Continuing the theme from the last post. . . .
There are wedding flubs, and then there are wedding fiascos — straight-up scandals, folks. Don’t get caught making one of these mistakes.
Ignoring your guests is a huge no-no. Make sure you take the time to speak to your guests personally, whether in a receiving line, or during the reception.
Dancing till dawn can be fun, and so can the ceremonial first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance. But if they last a good five minutes each — and if you add in other specialty dances, like anniversary dances, dollar dances, etc. — your guests will wonder whether you invited them to dinner or to a show.
Underfeeding guests is not only tacky; it’s rude. If you’re having a buffet, make sure there’s enough food for each of your guests to get at least one serving; if you’re throwing a cocktail party, make sure the finger food will last through the evening.
“Princess for a day” is how you’re supposed to feel as the bride, but you’re not supposed to turn everyone around you into your subjects and servants. Make sure friends and family feel important and welcome — not put-upon and run ragged.
Gifts are one of the fun perks that comes with the territory. But they aren’t mandatory. On your wedding day, it’s best not to mention gifts at all, and afterward, don’t inquire about gifts unless packages are unmarked and you need to search out the gift giver. Never ever open wedding gifts during the reception.
Wedding pictures are supposed to capture the happiest day of your life — naturally. Don’t ask your bridal party, families, or heck, even your groom, to spend hours posing for magazine style artsy shots when you should be spending time with guests who have traveled from far away to see you.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s also sincerely one of the surest ways to make a friendship go sour. If you saw something you liked at a friend’s wedding, approach her for idea about how to adapt it to your big day — don’t just replicate her party without making sure she’ll appreciate the copycatting.
Dirty dancing is best left for the after party or a night out clubbing with your girls. Don’t make your elderly relatives reach for the brain bleach, and don’t give little kids any big ideas!
Regulating temperature isn’t always possible when you have an outdoor ceremony or a lot of guests packed into a room, but do your best to keep people comfortable, and if you think guests will need a head’s up to dress warmly or come prepared for full-on sun, let them know well in advance.
Dietary restrictionscan wreak havoc on a carefully-laid-out menu, but you also don’t want to be unprepared. Offering only spicy Thai peanut chicken to a guest with a tree nut allergy or scallop scampi to an Orthodox Jew will not win you any bonus points as a thoughtful bride. Make sure your caterer can accommodations your guests’ needs.
Seating at some receptions is at a premium. If you’re not having a sit down dinner, make sure your venue will still provide enough chairs for your guests. The last thing you want is for an elderly relative to be left standing wearily throughout the evening.
Drinks — though not necessarily alcohol — are mandatory. Make sure your guests can stay comfortably during your reception.
Long-winded toasts filled with inside jokes are never appreciated by anyone except the speaker and the couple. Although frequently, not even they enjoy it. Keep toasts to the bare minimum — close attendants, parents, the bride and groom themselves — and keep toast short and sweet . . . and G-rated.
Family feuds need to go on hold for the day, so keep at-odds family members apart and keep your cool, even if your sister criticizes your dress in front of your guests or your in-laws pretend they don’t remember your parents’ names.
Invitations should sound warm and genuine, and not like a gift grab.
Bouquet and garter tosses are a time-honored tradition for some guests, but a miserable cross to bear for others. Don’t single out your unhappily-single guests — or subject your guests to long, lewd garter removals or uncomfortable posed photo ops for the “lucky” single guy and gal.
Music makes a party— just make sure it’s appropriate for your guests. If you’re inviting a conservative, church going crowd, down set your DJ loose with a play list of uncensored rap and hip-hop hits. Also keep volume in mind, and make sure there will be space for non-dancing guests to escape the thumping bass.
Venuescan run the gamut from generic reception halls to ornate Antebellum mansions, but wherever you decide to host your party, make sure any mobility-impaired guests won’t get left out of the fun.
I’d love to hear any more you might have to add. . . .