Planning a wedding has taught me an abundance of lessons, including how to be a better wedding guest. As a public service, I thought I would post some of my tips up here. Naturally these tips are meant for informational purposes only; you don't have to follow a single one of them. However, if you wish to dazzle and amaze a bride and groom with your astounding gentility, here are three good ways to score some major points.
Tip 1: It is never too early to send back your response card.
There is nothing more frustrating and disheartening to a bride, groom and their families fo fantically call invited guests several days before the wedding and beg for a response. This exercise wastes valuable time and makes the bride and groom feel lousy.
Also, you have to figure that the person(s) financing the wedding is/are forced to assume that every person who has not responded may wish to attend. This adds up to additional dollars on catering, favors, transportation, etc. that the host(s) will have to spend on people who may not even show up.
So, in short, barring unforseen circumstances, it's best to get that reply in the mail right away. Trust me, the bride and groom will love you for it!
Tip 2: Be flexible when giving advice.
Brides and grooms love advice. People love giving advice. What a great match! Well, most of the time, anyway.
The key is not to force the bride and groom to take your advice. While your advice is most assuredly well intentioned, for one reason or another, the bride and groom may not be able to or may choose not to take it.
So, feel free to share your wisdom, but remember to be flexible and understanding.
Tip 3: Articulate special requests as early as you can.
It's no secret that wedding hosts want guests to feel comfortable and happy. (If they don't, shame on them!) Special requests can almost always be accommodated -- from a special meal, to a seat away from the band, to a quiet spot for your tot to nap after a long day. The key is to let the wedding host(s) know your special need(s) ASAP.
For example, an email to the bride a month before the big day to request a booster seat for your little one is welcomed. On the contrary, a day-before-the-wedding, hysterical phone call insisting on a gluten-free, salt-free, kosher, diabetic, vegan entree or a last-minute invitation for the new, main squeeze you hooked up with at a party last weekend, is not*.
* So far, this type of thing hasn't been a problem for me. However, I've been involved in enough weddings in my lifetime to know that this situation is an unfortunate inevitability. Oy!
Well, I'm off to dream about something other than weddings. Good night!