Written By Laura Lebbon :: English Rose Weddings
AS a wedding planner I have the honour of being present for one of the most important days in most people’s lives. I love getting to know couples and it’s developing these relationships that gives me the most pleasure. I have become great friends with many of my clients during the planning process.
I always find it interesting when the big day rolls around and I finally get to meet their wedding guests. What’s not to love about being a guest at a wedding? You get to dress up, eat fancy food, drink delicious cocktails and hang out with your friends and family in beautiful surroundings. Sounds great, right? Well, actually, I have found that not all wedding guests seem to share my opinion… at least if they do, they have a funny way of showing it! If you have an inkling that you might have invited one or two “suspect” guests then here’s a little list of acceptable and unacceptable wedding behavior that you may want to sneak under their noses some time between now and your impending nuptials…
DO Dress up! What better occasion to buy a new dress, spend ages doing your hair and make-up or get that pedicure you’ve been craving for the last six months. Boys, dust off that suit and tie; women can’t resist a man who makes an effort and looks sharp.
DON’T Ladies: wear white (obviously!). Gents: wear a golf shirt and jeans…
DO Tell the bride how gorgeous she looks. It sounds obvious, but having spent more than a year thinking about what her hair and make-up is going to look like and obsessing over the perfect dress she will really appreciate those few words.
DON’T Whinge. Remarkably this happens far too often. “My drink isn’t cold enough” “it’s too hot” “the music is too loud”. Yes, perhaps the photographer at your last wedding took forever to get people organized for that group shot (and you’d rather stand in the shade until the last possible moment) but think, if everyone just followed directions cordially and swiftly, you’d all be in shot and off for a glass of champagne in no time. Relax, have fun and if you’re not enjoying it, then pretend!
DO Make the effort to talk to someone you don’t know. The bride and groom have spent hours and weeks deliberating about who you might sit next to. It’s just awkward if you blank the person sitting foot away from you. The happy couple will really appreciate seeing lots of their different friends getting along like a house on fire.
DON’T Take photos or video during the ceremony. You aren’t Ansel Adams, and there’s a professional photographer standing right behind you. Oops, you just photo bombed that otherwise spectacular ceremony shot whilst you were “capturing the moment”. On the same note, don’t take lots of drunk pictures of the evening either, those are probably moments best left un-documented – and definitely don’t post them on Facebook.
DO Fill your boots with lovely food and drink. The B&G have spent many months deliberating over whether you should get Heirloom tomato or Organic Squash soup and dreaming up names for their signature cocktails. Make sure to sample everything so you can let them know how wonderful it all was
DON’T Leave directly after dinner. This is a wedding, not a free meal ticket. Throw a few shapes on the dance floor to show you really want to be there, and if you really can’t dance, look there’s a host bar.
DO Laugh at the speeches. Many a sleepless night have gone into crafting the perfect speech (with the exception of the odd best man who wrote it in the bathroom an hour before dinner). so that you’ll laugh and cry in exactly the right places. Okay, not everyone is a great public speaker, but do them a favour and laugh when you’re supposed to; it’ll give them the confidence to make it through to the end. Even better, buy them a shot before they start!
DON’T Talk through the speeches. Sheryl, on your right, is finding the details of your last trip to Mexico incredibly fascinating, but be polite and save the story for after.
DO Admire the décor. Organizing a wedding is hard work and often involves blood, sweat and tears! Planning the décor is the fun part, and often what the bride cares most about over and above her future husband! If you tell her that the centrepieces are gorgeous, the seating chart is inspired, or the stationery is super cute she’ll be tickled pink.
DON’T Drink too much too early. Those “Mai Tai” are really delicious, but you have another 8 hours to get through – it’s best if you try not to end up passed out under the table at dinner.
DO Enjoy yourself! Weddings are supposed to be fun and full of love and laughter. Smile, be happy and have a great time!
I have been incredibly fortunate to be part of many weddings where these indiscretions have been few and often only overheard by my staff and I. However, I believe it’s worth reminding guests in accepting a wedding invite there comes responsibility to play the part on the day. The Bride and Groom invest a great deal of time, energy and money planning the perfect day, not only for them, but for their guests.