The day after my wedding last year, my Father-in-Law stopped by our home. High from our wedding and finishing packing for our honeymoon, I'll never forget what he said to us, as his words were exactly what I had so badly been wanting to hear: "You guys did such a great job." He said it over and over; how beautiful the day was, how happy guests were, but most importantly, what an outstanding job we did planning our special day.
Planning a wedding is no easy task and I did not realize how much of an impact his comment would have on me until it was said out loud. The preparation can take both a mental and physical toll on couples, as it did us at times. Whether you have a wedding Coordinator by your side, or not, planning a wedding is a commitment that most people have no idea how grueling, yet rewarding the experience is.
This gratitude by my Father-in-Law stood out to me because after months of planning, it was reassuring to know that the effort we extended for our wedding was noticed, appreciated and well received by friends and family.
So often, people think being a guest at a wedding is expected. I do not believe that, I think it is one of the greatest honors someone can receive. A couple is choosing you to be apart of one of the most sacred days of their lives- a day they will cherish forever and you will always have the memory of being witnessed to.
After going through the experience of my own wedding, there a few things that I do differently as a guest:
I RSVP as soon as I receive an invitation- knowing the anticipation and stress it puts on a couple awaiting RSVPs, I no longer am ‘that guest’ who is being tracked down for my attendance.
I bring a handwritten card (whether or not I've sent a gift separately). I do this because one of the most meaningful parts of our wedding was not opening gifts, but rather reading the cards filled with our friends and families well wishes. Their letters warmed my heart and I want couples at weddings I attend to feel this same love for allowing me to be there for them.
Lastly, I make sure to tell the couple getting married, "Thank you for having me." To me these are some of the most important words you can hear on your wedding day. And in the visit following their wedding, I make sure to tell them job well done! Pointing out what I loved about their day. Nothing feels better than hearing your guests rave about food, music, your dress, whatever it was that they really loved! I know those words will go a long way as they did for me.
All Photography by Riv & Rose