Archive for the ‘Guests’ Category

4 Wedding GUEST Myths That Just Won’t Die

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Wedding guests, be good!

The Bride-to-Be Is the Point Person for Wedding Info
The bride-to-be is busy. Ever heard of wedding stress? Family is the number one reason for wedding stress, but simple busyness comes in at a close second. Sure, there’s plenty of downtime in the wedding planning process, but there is also plenty for the bride-to-be to do. Especially as the wedding date looms ever closer. Now there are those wedding guests who literally know no one other than the bride (old middle school chums, for instance) and so can’t exactly dial up the MOH out of the blue, but most other guests will know someone, like the MOB for instance, who can answer questions like “Will there be a vegetarian option at the reception” or “Would a summer suit be appropriate attire?”

There Is an Implied +1 or ‘and Guest’ On Your Wedding Invitation
This is one of those areas where weddings bring out the worst in people. It would never occur to me, were I invited to a conference or luncheon or going away party, to RSVP or worse yet, to just bring an “and guest” out of the blue. Then again, I take invitations at face value and there are apparently a whole lot of people who don’t. To avoid confusion, experts like myself recommend that everyone who is invited to a wedding be listed by name on the wedding invitation. That way, no one can claim ignorance.

The Couple Must Provide Free Booze/Cake/Hors d’Ĺ“uvres/Etc.
What the couple is responsible for is serving some form of refreshments at the reception. Things the couple is not responsible for include helping you get your crunk on, making sure what is served is your favorite ever food, or having so much on hand to eat that wedding guests actually have to remove their pants after dinner. The wedding reception meal is one brunch or lunch or dinner out of a guest’s life, yet some guests get really cranky about it. And they shouldn’t. It would be entirely impossible for brides and grooms to take every single dietary particularity into account when planning the reception menu. Don’t like it? Don’t eat it, and don’t complain.

You Should Bring a Gift to the Wedding
Gifts for the bride and groom are an expected courtesy, and one made extra simply by the existence of online wedding registries that let you choose presents in your pajamas and have them sent along to the happy couple’s home. These days, no one other than the UPS man has to lug wedding gifts around. While I do see wedding gift tables set up at most receptions, bringing a gift to the wedding means that someone will be responsible for bringing said gift home from the wedding. And don’t brides and grooms and their families have enough to do post-reception without adding lugging gifts to the mix? Even if you don’t buy off the wedding registry – and you don’t have to – have your wedding gift sent along to the happy couple in advance of the big day.

What are your wedding guest pet peeves?

5 Concessions to Make for Your Littlest Guests

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

She looks happy enough!

Children at weddings is one of those topics that’s been debated half to death, here and elsewhere, among couples and families and wedding guests. Some people maintain that children simply do not belong at weddings, while others counter that weddings ought to be family affairs where children are absolutely welcome. The simplest solution, of course, is to defer to the wishes of brides and grooms. If children are invited, then they’re welcome at that particular wedding. If children are not invited, then that particular wedding is an adults-only affair. Simple, no?

The same goes for infants. When La Paloma was very young, The Beard and I were invited to a wedding – our invitation said ‘The Terrys’ – and I made a point of getting in touch with the bride to ask if babies were invited. Because I was not going to inflict an unpredictable 8-month-old on someone’s special day unless she was definitely going to be welcome. She was, we went, and there were no difficulties with the exception of my trying and failing to nurse in the confines of my automobile.

Which brings me to the topic of this post, the concessions brides and grooms can make for their littlest wedding guests. I don’t mean the toddler+ set that can amuse themselves by sticking their fingers in the backside of the wedding cake and crawling under tables, but rather those wedding guests confined to strollers or bucket car seats, the guests who sup from breasts and bottles, and yes, the guests who may not only cry during your ceremony, but actually scream. Babies at weddings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. But if they’re yours, then here are 5 things you can do to make your littlest guests (and their mamas and papas) more comfortable in an unfamiliar situation.

1. Make sure that parents of infants know that the infants are invited. Not every invitee with a wee one is going to take the initiative like I did, which means that some may decline simply because childcare isn’t an option. The easiest way to ensure that babies’ mamas and papas know that the whole family will be welcome at your ceremony and reception is to include the little one’s name on their invitation. That doesn’t leave much room for confusion – though don’t be surprised if people are still confused since wedding invitation etiquette is not something taught in school these days.


Wedding Maps and Getting to the Church (or Whatever) On Time

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Even if you’ve planned everything perfectly down to the tiniest detail, your wedding day isn’t going to go smoothly if you can’t actually get to the ceremony or the reception. Some locales have more complicated layouts than others, construction and road closures can screw up the best laid plans, and some addresses are just plain difficult to find. You may be surprised at how difficult your venues are to find for your wedding guests – or even your limo driver! Knowing where you’re going and what’s local can make your wedding day that much less stressful for you and your guests.

How can they have closed every road leading to the chapel?!

