Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Do!

Hello Hello!
This week has already been quite the roller coaster ride!! The weather in our little neck of the woods turned frigid which meant two days in the house with kids who were feeling better and would have loved to run around outside. I finished our home preschool curriculum for the rest of January and through February and will soon be adding that to my blog posts. Along with all the regular daily challenges, stresses and joys, was the added drama of an upcoming wedding. Now don't get me wrong, this is an event that I had been greatly looking forward to but suddenly became a bit too much drama for this mama! (this year I vowed to turn lemons into lemonade so, all of that magically became the inspiration for a blog topic ;) 

For those of us who have ever planned our own wedding or have been a part of a wedding we understand the process and the stress involved. Everyone wants their special day to be fun and memorable as well as a reflection of the lives that are joining.  Although that day is mainly in recognition of the new couple, the wedding party and guests involved should also be taken into consideration during the planning process. This can be challenging when dealing with an array of family and friends with different needs.  Sometimes planning can go from one extreme to the other. We have all heard the term "Bridezilla" and oh ya, they are out there planning the ultimate dictated wedding but, also beware of the ever-growing population of "Groomzilla" too! Yikes!!
So, with the spring/summer wedding season fast approaching, (and after doing some research of my own for personal reasons), I thought a handy post of wedding etiquette was in order.

The do's and don'ts of wedding etiquette are incredibly helpful when planning that very special day. A few might seem obvious but sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of all of it, important details can get lost.
(as much as you want this day to be perfect, there are two to choose from: perfectly fun or perfectly awful. :)
(this is an up and coming trend and frankly, not a good one! I love a helpful and in tune man but seriously though, if you've got your wedding planned out, no exceptions, long before the bride or even before you've found a bride, you might be a Groomzilla!)
That being said, ahem, there are more folks involved in the wedding besides the bride and groom. The family and friends chosen to stand up in the wedding are usually just as excited as the couple getting married. Understanding their needs and concerns and planning accordingly is not only considerate but lets them know that you want them to be an important part of your day.
No one involved in such an event likes to feel left out. Although, the bride's parents play quite a major role in the wedding, don't forget that the groom's parents matter just as much.
Family Etiquette
(my personal fave on this one is 'you asked someone to be bridesmaid out of obligation', a little time of feeling guilty trumps all those awkward moments to come.)
Top 10 Wedding Must-Dos
(These are so helpful, especially #1. Family and close friends come first, not sayin'-just sayin')
(The best disasters can't be planned, keep these helpful hints in your back pocket, just in case ;)
A wedding is definitely a call for celebration. Back in the day, (waay back), wedding celebrations could last for a week. Times are a bit different now, with work and family it's not always possible to stretch it out but, all that planning and $ for just a few hours? I can understand the "let's make a day of it", just don't over do it.  Your guests, parents and wedding party are there to celebrate rather than to sit around and wait nor exhaust themselves.
(p.s. it's totally ok to leave enough time between the wedding and reception for greeting guests, photographs, freshening up, a quiet moment with your new spouse, and travel. Two hours or less is acceptable, if it has to be more, offer something for your guests to do while they wait, an "I don't care, I'll be busy" attitude is quite inconsiderate.)
Here are some real guest's thoughts on time length.
After the ceremony has concluded and photos are done, it's time to PARTY!
Along with the bride and groom, the guests are also excited to celebrate. This is an opportunity to thank your guests for sharing your special day. To go with fun games, traditions and dancing, good food and drink is a must.  
Money is a huge factor, especially when confronted with the cost of feeding 200+ guests but, do take into account that if the day will already be quite long, guests WILL be hungry by reception time. 
So, a Filet Mignon dinner or hors d'oeuvres?  Check out these great ideas for budgeting and food etiquette. 
Budget Food and Drink Ideas
Ultimately, plan your food choice according to the time of the reception. If going with a later wedding a cocktail hour with hors d'oeurves works well. If planning an afternoon wedding with a dinnertime reception expect to be offering a real meal or at least give your guests the choice of eating before coming to the reception, (if time allows).  Remember, you want your guests to stay for all of the fun that is planned during the reception too rather than leave early to find the nearest Mc. D's!
Love Love Love this article!! It helps to put all that information above into great perspective!
Maybe you are not the bride or groom or a member of the wedding party but, a guest. What's your role?
Wedding Guest Etiquette
Last but not least, remember the ultimate focus of a wedding, it's a blessed union of love, respect and commitment. When planned with Christ-centered goals in mind, how can it go wrong?! 
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24 KJV
Have fun & Happy Planning!

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