1. Respond Timely. There is nothing worse for the bride and groom who are waiting everyday for a response card to come in the mail. All plans hinge on the number of guests who will actually be attending their wedding. If the budget is tight, it could even be a matter of what entree will be served at the reception or what dress to buy. So, if you know the answer to the question of “Will you be attending,” answer quickly and allow the bride and groom a bit of reprieve from the stress of planning their wedding.
2. Select a gift from the registry – do not go rogue. Couples today are typically older and more established than in years past. This means that most will have the basics to cook in the kitchen and operate in the bathroom. What they have selected for their registry are items they really need or may just really want. If a guest goes rogue and selects something believed to be needed/wanted by the bride and groom, the gift may end up being a duplication of something already found in their homes or even worse, could be something they have absolutely no use for.
3. Go to the Ceremony, not just the reception. If the couple is getting married at one location and a few hours later is having the reception at a different location, always make an effort to attend the ceremony and not just the reception. The invitation was for the ceremony and oh by the way, a party to celebrate “The Ceremony” will follow. Skipping the ceremony just because it maybe the less appealing of the two events, is somewhat rude. The bride and groom hold the ceremony portion of their day with understandable revere and all guests invited should do the same.
4. Honor the Invitation. Acknowledging the verbiage used in the invitation is one of the most important items on the list. If it is addressed to just the guest and does not mention that another person can attend then respect their wishes and go solo. Or, if the invitation is just addressed to Mr. and Mrs., do not assume it is a family event and RSVP that the kids will be attending as well. I had a friend who sent out invitations correctly addressed to a couple who then sent back the RSVP with their children’s names as well. It was all the talk at the bridesmaids’ dress fitting appointment. The bride could not believe how rude the couple had been by not respecting her wishes and including kids at her adult only wedding. Ironically, years later, that same friend attended my adult only reception with her 9 month old baby…….
5. Whatever is asked of the guests at the reception, do it with gusto! Part of the fun at a reception is always based on the participation and enthusiasm of the guests. If the bride and groom ask for everyone to take pictures of the reception, make sure the cameras are flashing at every turn. If the Macarena is played, get up and dance like it is the first Macarena ever played at a wedding reception.
6. Send a Thank you note. This might sound odd since it was the bride and groom who got the presents, but the wedding invitations were sent as an invite to a celebration. Typically dinner has been provided and dancing even. (Don’t forget the Macarena advice from Tip 5) If the ceremony and party were enjoyed, thank the couple. It will not only be a surprise to them when they receive it, but it will let them know how much all their planning and effort paid off – Their wedding was enjoyed by all!
7. Last but not least, for the love of humanity – Put down those cell phones, IPad’s and whatever else wasn’t around 20 years ago!
Take these words of advice and the bride and groom will never regret the invitation.