For this month’s bridal tips, we are diving into what to expect as a wedding guest and what is expected of you as a guest. For many of our guests, they may not have attended a wedding in recent years or at all. These tips will help in preparing your guests or yourself if you are a guest!
1. What to wear? So right off the bat, of course the color white, or even an off white is a big no. Along with that, any dress that could appear as a wedding dress would also be a no. Now with the main tip out of the way, let’s dive into other attire. When sending out invitations, it helps to specify the type of dress for your guests, such as casual, cocktail attire which is interchangeable with semi-formal and dressy casual, beach formal, formal attire, or black tie. By identifying the type of dress on your invitations, guests will know beforehand exactly what to wear. For example, it might be a little too hot in Florida to wear a black tie formal tuxedo style of dress to a July beach wedding, where beach formal would be more appropriate.
2. When to arrive? Ahhhh okay, I am going to be real honest on this item – some guests might not arrive on time. Whether it is due to traffic, directions, or just running behind in general, the safest thing you can do is put a 30 minute buffer on your ceremony time for your guests. For example, if your ceremony is at 5 PM, you should put 4:30 PM on your invitations. This way the guests who are prompt will get the best seats, and the ones who tend to be behind will still arrive on time prior to the ceremony starting.
3. Is a gift required? Florida is definitely one of the biggest states for destination weddings and of course local weddings too! Many of your guests may be flying in or driving at length to attend your big day. While gifts of course are nice, sometimes the ‘presence’ of those you love is so much more special than the ‘presents.’ However, with that said, many guests will definitely want to pick you up a little something special. Consider adding a information about your registry to your wedding website if you have one, or to your invitations.
4. Where to stay? Accommodations for both in-town and out-of-town guests are important to finalize prior to sending out invitations so that the information can be included for guests. Many hotels are willing to do a “room block,” where they guarantee you a certain amount of rooms for your guests, typically at a discounted price. Negotiation is key, and many hotels are also willing to include bus transportation for your guests to travel to and from the hotel to your wedding venue.5. What to expect? As a guest, there are certain expectations the couple will have, which are all very easy to follow. The first, limit drinking – of course an open bar can be very tempting, but you also want to be able to walk out at the end of the night still looking as fabulous as when you arrived. The second, be kind – there is no need for negativity on a wedding day, whether it be due to things running behind, food not exactly as expected, or just general commentary, keep it real and be supportive to your friends by refraining from unkind comments. The third, I’ve got to mention it again, arrive on time – arriving on time will ensure the ceremony can start on time, along with getting guests to cocktail hour on time. And last but not least, let the couple eat – hahaha, you would be surprised how often our couples do not get to eat because they are greeted in a constant line during the first half of dinner when they are served. For the first half of dinner, if the couple is sitting down to eat, let them have a few minutes to enjoy one another’s company; and don’t worry towards the second half of dinner, most couples leave their sweetheart table to make the rounds in welcoming all of the guests!
Oh, and don’t forget, we LOVE taking guest family and friend portraits – so always feel free to ask for a photo!