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  • Writer's pictureWedding Essentials Canada

7 Bridezilla Moves Sure to Alienate Your Wedding Guests

Some couples take it seriously when someone tells them that their wedding day is only about them. They may begin to see the wedding party and other guests not as treasured friends and family but as people who exist to do their bidding and follow their rules.

Remember that part of throwing a wedding is celebrating your special day with people who are important to you. When you invite them as your guests, it is your job to help keep them comfortable, happy, and entertained. While the day will focus on you and your beloved, you need to be considerate of those making an effort to be there and support you. Be sure to avoid these seven bridezilla moves that will alienate your wedding guests and bring harsh feelings into what should be a day of love. 1 You send vague invitations Sometimes wedding invitations need to provide more information than just where and when you will be holding the event. If you have strong feelings about any part of the wedding, such as what guests should wear, you should make this clear on the invitation. Two areas to keep in mind are whether or not you will have children at your wedding and whether guests will be allowed to bring a date. Many people will assume they can bring the whole family to your wedding, so if you don’t want children there, then indicate on the invitation that the event is for adults only. Also, list the first names of everyone invited on the RSVP card, as well as any long-term partner the guest may have. If you want them to feel free to bring a date, then write “plus 1” on the invitation and RSVP card. If you decide not to include dates or children, you may face some resistance. However, most guests will respect your decision and follow your instructions. Feelings are typically hurt when the invitation was not clear, and people have to be un-invited or told that their children cannot come. 2. You deny pictures The unplugged wedding is currently trendy because brides and grooms want guests to enjoy the festivities in person rather than behind a screen. Also, overzealous guests sometimes get in the way of the professional photographer trying to get that perfect shot. Many guests have unknowingly ruined a happy couple’s wedding photos this way. There is nothing wrong with requesting that your guests do not use their cell phones during your wedding ceremony. Be sure to make your preferences known in a way that is respectful and polite, and assure guests that they will have access to wedding pictures. Hang a cute sign for the guests as they enter the venue, asking them to silence cell phones and put them away during the wedding. You can also print this on your wedding bulletin and have the officiant announce it the beginning of the ceremony. If it is that important to you, designate ushers to speak to people who have cell phones out. If you don’t let guests take pictures on their own, give them free access to at least some of your professional shots. You can place these on a website for guests to download. Your guests should not have to pay for pictures, especially if they were kind enough to honor your wishes by refraining from taking any themselves. Some brides and grooms will go as far as to ask guests not to take pictures during the reception. While there will be crowding to get shots of the first dance, the cake cutting, and other events, many couples find that guests can take some of the best pictures. If you allow attendees to use their cellphones, they will likely catch many moments you might otherwise have missed. Decide on what is important to you but realize that you are probably going to hurt feelings if you ask guests not to take pictures at the ceremony or reception. You will upset someone if you refuse to allow personal photography and then offer no complimentary professional pictures either.

3. You don’t consider comfort Remember that your wedding experience will not be the same as your guests’, so consider things from their perspective when planning the day. If your wedding is outdoors, your guests may have to wait for more than an hour outside. This will get uncomfortable if it is exceptionally hot or cold outside. If it rains before your wedding day, will your guests have to walk through the mud in their dressy shoes to get to the venue? Have you made arrangements for adequate parking, especially for those who are elderly or disabled? Run through the day in your mind as a guest will see it. Then make accommodations to solve problems. That might mean providing personal fans, setting up heaters or putting down boards where people will walk. 4. You ignore the schedule It may be your day, but that doesn’t mean your guests’ time is not valuable. Contrary to what you might think, it is not okay for the bride to be more than a few minutes late to the wedding. It’s also not okay to leave guests stranded while you take pictures or canoodle with your new spouse. If there’s going to be a break between the ceremony and reception, then at least warn your guests and suggest local spots where they can spend time. A better approach is to plan something for your guests to do. Set up a cocktail hour with drinks and appetizers if you will be taking pictures or provide a luncheon if the wait is unusually long. Make sure you have given yourself enough to time to get ready for your ceremony, arrive at the venue, and get your pictures taken. Your guests should not be expected to wait because you are running late.

5. You give no direction People get uncomfortable when they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing. Make sure you have given clear and explicit directions when it comes to where guests should be at what time. If you want guests to hang their coats in a coatroom, then you should hang a sign announcing this. If you expect everyone to gather in a particular spot for the cutting of the cake, let guests know. Don’t assume that the information will get around. Try to give more information than you think they will need. For example, it might seem obvious to you where the sanctuary will be when guests step into the church, but they might need signs to guide them. To remove any doubt, provide instructions. 6. Your seating is inconsiderate Carefully consider how many people will be attending your wedding before you decide on details like the size of your venue. Too many brides and grooms find themselves squeezing people together at tables or seating people behind obstructions because they have chosen a space that is too small. If your guests have to touch each other while seated, your venue is too crowded. If you are creating a seating chart, place people together who like each other. Don’t break up groups or force people together who don’t get along. Also avoid any grouping that may be embarrassing, like a having a table specifically for singles. Seating arrangements work much better if you can allow guests to seat themselves. Reserve a couple of tables near the front for family or close friends but allow others to sit where they want. If you must make a seating chart, then try to be as considerate as possible. 7. You don’t say thank you If you think guests should feel privileged to be invited to your wedding, you need to turn your thinking around. Attending your wedding is a sign of love and friendship toward you, and you should be grateful to your guests for participating in your day and for bringing you gifts. Thank-you notes might be a pain, but they are necessary. It’s best to write them by hand, but if you must have them printed, you should at least sign them by hand. The only alternative to this is to thank the guests in person, and even then, it’s good manners to send a note. Remember that these people spent time and money to select a gift for you and to support you in your marriage. If you take a short-cut by sending electronic notes or not saying thank you at all, know that someone is going to be hurt.

Your guests are a critical part of your wedding. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have wedding guests at all. Be sure to show appreciation and gratitude toward people who attend your wedding. Consider ways you can help them better enjoy the day, and you will avoid hurt feelings and anger that too often accompany a wedding. You can start by avoiding these seven mistakes.


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