Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GIRL, YOU BETTER WORK! (PART II)

Continuing with the "graciousness" thread, I started thinking about how being a "good bride" isn't just about being a good hostess to your guests.

ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING, brides (and grooms) should take the time to thank--I mean, really thank--any vendor contacts who are at the event. In addition, after the wedding, it's important to relay this information in the form of a thank you note or a phone call, if you are particularly happy with the results.

I know it seems so obvious of a point, but between circulating with your guests, trying to eat, and simply attempting to "take it all in", people may easily forget about those who have really made the day possible.

Although my amazing florist wasn't at the actual event itself, I made sure to find him before the ceremony, as he was working, to thank him profusely for his work. During the reception, I was able to chat a bit with our wedding coordinator, and let her know how much we appreciated her help through the process. Same with the "captain" who was running the actual dinner timing.

I sent thank you notes to all three of those individuals, as well as an email to the band coordinator, to let them all know how fantastic their services were.

When you are that happy with a vendor, you need to show it! Be over-the-top. It's OK.

Obviously, if you aren't thrilled with your results, then that's something you will need to work through with that particular vendor, even if it falls on the day of your wedding. If your vendor is rude or unhelpful, I am certainly not advocating gushing all over them. But, being pleasant is always a key to getting what you want, so just remember that, as you go through the process (a yelling bride-to-be is likely to get railroaded, versus a probably-annoyed-but-calm bride to be who isnt' 100% satisfied).

I was lucky in that I loved all my vendor's results. The bottom line? Keep it real, but on the day of (and after that!), try your best to be as gracious to your vendors as you are to your guests. If you aren't 100% happy, talk to them about it. Don't freak out. Don't scream. Working through it will get you a long way.

So, bottom line - work it. Work it with your vendors. Thank them for their services, especially on the day of. Good karma is important!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GIRL, YOU BETTER WORK!

I love Ru Paul. Not going to lie -that ridiculous song, "Supermodel" - has always put a smile on my face.

I received a thoughtful comment a few weeks back about my own experiences at the wedding, with respect to "working the room", and greeting guests during the reception.

As cheesy as it sounds, my advice is this: "Girl, You Better Work!" (And Sashay and Chantay while you do it!)

In all seriousness, it's really important to say "thank you" to those who have made it out to your soiree. It doesn't have to be a 5 minute "thank you" by any means -- but going around to your tables (during dinner, if you are having one), is a great way to say hello to your random third cousin, or your husband's family friend, who you may not have had the chance to see during cocktail hour or the reception. Guests don't forget things like this.

Most importantly, they don't forget when a bride/groom completely forgets to see them at all during the evening. I had that happen (see one of my previous posts regarding "Significant Others"), and I thought it was not very gracious. Remember - you are the bride, and it is "your day" - but you are also the hostess - and a gracious hostess means a fun party that everyone enjoys!

Obviously, meeting and greeting guests during dinner means giving up a lot of other things during your wedding -- EATING being one of them. I have stressed in the past how important it is to eat during your wedding. It may sound ridiculous and so obvious, but somehow, brides often "forget" (i.e. don't have time) to eat. Brides need energy during the ceremony in order to talk to so many people, so I don't advocate mingling to the point of not having moments for you and your honey to chill and take a few minutes to yourself.

The key is balance. What TallGuy and I did was spend the first part of dinner going from table to table. Just to say 'hi, thanks so much for coming'. And then we moved on. If we got into discussion, we tried to keep moving as graciously as possible (without cutting off any conversation, of course), and then we got to as many tables as we could. If you are doing a sweetheart table, I think it's especially important to do the "meet and greet" during dinner. Sometimes, guests may be intimidated to come up to the bride and groom who are sitting alone.

No matter where you are sitting for dinner (whether at a sweetheart table, or a table with siblings, etc.), getting to guests' tables puts everyone at ease, and makes everyone feel important.

Ideally, you want to get to every table possible. If you're having a 300 person wedding, however, I know that this will be a challenge! I would make sure that you try and see as many people as possible during cocktail hour, and do the table mingling during dinner. But if you have 40 tables of folks, you have to make a decision about who you go to--and who you don't. If you have a table of close friends, skip them. You'll see them during dancing, etc. If you have a table of your father's work colleagues and clients, go see them. Those are the people you most likely will NOT see the rest of the night.

The goal, in my opinion (no matter whether you have dinner/dancing, a Sunday brunch wedding, or anything in between), is to make all guests feel welcome and important. Saying hello and thanking them is the best way to do that.

Timing-wise, I think TallGuy and I missed about 3-4 tables (out of 15 maybe?). We tried to see those people after dinner, to the extent we could. Did we do perfectly? No way. But we tried - and that is also one of the important things about being a gracious hostess. You can't please everyone, but you can certainly try.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KNOT IN MY STOMACH.....

For the past few months, despite having a wonderful beginning to my marriage with my wonderful TallGuy, I've had a knot in my stomach.

There has been so much hardship happening in our country, and so much uncertainty, that, despite my personal happiness (and sense of contentedness), the sad state of the economy-- and those affected by it--was beginning to take its toll.

I would constantly have a knot in my stomach -- I was getting nervous over work, whether we could pay our mortgage, if things will turn out OK because of all of the joblessness issues in this country. While TallGuy and I are OK in these times, it's difficult not to wonder if any of the economic disasters will hit home--or close to home. It's already affected some of my dear friends.

The worry and anxiousness was beginning to really get to me, despite my general happiness.

I began to think about the things in my life that make me really happy, in an effort to try and bring back the sense of calm. I thought about my writing. I thought about what I had forsaken. And I thought about how much my writing made me happy--because it seemed to make others happy, too.

Writing this blog has always been an amazingly creative outlet for me. Whether readers agree or disagree with my ideas, I always have found (with the exception of a few) that people have enjoyed the discussions about etiquette and how not to be "that bride". I love that. I love that I can have such an outlet and actually provide my thoughts and feelings--and hopefully help people think about things in a different way--every now and then.

With all of the economic issues in the world, I realize that planning a wedding right now, for some, is a really tough challenge. Others who aren't struggling economically may still be thinking about how to have an "appropriate" wedding in these difficult times. These are all important issues.

My writing has always been a constant source of happiness. I realize that, in an effort to mentally cope with all of the other issues going on in the world, I actually had, inadvertently, forsaken one of the things that has always made me so happy.

I cannot promise to write every day, but I promise to try and write as often as I can. Writing this blog is helping me "un knot" the knot in my stomach -- and I hope that it will provide some amusement and fun for those of you planning your wedding, or just looking for something to read.

Stay tuned!

PS--Thank you, Miss Ready, for your sweet thought. I am back!!!