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“What should I wear?”

“How much should I offer as a gift?”

“May I bring a date… or my child?”

Etiquette is often thought of as the guests’ responsibility to the couple but you only have to attend one poorly planned wedding to realize the couple has a responsibility to the guests as well.

Wedding guests often leave an event with an opinion that they will heartily share with their friends. Typically the food, drinks, and music are among the most commented on aspects of the day. If the event is held at a destination far from home, surely they will have an opinion on where they sleep, how easy or difficult it was to get to and from the event, and of course, how much it costs them in the end.

My friend just got engaged and has begun the process of mapping out her wedding plan. I have enjoyed hearing her excitement and offering some ideas. I remember that bubbly feeling of possibility when I was dreaming up my own wedding with my husband.

Among all the logistical and budgetary decisions to be made I spent the most amount of time dreaming of the smallest details. I spent days deciding what song I would walk down the aisle to and how the guests would find their seats in an informative yet utterly creative place card presentation. I was determined to execute this event with a focus on creative details, a warm ambiance, and to include our personality as a couple into each decision.

While small details were my fixation, I also approached this event as an experienced hospitality professional who wanted to prioritize the comfort and enjoyment of all the guests attending this event to celebrate us. I felt it was my duty to them to be considerate of their experience on my wedding day — not just focus on my experience. After all, they are traveling from all over to come and celebrate this milestone in my life and will likely offer a gift. I owe it to them to pay close attention to the details of the event that will impact them most. This is the type of wedding etiquette I think some couples lose sight of — and it’s easy to do especially for those who have never planned an event before. After all, wedding planning is an art and a career for some people.

It is important for engaged couples to identify the logistical and budgetary details in their wedding planning and if they can not find considerate and cost-effective ways to host their guests, they must hire a wedding planner immediately.

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