Monday, October 20, 2008

Be a gracious guest

You hear an awful lot about bridezilla's these days. But for every bride behaving badly, there are a bevy of wedding guests who could also use a refresher course in minding their manners.

I have encountered all of these indiscretions at one time or another, as I'm sure many of you have as well. These blunders are inexcusable and must be stopped, so I'm doing my own little part to bring these issues to light. I give you:
The Kelly Ashworth Design 6 Ways to Not Suck as a Wedding Guest:
1. RSVP in a timely manner
There is a reason the reply card lists a request for response by a certain date. Actually, there are several reasons. The caterer needs to know how many meals to prepare, the rental company needs to know how many tables and chairs to set up, the florist needs to know how many centerpieces to create. You get the picture. Don't make the bride call to ask if you plan on attending. In other words: don't be an anchor.
2. Pay attention to your invitation
If your kids' names are not listed on the envelope, don't bring them. If your name isn't followed by "and guest", don't bring along the guy you met at the club the night before. And DO NOT hassle the bride. We all know your kids are perfection in human form and that this new guy you've been dating for 24 hours is just the bees knees, but the bride and groom might be on a limited budget, the reception location may have a smaller capacity, etc.
3. Don't fuss about the food
I always try to dissuade brides from allowing guests to choose from several meal options because it can be a nightmare to keep track of everything. A great solution is to have a combination plate (chicken and shrimp, steak and lobster, etc.). If you have been given a choice, stick with it. Please don't choose steak and then become a vegetarian the night before the wedding. It's just one meal.
4. Sit where you're told
I had a guest at my wedding sit where she wanted instead of where her escort card indicated. She insisted that she would not move, that she was to be seated with the party presently in front of her. She obviously didn't realize (or just didn't care) what a domino effect this created, and the wedding coordinator had to scramble to find seats for the uprooted guests quickly. Please respect the seat to which you've been assigned. Again, it's just one meal.
5. Don't wear jeans
It's a wedding, people! Unless the invitations requested Canadian tuxedos, please leave the jeans at home. I understand the economy is tight and you may not be able to afford a new dress, but just make an effort. You'll blend in a lot better with last years' cocktail dress than you will with anything consisting of denim.
6. Don't behave like a hooligan
So dinner is over, you've had a few cocktails and it's time to party. This is to be expected at a wedding. However, this is not an invitation to behave like a complete buffoon. 
I have witnessed so many shocking displays of jackassery at weddings. I don't know that there is really any way to mitigate these shenanigans so long as alcohol is being served. Have a great time, just don't be that guy. You know the one I'm talking about. 
Emily Post sums it up best:
"The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him- or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts."
In other words, don't spoil the wedding, weirdo.

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