Monday, August 10, 2009

Tips: how to be a gracious guest

You'd be surprised at how many guests never respond to wedding or party invitations and then show up! Is that you?? Maybe it got accidentally tossed or it slipped your mind, but that little card weighs heavy towards the final count at a wedding (brides and grooms can pay anywhere from $50-500 per guest overall so every guest counts)! We recently planned a wedding where over 30 guests did not respond, despite the self-addressed and stamped response envelopes! Needless to say, the bride and groom paid extra as a bumper for those who might show up; we were right - nearly all 30 guests did show!

Here are some tips on how to be a gracious and fun guest:
  1. Répondez s'il vous plaît means please respond in French, and it's not a term used lightly when planning a big event, especially a wedding. Your hosts have usually gone above and beyond to create, self-address, and stamp your RSVP card, so please take the time to check the box and RSVP!
  2. Show up on time - plan ahead for freeway, airport, or other traffic and consider any special events going on near the wedding or event (often times your hosts will have thought ahead and posted such notices on their event website or provided an enclosure with your invitation)
  3. Greet your hosts and thank them for inviting you and....have fun! Be a lively, happy, and supportive; if it's a friend's wedding, help out by getting people on the dance floor and making it a memorable day.
  4. Send a thank you note - if you attend a super fun party or wedding, it's great to send along a thank you note. I know, the bride and groom will be sending you one for attending and bringing a gift, but I always think a hand-written thank you note goes a long ways!

The bottom line: formality is still alive, as it should be! The written word is always better than a text message thank you. As much as you appreciate the art of a well planned event, your hosts appreciate the art of etiquette and formality!

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