This is part 3 of a multipart series on weddings. In my last post, I discussed wedding planning.
Being a guest at a wedding is a privilege. So much goes into planning a wedding and the cost can be astronomical. The bride and groom usually have limited numbers, so when you get that invitation, it means that you are special.
Here are a few tips to guarantee that you are the perfect wedding guest.
The bride is planning the biggest event of her life. She needs firm numbers to give to her wedding coordinator and caterer. It is your obligation to let her know as quickly as possible whether or not you will attend.
If she has included a response card, fill it out and get it back in the mail. If she has a traditional invitation requesting a reply, refer to my blog titled “How Quickly Should You Reply to an Invitation” for instructions.
Pay special attention to the names on the invitation, and DO NOT ask to bring children, other family members or guests who are not listed. Trust me: If they are omitted, it is intentional.
PURCHASE A GIFT
Whether you are attending or not, you should send a gift. This is a personal decision that is usually based on your relationship with the couple. If you have already purchased a shower gift, it is certainly understandable to buy a small wedding gift.
TO ENTERTAIN OR NOT
Engagement parties and showers are fun. If you are a close friend of the couple and want to host an event, contact the bride, her mother or the groom’s mother to schedule a party to celebrate the wedding.
Immediate relatives really should not host showers because it would be improper to solicit gifts. However, they can host the bridesmaids’ luncheon or, perhaps, a cocktail party for the couple.
Always the best guest, my father-in-law Dr. Joe Edwards Jr. with bride Brittany Kolat Richardson on her wedding day.
WHAT TO WEAR
I think that it would be better to focus on what you should NOT wear. While most fashion rules have relaxed, one has not: Do not wear white to a wedding. It is just polite to reserve this color for the bride. Also, be respectful of religious institutions and do not wear anything that is too revealing or sexy. All eyes should be focused on the happy couple.
Refer to the invitation for hints or guidelines. If you receive a formal engraved invitation, the event is just that: formal. On the other hand, if the invitation is for a daytime event that takes place outdoors, then you may relax a bit. But a wedding is special, and out of respect for the couple and the event, you should always look appropriate. When in doubt, check with a close family member for direction.
ATTEND THE CEREMONY
When you are invited to the wedding and reception, please do not skip the ceremony and only attend the party. The bride and groom may not notice, but I guarantee their mothers will. After all, the ceremony is the most important part.
Be sure to arrive early. The wedding starts at the time printed on the invitation; therefore, if you arrive at that time, you will be tripping over the processional as you try to find a seat.
A wedding is not the time to let loose and go crazy. A bride and groom want their guests to have fun, but the happy couple should be the center of attention.
The bottom line on wedding decorum is this: A bride and groom will always remember their special day, so make sure you enrich it, not diminish it.
As always, thanks for reading.
*Lead photograph is from Paula’s wedding, feature wedding guest, Theresa Feuger, and her coordinator, Tricia Windom.