Friday, June 27, 2008

It's not just YOUR day.

Obviously I'm making up for lost time here since I keep coming up with "must post!" topics every few seconds... geez. Well I can't help it. I was just in the break room refilling my water bottle and had the typical Friday afternoon convo with a fellow co-worker. You know, any big weekend plans? That sort of thing. So I was telling him about the two parties we're attending and then he mentioned a wedding he and his wife are going to tomorrow. He explains that the bride wanted a 6 o'clock reception, but the 4 o'clock ceremony slot at her church was booked. So she took the 2 o'clock ceremony slot, but - oh yes - kept the 6 o'clock reception time. OH wow. Now had this been a convo between me and bestest, I'm pretty sure it would've turned into a 3 hour discussion on the topic. But I just said, "Oh no.... well I hope she knows she's gonna lose people." He said they're having a 2.5 hour cocktail reception immediately after the ceremony - I have no idea where but I'm assuming a 3rd location. And then a second cocktail hour at the actual reception site before a seated dinner at 7 o'clock. FIVE hours from ceremony start till ya feed me? Oh heavens no.

All I can say is I hope this isn't some swanky plated meal at 7 o'clock because she can surely expect some no-shows. I'm not saying that's "right" on the guests' part, but 5 hours - seriously? People are going to bail! Especially if you're serving wine earlier that afternoon. And what about the older people - I know for a fact my parents would be like, to hell with this! If they saw on the invite that a reception didn't begin till four hours later, they'd probably attend the ceremony and bid adieu. I'm never a fan of lag time between ceremony and reception. It's just a bad idea and you will lose people. So, bride, I know this is your big day and all, but if you can't get the 4 o'clock slot at the church, either find a different church or do an earlier reception! It'll just be you, your groom, your heavy-eyed wedding party and the DJ left there to see you cut your cake, for crying out loud.

Here's the thing... my bridal consultant gave me lots of advice back when the hub and I were planning our wedding, but the thing she said to me from day one that has always stuck with me is this: "If you want to have your wedding day be ALL about you, then go off somewhere, just the two of you, and get married. Otherwise, it's about your guests." She had me sold right then and there because that's exactly how I think a bride should look at wedding planning. So when I hear about these crack-head shenanigans couples pull to have the wedding they want - no matter the inconvenience to others - it just urks the hell out of me. And don't get me wrong - I am in no way and never was the "anti-bride." I LOVE weddings and everything to do with weddings, but that also makes me very passionate about certain things regarding weddings. And this just happens to be one of them - hence this post triggered by a random water cooler convo!

And it of course reminded me of one particular wedding my parents were invited to that is a prime example of what I'm talking about... A couple of years ago my parents got invited to a Friday night wedding at the Fox. Well already right there you'd be on my shit list. The Fox is a lovely site, but on a Friday night in Atlanta? Do you KNOW the mess that people have to go through just to get to the Fox on a Friday night? Atlanta traffic is some of the worst in the nation and Friday nights are like the grand finale in a week of traffic hell. So already this is just asking for people to be late or even very likely miss your ceremony altogether. Oh but did I tell you? The bride not only chose a Friday night, but also decided to do this on the weekend of Music Midtown. Where is the Fox? Oh yes, in midtown! WTF. So not only are we talking about normal Friday traffic, let's throw in a huge ass music festival! As you can imagine, my mother was pissed about this whole wedding from the moment she opened the invite. The bride was the daughter of a friend though, so she felt the need to go and accepted the invitation.

Well the wedding approaches and my mom decides to go log on to the couple's site to see about their registry. While looking, she stumbled upon some event info they had posted and happened to catch this little tidbit (keep in mind this is a 7 o'clock wedding)...

"Don't fill up on dinner because we're having an array of desserts after the wedding!"