Wedding Directions Aren’t Just for Guests
Maybe you’re getting married in your hometown, but lots of couples don’t. And to those brides and grooms I say do a few test runs so you know the lay of the land. Do you know how to get to your ceremony venue? Can you navigate from the ceremony space to the reception venue? Even in the event of a road closure? If you needed to send out your MOH for emergency, last minute supplies, could you tell her how to get to an ATM, a drug store, or a florist’s shop? Unless you just can’t get there prior to the big day – because you’re having a destination wedding, etc. – drive around the locale you’re getting married in until you no longer need a map.

Will Your Wedding Maps Be Accurate?
Speaking of maps, have you actually driven the routes you’re suggesting your wedding guests take from the ceremony to the reception? As mentioned above, if you can, get in the car and check the accuracy of your directions before printing them up and putting them in your wedding invitations. When that isn’t possible, is there someone local who can do it for you? Couples having destination weddings may be able to call their venues to confirm the accuracy of directions. Don’t assume that your limo driver will be 100% sure where your wedding venue is – your knowing how to get there may make all the difference!

Your Wedding Maps Are Here – Double Check Them
You’ve driven around the city or town where your wedding will be held. You’ve driven the routes that make up your wedding directions. And now your wedding maps have finally arrived! Time to assemble your wedding invitations? Not quite. First, you need to proof your wedding map one last time. Mistakes happen! For example, my wedding invitation proof were error-free, but my wedding invitations arrived in the mail with a really lame typo. Your wedding maps may contain some slight oops, and reputable companies will replace them for free as long as you catch the error.

What steps are you taking (or did you take) to ensure your wedding guests can find your ceremony and reception?

Wedding Gifts 101

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about that white elephant in the room, wedding gifts.

I know the thought causes an amazing range of emotions from absolute joy to abject terror to… well… whatever it happens to stir up in you. Some people think gifts are the best part of getting married, while others would rather discuss having public rectal surgery than consider the possibility of more stuff in their lives.

Honestly, I don’t care which camp you’re in or whether you’re somewhere in between. This is not my concern. After all, I did my thing. It’s done. This isn’t about how you should feel about wedding gifts or whether it’s okay to want or not want them. This is about the practical aspects of handling this particular part of getting married. If you want pressies, that’s great. If you don’t want them, that’s great, too. But the fact is you will have to deal with the question, and with people who make choices that don’t necessarily match your wishes.

Here’s the deal.

A Quick Look at the Royal Wedding Hats

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I did promise a while back that I’d have a look at the royal wedding hats before too long. Mostly because I myself love a good hat… and a bad hat, if it’s fancy and flashy enough! The royal wedding hats that played a starring role on the heads of Kate and William’s wedding guests definitely fall into both camps, from Princess Beatrice’s wild Cthulhu number to the Queen’s cheery yellow cake-like hat. If nothing else, some of the more spectacular royal wedding hats were gorgeously over the top and definitely eye-catching!

Would I wear them all? No. Do I love them all? Yes.

And had my own invitation to the royal wedding not gotten lost in the mail – damn the USPS! – I do believe I would have opted for something a bit more conservative than the head wear above. Perhaps something like this:

I'd be the bee of the ball!

Or this:

Maybe the bow of the ball?

Unexpected Wedding Guests: How Common Are They Really?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Is everyone in this photo on the guest list?

So, unexpected wedding guests. Word on the street is that there are more of them than people thing. And I’m not talking about professional wedding crashers who are just looking for a good time. I mean friends and relatives who RSVP’ed no but decided to come anyway, invitees who never bothered to send back the stamped reply postcard, and wedding guests who arrived at the reception with one, two, or more people in tow. As far as I know, there was no one at our wedding who wasn’t supposed to be there, but since ours was a backyard family affair, I didn’t pay all that much attention once the day got rolling.

If unexpected wedding guests are more common than I assumed, are people taking them into consideration when giving wedding vendors those precious final headcounts? Is it better to pay for a few more chairs, entrees, and slices of wedding cake than to have one to few of any of these things? It’s a question I have trouble wrapping my brain around because I’d never in a million years attend a wedding to which I had not RSVPed or switch my entree choice at the last moment or *gasp* bring a few cronies with me to the reception so everyone could get boozed up on the cheap. But I know not everyone is as polite as I am, hence the poll. I want to know how you’re handling the possibility of unexpected wedding guests and, I suppose, whether you’re anticipating any!

Image: djprybyl

The Typewriter Guestbook: Still One of My Faves

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

My mom’s wife has this gorgeous old typewriter and I tried to convince them to have a typewriter guestbook at their wedding. It would have been perfect, I think. It was such a small wedding, so everyone could have added their warm wishes on one sheet of paper that could have been tucked into some book somewhere to be found later and read with lots of love and fond memories. But there was some issue with finding a ribbon or some other thing, so it didn’t happen. Booo.

click click click click shrrrrk!

Maybe I can convince you to have a typewriter guestbook at your wedding receptions? The typewriter owners among you, anyway. Or the brides-to-be who’ve been looking for some excuse to buy a vintage typewriter. A wedding! What better excuse? You could even have a typewriter themed wedding! And then later on you can display it in your living room with a nice white sheet of paper and pop over to it whenever inspiration strikes to jot down a few lines. Doesn’t that sound lovely?