Your home is a special place and if you or your fiancée wouldn’t welcome them into your personal space, you probably shouldn’t ask them to attend your big day.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to invite someone just because they invited you. That’s like saying you have to date someone just because he invited you to prom. Maybe your budget is different or you have a more extended family to consider.

However, it is important to remember that 10-25% of the people you invite will not be able to attend so you should ask more people than you expect to see. That’s not to say that you want to extend invitations just to fill seats but if there are a few people you would like to have but don’t think you will have room for, invite them because it is guaranteed that some people are going to have other commitments, etc.

Wediquette

When sending out invitations to your wedding, it probably doesn’t cross your mind that there could be issues with your guests or that they may need some tips on etiquette. Unfortunately, that’s not true because, in reality, many people have never been to a wedding and don’t realize that certain things that would normally be acceptable are not for your special day. Here are some tips for wedding guests in reference to what is and is not appropriate when attending a wedding.

Don’t wait to respond to the invitation. Whether you can attend or not, it is important to let the bride and groom know as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly. In addition, if you say that you are going to attend, do so. Venues have a limited amount of space and couples plan their ceremonies and budgets based on the number of people they expect at their wedding. It’s possible they didn’t invite a distant cousin or a co-worker that they might have, hoping that you could attend.

Don’t bring a guest unless the invitation specifically says you are allowed to. If it does, choose who to bring and bring only that person. Each person who attends a wedding is an added expense for the bride and groom and their budget is based on the number of people who RSVP. If you show up to the wedding with someone who was unexpected, there may not be room for them at the ceremony, not to mention the possibility that there won’t be enough food to feed them.

Don’t wear white. Even if you just got the most gorgeous white dress that you have been waiting to find an occasion to wear it to, it is just not appropriate. The only person who should be wearing white at a wedding is the bride. Clothes come in every shade and any color other than white is perfectly fine.

Don’t be late and certainly don’t miss the ceremony and show up at the reception. After all, the ceremony is the most important part of the day. If the wedding starts later than the invitation said, so be it. Your presence is wanted or you wouldn’t have received an invitation. However, it is insulting to just show up for the party and not attend the memorable and sentimental portion of the day.

Don’t take your gift to the wedding and make sure to respect the couple’s wishes and shop from their registry. That way, you are getting something the bride and groom want and need. They have taken time to select things that are meaningful and will help them build their life together. Send your gift to the address they provided so they don’t have to worry about how to get it home after the big day.

There are many things that guests need to keep in mind when attending a wedding and these are just a few. After all, the focus is on the bride and groom on their special day and no one wants to take anything away from them or do anything uncouth. Countless hours of planning and thought go into a wedding and you were invited because you are a special person whose presence is important. Just remember that it is not just another day and special rules do apply.