be an amazing guest!
WARNING THIS IS A LONG BUT GOOD ONE
Year after year I am honored to photograph the most amazing, romantic, special, and important day in a newlywed couples lives, their wedding day. From proposal to grand wedding day exit, the reality and romance of the wedding day is real. I am typically contacted some time about 1-3 months post proposal so I have real good insight into what each couple puts into the planning process of their day.
But that is not what this post is about. This post is about you the guest, they day itself, and the short time before the wedding day. It starts on the day you get the invitation.
On the day you get the wedding invitation, you should have also received instructions on how to respond with your attendance, the RSVP method. Whether is be a phone call, or website, or a paper rsvp you drop back in the mail. This RSVP is IMPORTANT to respond to in a timely manner. WHY??? because wedding planning relies heavily on those RSVPs. Here is why:
Couples need to do the following with the guest count
1. Let the bar tender know how much alcohol is needed
2. Decide on how many chairs to rent from the rental company
3. Decide on how many tables are needed and what size, should it be 6/8/10 person rounds or long wood farm tables. AND do they need table clothes as well
4. How many place settings are needed
5. Is there enough parking for the guests
6. Let the caterer know how many servings will need to be provided
7. How big to make the cake (based on servings)
8. Will they have any special requirements like handicap access needed for any guests
9. Know how much water and apps will be needed to keep guests nourished, this is really important on hot wedding days
10. Communicate with any transportation service if they are having to shuttle guests in to their venue
11. Let the hotels know if they need to set aside a particular block of rooms
12. Let the florist know how many arraignments based on number of tables which is based on number of guests
I am sure there is more (comment in the comments section if your a bride that has anything to say about this)
Why this is so important is because this is all VERY COSTLY for the couple, and it is best to respect the time, money, and effort out couple is putting into their wedding day to entertain you and feed you because they want you to be a part of their special moment.
On the flip side of this, it is also VERY IMPORTANT that is you rsvp you show up to the wedding. This mean that the couple has purchased everything needed to accommodate you being a guest so if you no show that is money for them down the tubes.
OK enough on the RSVP but I would truly love to read some comment feedback if you have any stories or more information to share on this topic
Get them what they register for or money. The couples register for things they specifically want or need so stick to that
DAY OF THE WEDDING
I am just going to break this down as best I can. BE ON TIME! It is so rude, sorry I have to say it, but it is really rude to show up late to the wedding. It is distracting, can be noisy, we hear your car pulling and car doors slamming and what not. If you see that your late and the ceremony is taking place, honestly if you cant quietly sneak in or we have already heard the crud out of you, I would just wait it out in the car until the ceremony is over. Some may disagree with me, but as a guest if I was late that is what i would do. I would not want to in any way shape or form distract from the nuptials taking place. Some couples may be really chill and not care, however, I am just stating me as the guest and my personality, that is what I would do if I couldnt sneak in like Batman.
Next, dont complain. I have photographed so many weddings and just hear a lot of negativity on the day of the wedding. Most commonly "why isnt there any alcohol", "it is so hot why did they pick this day", "what is taking them so long", (ceremony starts late) and there are a lot more I rather not get into. Just try to stay positive. The bride and groom are not inviting you to their wedding for your opinion on their decoration choice, food choice, temperature, or determination on how drunk you can get. They have hand picked everything based on their budget, taste, style, and wishes personally for the wedding day, and its all about them and the joy they get from sharing their day with all the friends and family they adore and have invited to partake in what they presented to you.
Next, please dont be mean to the vendors. Some of you might be reading this thinking like well that is common sense. BUT I am here to tell you it happens ALOT in this industry, and I mean ALOT! I personally have never been abused to the point of leaving a job, but man have I heard some stories. Wedding and event vendors work so unbelievably hard, and at heart most of us are creatives and artists, which makes us more sensitive to negativity and unkind treatment. We put our perspective and our art into our jobs which makes it personal. I know that I definitely approach each wedding and say " how can I tell their story through my eyes " its all very close to me, I take my work seriously. Some of it is artistic and some of it calculated teachable techniques, but either way I work hard along with many other vendors.
Ok so maybe this is just a photographer thing, but I know the couple is on board with what I am about to tell you. Please dont be the guest that stands up and steps out into the aisle as the bride and her father or whomever is walking down come out for the precessional. You and in ALL the photos with them. In addition, your big ass knees, clothes your legs for a few minutes and get your knees out of the aisle. Why are you making the dad walk around you on his daughters wedding day? Sorry for the bluntness LOL can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine? Keep the aisle clear, what if you tripped the bride, OMG you dont want to be that person. I have seen all of this and a TON of other things so many I cant list them all here. BUT I will tell you a few more ha ha.
Dont jump out in the aisle in front of them walking down to take a phone video or picture. They most times have paid good money to have the wedding covered so dont worry there are plenty of pictures coming. ALSO, when the couple has their first kiss, DONT jump out in the aisle to take a picture if they have a photographer. Oh my GLOB this happened to me and I literally missed the first kiss because someone at the very beginning of the aisle jumped out and stayed there the entire time. I had to tell the couple right after the recessional that I missed the kiss due to this guest, so heartbreaking for them, for me as well but mainly them.
I am not a stickler for guests not using their phones and stuff for pics, really i dont care, it is just this behavior that ruins it for everyone. Keep it respectful, stay out of the way, use common sense and all is good!
So this is just my perspective. Unless the bride and groom expect you to get sloppy drunk and they are riding that train with you, DONT GET SLOPPY DRUNK. I have been witness to cops coming to a wedding, fight at a wedding, and some worse stuff I rather not say here all due to alcohol. Use your judgement, follow suit of the couple. If they are conservatively drinking, maybe you should too, if they are getting drunk then well ok, but be respectful of the venue, and DONT DRINK AND DRIVE.
Well thats all for now folks, again add to the comment section, I wanna hear your stories or feed back and if I get enough I may do a "BE AN AMAZING GUEST PART II" =) HAVE A GREAT DAY!