Today’s post all about being the first of your friends to get married. Yet again we have a guest blogger! Stellaluna Events intern, event planning enthusiast, Kelly Saroff Allen.
Being the first of your friends to get married can be so fun but also comes with common challenges. If your friends haven’t been an adult wedding guest, they may not understand the etiquette or expectations that come with weddings.
We’re highlighting some frequent challenges that come with being the first of your friends to get married and some solutions to handling these situations with poise and grace.
Asking inappropriate questions
Your friends may not realize that some of their questions may not be entirely appropriate. Especially when you first get engaged, you may start hearing from acquaintances asking to save the wedding date. When at that point you aren’t sure they’ll make guest list. This can create an awkward situation, and unfortunately, you’re now in the position of navigating this situation with grace.
Other inappropriate questions could include:
- How much did you spend on this wedding?
- Why can’t I bring a plus one?
- Can I be a bridesmaid?
Your friends may not have experience with planning large-scale events or weddings and may not realize why these questions are inappropriate.
How to respond: My rule of thumb is to only share what you are comfortable with, and treat your friends politely and with respect. At the end of wedding planning, you still want to be friends!
Bringing uninvited guests
Not everyone can offer plus ones to all of their guests, especially with the per person costs of a wedding. Being the first of your friends to get married, you may have a significant number of single friends invited. Including plus ones for all of those friends can run up your bill quickly. Eliminating plus ones is often one of the quickest ways to cut back on expenses.
How to avoid: If you are not allowing certain guests to bring a plus one, make sure you address the invitations to your guests correctly (i.e. Mr. John Smith). Be very clear about who is invited—do not put “Mr. John Smith & Guest” or “The Smith Family” on your invites. You can even include a line on your RSVP cards that says “We have held __ seat(s) in your honor” or “__ of __ guests attending” (i.e. __ of 1 guests attending” to indicate the number of people the invitation is addressed to.
Even with these precautions, you will likely still have some people respond with an uninvited guest on their RSVP card. These situations can be awkward, but it’s important to follow up with your friend quickly and politely to rectify the mistake.
Not responding promptly
Friends may not realize the importance of a prompt reply to your wedding invitation if they have not hosted their own wedding. You’ll likely have a deadline to get final numbers to your vendors and your friends may not know this.
How to avoid: Make sure you include a deadline on your response card so guests know when you need it returned by. This deadline should be at least a week prior to when you need to give final numbers to your vendors. That will give you a week to follow up with guests who do not respond. Be prepared to make follow up calls to guests who don’t respond on time. Be persistent until you receive their response!
Not showing up
Maybe the most disappointing of all is when a guest responds as attending and then doesn’t show up to the wedding. This can be frustrating since you already paid for this person to attend. Your friends may not realize how much you spent for them to attend. So if something comes up, they may not think to tell you.
What to do: There’s not much you can do when a guest decides not to show up—just be prepared knowing this may happen to you.
Bonus tip: Include as many details as possible on your wedding website, and share it with your friends! They will likely review it multiple times before your wedding. Including details like suggested attire will be immensely helpful in setting your friends up for success! Especially when they might not know what to expect.
Being the first of your friends to get married can be such a fun experience. Your friends will likely be talking about how amazing your wedding was for years to come! By preparing for these challenges, you’ll be sure to have a smooth and memorable wedding experience.
Want more wedding planning advice like this? Check out our post on All The Things The Month Before Your Wedding!
Photo: Allie & John Photography