Although you may have everyone at your wedding that you really wish to include, don’t be surprised if your parents have a whole other list of people who they want to share their joy at your being married with.
This list could include their neighbors, close friends, church or temple members, every teacher you ever had, the people they work with and even their favorite clerk at the grocery store who has seen you grow from an infant to an adult.
These are the people your folks talk to about you, even just in passing. And even if they only saw you occasionally or not at all since you left for college, the navy or your stint with Greenpeace, they feel like they know you and they share your parents joy.
Many parents will want to plan an at home meet and greet sometime in the first few months after the wedding. Don’t be surprised if both sets of parents wish to do this.
Let your parents decide how formal or informal this get together will be, set the menu and the date and tell you when to show up. This is their opportunity to host their friends and show off their new son or daughter in law.
Your job is to show up early enough to greet the first guests and stay until you have had a chance to meet and talk to all the guests. You may not remember any of these folks, they may not be your generation, and they may hug you too hard, smear your cheeks with red lipstick and tell you for the third time how they remember how cute you were in 4th grade, but they all care about you.
So relax, have a glass of champagne, look around the room, and realize how lucky you are that so many people are so happy for you.
If you have decided to include young children as your wedding guests a little pre-planning can make the difference between a pleasant experience for you and all your guests or a headache of mammoth proportions for everyone including the tiny tots.
Having children at your event can be a pleasant and memorable experience for all involved if you plan ahead and keep in mind the needs and limitations of your youngest guests.
If your ceremony is going to be longer than half an hour, consider having a sitter for the children until the reception. Make sure you provide age appropriate activities and games to keep them occupied. Children get hungry at the most inconvenient times and there is no way to keep a hungry child happy. Providing a fun, wedding themed snack can also be a big help in keeping the kids from becoming cranky or lonely for mom and dad.
Seat tots with their parents at the reception. They will be more comfortable there.
Don’t expect them to eat the standard reception fare or just snack off their parent’s plates. Grilled asparagus and mustard crusted chicken are not kid friendly foods. See if your caterer can provide small, child friendly meals for your young guests. They wont eat much, but they will need something they can enjoy.
Provide distractions at the tables. Coloring pages and a small box of crayons, small stuffed animals or age appropriate (non-noisy) toys can go a long way to keep them occupied until the cake is served.
You may want to provide a sitter who can take the children for a stroll around the grounds or on a scavenger hunt (if appropriate) or to a separate room for activities during the time set aside for toasts, introductions and the first dance. Think about which parts of the reception would have bored you silly as a child and let that be your guideline.
Letting the children leave the reception for a while will break up the time for them and also give their parents an opportunity to chat with the other adults in a more relaxed fashion.
Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t cringe when a tiny voice peeps up with “I have to go potty…NOW”. Let the parents deal with that, smile, and get on with having a great time.
If you haven’t already made plans to attend the 2012 Bridal Expo at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, there is still time to get it onto your calendar.
This year the Expo is on Sunday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fashion show will take place in the spectacular glass ceilinged Sun Room overlooking the Monterey Bay.
This is a great opportunity to check out Santa Cruz area caterers, florists, and everything that you might need for your wedding.
So mark the date, grab a few friends and mom too, and head on down for a fun and informative day by the beach.
First of all, if you are not planning on inviting any of your co-workers to your wedding, or just a few, there should be no problem if you handle it properly.
Although the traditional ban on wearing a black dress to a wedding is no longer in vogue there are still some guidelines to consider.
But what about the guests who are going directly from the wedding site to the reception? What do they do while your photos are being finished?