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Guests at a Wedding
Weddings occur year around, so while many of my articles discuss seasons and what to wear, this articles works for every wedding you may ever attend - regardless of the time of year.
There are many ways to be a great guest and have an amazing time. There are also as many ways to be the annoying guest, the one who bad mouths the mother of the bride, critiques the attendee's attire, exhales loudly during the ceremony and rolls their eyes during the speeches at the reception.
If you are going to attend a wedding only to pick it apart, you will do everyone a favor to stay home. If, however, you chose to attend a wedding in order to pay homage to a happy couple and share in their joy, then by all means head on over to the chapel. Smile during the ceremony. Laugh during the reception. Enjoy the company of the bride, groom and their families. That's why you were invited in the first place: to share in their joy....not to judge what's wrong with it.
When you arrive at the wedding, soak in the festive atmosphere. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So what if they brought the dog onto the altar for the family portraits? Unless the priest or person in charge says that's wrong, it's not for you to say. Neither is it your concern if the bride looks fat or the groom looks hung over. Your concern is being present.
This is the greatest day (so far) for the bride and groom. You don't want to try to distract from them or to be the center of attention. If you are in any way distracting attention from the bride, you are in the wrong. That's one of the reasons you don't wear white. You don't want to look like you are competing with the woman for whom this party is revolving around. Neither do you want to hold court, talking up your exciting life or laughing loudly in the corner of the reception while everyone else is in the receiving line.
Also, remember that this is a day of celebration - especially for the happy couple. When you do see the bride and groom, don't tell them about the difficult time you had in order to arrive, or the idiot who spilled champagne on you. If you have a splitting headache, now is not the time to share your woes. You also don't want to ask the bride or groom for favors. It's their day to celebrate. If you can't manage the beer tap, don't ask the groom for assistance. Don't ask them to take pictures of you. They've been planning this event for a long time. You are their guest. Be gracious. Be considerate. Be independent. Be strong. If your date is being a jerk or you can't find someone to dance with, now is not the time to cry on the shoulders of the bride or groom. Now is the time where you exclaim to the bride how beautiful she it. Now is the time you tell the parents of both the bride and groom how proud they must be. This is an opportunity to share and enjoy the moment with the bridal party, not be less that a great guest.
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