Being A Gracious Guests
As a full service planner we work with our clients on every detail of the planning. One of the biggest planning topics is the experience the guests will have. Our goal at Mariée Ami is to have each guest leave the reception full of compliments and feel like their presence was truly valued. Knowing how hard your host works to make your experience seamless, I thought it would be helpful to give you a few pointers that will make you the most gracious guest of all.
RSVP in a timely manner. If you are invited to a seated dinner your early response gives the host the opportunity to work longer on the seating chart and truly find the perfect seat for you. It also keeps the host from guessing what your plans are which will inevitably cause stress. If you are unable to attend and you are nervous to relay that message, please know it is a lot more noticeable when you are the last RVSP in the mail box. Even if the reception is not a seated dinner, respond!
Gifts: With the world of technology and gift registries, there really isn’t a reason to bring a gift to a wedding. Send it to the return address on the invitation before the wedding so that the bride has the opportunity to open it, record where it is from and possibly thank you in advance. While the couple is so appreciative of your generous gift, having a car full of gifts at the end of the wedding is just one more thing for the mother of the bride to unload after a long day.
Seating: When arriving to an outdoor ceremony we find that guest have a harder time finding their seat than if they were in a church. They congregate in the back, blocking the aisle for anyone who does want to sit which creates a huge bottleneck of people just standing on top of each other. If you are one that likes to arrive early, feel free to linger for a bit, but then please take your seat. When the ushers start asking you if they can please seat you, please take that as a clue it is time to do your part and take a seat.
Cell Phones: Trust me, I want the best picture of the bride on my phone for sure, so I understand the desire to whip out a phone. I cannot tell you how many amazingly beautiful photos are ruined by “Aunt Sallie” getting out into the aisle or holding her camera up over her head. The bride has hired a professional photographer to capture the day. While there are plenty of times for you to catch a photo, the actual ceremony needs to be left to the professionals.
Fun: Have a great time! The bride and her family have worked so hard to plan this special event. They have thought of every detail and prayed for perfection for weeks. As life happens, some things don’t always go as planned. Rain comes at the least expected time, a bus driver gets lost despite the hundreds of times the directions were confirmed, valet gets backed up because two team members decided to bail at the last minute. Who knows! Your smile and flexibility gives your host the sense of ease she so deserves after weeks of hard work.
Giving Thanks: Just as your mama taught you, be sure to give thanks. My favorite text on Monday morning comes from the mother of the bride. “You won’t believe how many compliments I got from my friends! They all seemed to have a great time.” If you have planned a wedding before, you know what I am talking about. Send the host a text, write a hand written note or pick up the phone and call. The appreciation you show for being invited to the wedding will mean the world!
Narrowing down the guests list is the hardest part for any bride. Being invited to someone’s wedding is an honor. Pull out your best dress and have fun!