My mom immediately called me. She went from pissy to down right angry. "They expect us to drive all the way back into town on a Friday night for a 7 o'clock wedding and they're not going to feed us dinner?!" Ohhhh yes. So I'm sure you can put two and two together... this couple obviously was hell bent on having a reception at the Fox, but couldn't really afford it. So their solution was to pick an off night and not serve real food. All so they could say that got married at the Fox. Well come the day of the wedding, my mom actually got into a fender bender on her way home (from downtown by the way) and used that excuse - or a "sign" as she chose to call it - not to go to the wedding. She of course later called the MOB and apologized, but that's my point. Pull shit like this and you're going to lose people. If you can't afford a reception at the Fox, do it somewhere else for crying out loud! Who cares?!?!?! No one is ooohing and aaahing over your posh locale when they just sat in 2 hours of traffic trying to get there - and oh yeah - paying $10+ to park so they can show up late and have a slice of cake.

Wow. See what happens when you get me going? Sorry... just one of my huge pet peeves with weddings. I get tired of the bridezilla attitude where they think they can do or have whatever they want because it's "their day" and it's all about them. It's not! Yes, you're the guest of honor and everyone's looking at you, but you are catering to your guests - don't forget that. Y'all should be bending over backwards for them, not the reverse. A guest is there to celebrate your special day, so don't turn it into a chore. They should be able to enjoy themselves and not have to drop a dime - not a dime - from the minute they arrive till the minute they leave. I know some would argue with me on that one, but that's my own personal opinion. I don't mean to sound like I'm coming down on all the brides out there, I'm just asking that you remember to consider your guests and not *just* you. Because believe it or not, it's their day too. And I'll be stepping off my soapbox now back to level ground... ;-)


Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Ok, you know I could go on for days re this topic! And I totally knew from the first sentence that you were going to bring up that crazy Fox story!! Shall we discuss major holiday weddings too? hehehe!! Like the day after Cmas on a friday??!!

Not only is that bride going to lose ppl but those who do stick around are going to be smashed by dinner. 2.5 hrs of drinking out of boredome = granny drunk and twirling around the dance floor lifing her skirt up for sure!

Muffy said...

You are right on the ball with this one!!! How frustrating!!!! Crazy brides!!!!!

Belle said...

I totally agree. The one wedding I attended with a 2.5 hour lag time ended up with me arriving very drunk to the reception.

clemsongirlandthecoach said...

Coach and I got married in a Catholic church in Chicago. Since there is Mass Sat evening, there are 2 choices for the wedding.

11 am or 2:30pm. We chose 2:30 (ended at 3:30, photos until 4:30)and had our cocktail hour start at 6. I never really thought about that as strange b/c that's what everyone does.

Now that you mention it, it is a long time!


Lori said...

You're right about including and thinking of everyone! :)

Somewhat Southern Prep said...

I appreciate your honest comments and opinions on a break between events. Consider that most catholic churches will not start a mass after 2:30PM on a Saturday, making it hard to feed guests a real meal without the break in between. Personally, we made the decision to have a break because we wanted the opportunity to provide guests with a dinner and enjoy a full evening with the people we love most. We could have easily gone the cheaper route and provided light appetizers/lunch right after the mass, but in my opinion that would have been thinking less of our guests. In the end, the day isn't all about the bride and the groom. It's about the people that came to celebrate and make the day special. Anything a bride can do to make that special, should be done. For us, that was providing a full meal, full bar, dancing, etc to say thank you for being there. Another point of consideration – in some cities it is very hard to find an available church and reception site available for the same day, let alone close start times.

Buford Betty said...

Yep I think there are definitely those times when it's hard to avoid a lag... especially with Catholic weddings like y'all mentioned and the issue with Saturday night mass. So I shall insert a caveat for that! Thanks for the opinions, girls! It's the really off the wall stuff that gets to me most (like my obnoxious Fox wedding example!).


Mackensie said...

You crack me up! I just came across your blog and you're totally right on. Ultimately the bride just comes off as looking like a careless twit, and when a day is "all about you," I hardly think that's how you would want to come off to your guests! Thanks for the funny stories!