Friday, September 26, 2014

Be A Nice Bride: Be Kind to your Guests

You're getting married.  You have 157 people that have RSVP'ed that they are elated to be celebrating with you.  They're going to be spending money to take time off work.  They'll be purchasing dresses & suits to attend.  They'll be bringing a gift for you, maybe getting a babysitter, and booking a hotel room.  All to celebrate with YOU on your big day.

So....what can you do for them?  I've got a couple of ideas.

-  Don't keep them waiting.  Whether your guests traveled ten minutes down the road or took a day of flights to celebrate with you, you need to value their time.  Do whatever you can to make sure that they do not spend the majority of your wedding day waiting on you to show up.  This sounds like common sense, doesn't it?  But you might be surprised to learn that the most common complaint people have about weddings has nothing to do with the food or the bar or the music.  It's generally the fact that the couple was either late to starting the ceremony or took too long taking pictures between the ceremony and reception.  Be mindful of this.  Take measures ahead of time to talk with your planner and your photographer to minimize the time your guests are waiting on you to get the party started.  This is a bonus for you and your new husband too.  The sooner you get down the aisle and then to the reception, the sooner you can really start celebrating your new life together!!!  That's what this is all about anyways, right??

- Be prompt/sincere with your Thank You notes.  Yes, your guests know you've got a lot going on after the wedding.  But putting in a little extra effort and getting those thank you notes out in a timely manner {within 3 months according to Emily Post} really does make an impact.  People tend to remember the bride that was "too wrapped up in herself and her new husband" to write thank you notes when she should have.  Not only that, but make them as personal as possible.  Again, your guests know that you've got 157 notes to write.  And after a while, those words are all going to blend together and make zero sense to you.  But your guests can also spot a fill-in-the-blank thank you note from a mile away.  No they won't call you out on it.  But is that the impersonal impression you want to leave?  Probably not.

- Make sure they know what to expect.  Are you having an outdoor wedding in the dead of summer?  Or maybe an outdoor wedding on a brisk fall evening?  You may want to let your guests know so that they dress appropriately.  If you're having a wedding that is anything out of the ordinary {meaning not in a hotel ballroom}, do what you can to let your guests know ahead of time.  Female guests especially like to know what sort of footwear, dresses, coverups, etc. they should plan to wear.  Happy guests are the ones that are prepared and dressed for the environment they will be spending multiple hours in.  You can spread this information by including a small informative card in your invitations, adding a note on your wedding website, or even spreading it by word-of-mouth!

- Do what you can to keep them comfortable.  You've sent out the invitations and let everyone know that your wedding will be on the gorgeous waterfront in late August.  You're thinking incredible pictures on the dock and your guests are thinking sweltering heat and unrelenting mosquitoes.  If you have the means, be sure to prepare for things like this.  Rent misting fans to be spread out around your reception area.  Place bug spray in pretty containers near the bathrooms.  These tiny additions to your checklist will make a world of difference when it comes to the experience your guests have while they celebrate with you.

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