Confessions of a Bad Wedding Guest

As I write this, I am currently recovering from a friend’s bachelorette party in Atlanta  and needless to say I AM EXHAUSTED. I love bachelorette parties, but I just can’t hang like I used to. As much as I love dancing with my girls at the ~clerb~ I’m a big proponent of 10 hours of sleep and a nice evening chamomile tea, ya know?

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Amidst the highs of the weekend, I came home to a low. So many feelings and emotions happening at once. My low: my Grandma Jo is in the hospital with renal failure. Her health has been declining over the past couple years, but she is now currently in end of life care. She is so loved and is not afraid to die, but it is always so hard to say goodbye. One of the hardest aspects is seeing how upset my Grandpa is and how much he really loves her. It really puts things into perspective and shows how fast and fleeting life can be and to really spend time with the ones you love and who matter most.

My Grandma and Grandpa Jo are best friends, and its heart-wrenching to watch him have to say goodbye amidst signing hospital paperwork, making big medical decisions, and navigating insurance paperwork. My Grandma is especially missing her dog, Sophie, everyday. That is her baby and it makes my heart hurt even more that she can’t have her “baby” and have her creature comforts of home with her in the hospital. Please say a little prayer for her, my Grandpa, and my family.


That’s all the housekeeping I have for now. I meant to post the remainder of this post last week, but here we are. I hope you enjoy Episode One of my Food Gal’s Getting Married series: Confessions of a bad wedding guest.

Food Gal's Getting Married (1)

After I wrote last week’s post and contemplated all the “faux-paus” I committed as a wedding guest – I found myself in a difficult spot – because I’m not exactly an “etiquette” expert so maybe the things I did were just fine for some people? I also felt like a mild loser because I’m getting married this year, and I don’t want people to think I’m writing this post so they know how I expect them to behave; Because quite honestly, I think we’re all decent humans with good intentions and that’s good enough for me. So just know that this blog is not what I expect from people, but just things I wish I would have done differently or picked up along the way. I hope you don’ think of me as some rule-bearing, persnickety, floral-smelling woman that has an affinity for a nice Talbot’s sweater and always uses the proper cutlery at meals. I do use proper cutlery though.

Where was I..

Oh yes, I am no expert, but I know a thing or two about going to weddings. After many a trial-and-error I’ve picked up on some things I wish I did and some things that I could have done better, and maybe you’ll learn a little somethin’ somethin’, too. Weddings are weird and fun little worlds where there are tons of rules but no one ever really tells you what they are. Also, everyone has different rules and expectations that are nuanced based on who the person actually is and what your relationship is to them. Isn’t this fun already?!?!

At the end of the day the most important thing to remember is we are celebrating the love of two people that have decided to dedicate their lives to each other. If you start the day with that intention, you can really do no wrong and you can ignore all my tips below! 😊

Without further ado, I present to you the list of things I know and the things I wished I had done better as a wedding guest:

  1. Arrive Early to the Ceremony. I have literally only been to one ceremony on time and it was because I thought that it started 30 minutes prior. All the weddings I have been to, I get there as bridal party is going down, or the bride is standing in the foyer having an intimate moment before she goes down the aisle, and I’m standing there like an idiot like “HIIII!!” because I’m late. I don’t know why I am like this, but don’t be like me. Just tell yourself the wedding starts 15 minutes early.
  2. Stay Late at the Reception. DRINK AND DANCE. That’s all I have to say about that. I know not all weddings are created equal, but let loose and enjoy! There are some weddings I left early (I’m blaming Matt) but I wish I would have stayed longer. For some reason I feel like it’s my personal responsibility to pump a party up. And I LOVE IT.
  3. Sign the guestbook! I don’t know why, but sometimes I feel like people forget to sign the guestbook, so this is your reminder for all future weddings.
  4. Don’t judge! I am a big former judger, mostly in general, but also at weddings. Not that I thought people’s weddings were bad, but just had my *opinions* on how the seating was, or the music, or the food, etc. And I’m an asshole for that. Planning a wedding is a labor of love and chances are the wedding you’re attending was thought about, curated, and designed tirelessly for months (sometimes years!) and is the perfect choice and vision for the bride and groom. Maybe you got sat at an awkward table or the band was having technical difficulties. Whatever it is, just make the most of the event, celebrate the couple, go with the flow, dance, and have a good time! Honestly, I’ve never been to a wedding that wasn’t fun. WEDDINGS ARE THE BEST.
  5. Don’t wear white to the wedding (unless otherwise specified). Or ivory, cream, alabaster, eggshell, vanilla. You get the drift.
  6. Write a heartfelt card. I’m a big card person. I’ve saved every card, letter or note someone has given me since I was 12. When I was younger, I ACTUALLY laminated every note people wrote to me in 8th grade (which is probably a deeper issue of validation that I need to address, but hey, we weren’t all *in-tune* with our triggers and as evolved in 2002). Nowadays, I keep cards because they are sentimental, sweet, and oftentimes mark special milestones in people’s lives that maybe I’d like to remember when I’m holed up in a retirement village one day. Knowing how important cards are to me, it’s funny that I never had taken the time to write a really heartfelt card to my friends on their wedding days. Of course I wrote some, but many were rushed on the way to the ceremony because we are running late or trying to race and make it to the church on time. Which brings me to my next point.
  7. You have a year to send a gift. APPARENTLY, you are allowed to send a gift within a year of the wedding. Which I was not aware of this rule. This takes a little of that aforementioned pressure off when you’re rushing from the church, trying to load the gift, write a card, wrangle your fiancé, etc. Also, a gift means just as much if you send it straight to the couple’s home. Which is actually probably appreciated – This also just dawned on me.
  8. Don’t text the bride / mother of the bride / mother of the groom / groom on the day of the wedding to ask logistical questions. I always felt like this went without saying, but don’t text / call / email the bride with logistical questions (i.e. what time is cocktail hour? Is it ok if I wear this dress? Can my cousin come? What is the food like?), unless its like a nice note or something. There are hundreds of people attending the event and the bride doesn’t have all day to answer your questions. If you have logistical questions and can’t find them on the wedding website or in the invitation, ask someone in the bridal party or other guests attending the wedding. OKURR? And no, your cousin can’t come.
  9. Talk to the parents of the bride and groom. I feel like I’m actually the worst at this. I do it if I see them, but I rarely make a beeline for them — which I feel like I could be better at. So don’t be like me. Be like that one friend who is friends with all the parents – ya know?
  10. Don’t ask the wedding photographer to take your photo, unless you’re with the bride and groom. Just sayin’.

That was a stressful post to write and now I feel self-conscious about it. But I said I would write it and write it I SHALL.

ENJOY FRIENDS! Talk to you next week!

Food Gal's Getting Married (1)





One Comment Add yours

  1. Lindsay Heard says:

    These are excellent tips! I have arrived late making things awkward and when the party fizzles I feel bad for the couple that wants the celebration of a lifetime. This is an excellent post, Al! Also, praying for Grandma and Grandpa Jo too. 💗

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