You’re engaged and excited to march down the aisle on that special day to marry your new love. Life couldn’t be better. Yet there seems to a nagging feeling in your head: Why are you not happy 24/7 like all those happy brides in all those happy bridal magazines? Why are you feeling uncertain, overly analytical, isolated, sad and so many more other emotions?
What is usually not consciously associated with getting married is that this is a very important rite of passage: a ceremonial transition into a new phase of one’s development. Stepping through this new door opens up a world of self-discovery. Simultaneously parts of your old self may feel like they are being left behind or put on a shelf to gather dust. Realize that during the engagement process you’re no longer “single” yet not quite “a couple”‘, hence a feeling of uncertainty. It is something all brides go through and can be overwhelming but don’t despair.
Survival tactic number one is to find someone who is going to listen to you talk about these new feelings. Just listen, not judge or try to fix (that’s important). It may be a little too much to ask your fiancé or good friend to be that person as they may not be objective enough. They may want to do whatever it takes to make you happy. But that is not the purpose of sharing these feelings. You are just verbalizing them to process them.
Be aware that your friends and family are truly happy for you, but they are unsure what will happen to their relationship with you after you say “I do”. While your fiancé is going to be the number one focus of your new life, your friends and family need to realize that being number two or three on your list is still being a part of your life.
Finally, preparing for the fairy tale wedding is a good way to envision what lies beyond that new door! It will help bring familiarity to life’s next transition. And while parties to celebrate will be many, don’t feel bad about taking some quiet time to help you process your soon to be new life. Just remember, with any change, there will be happy and sad moments but that is what the best memories are made of.
The knot is tied and the pictures have been taken so let the fun, feast and festivities begin! The next challenge is how to best seat your guests so that they can enjoy themselves for the rest of the evening. As the host for this grand celebration, the task has a few protocols that should be kept in mind.
Once you have chosen the venue for your event, the first step is to request a diagram of table placement used at this site. This will be helpful in not only determining the final number of invited guests that can be accommodated but also how many can be seated at a certain table and the proximity of that table to the wedding party table. It is best to make a few copies of this layout as many changes will be made before the perfect seating arrangement is settled upon.
At the very minimum you should designate a table for the wedding party and their spouses / significant others if space permits. Set aside a table for each set of parents and family members or even a third table if the parents are divorced.
The guest tally:
As the RSVPs come in, keep an accurate count on who is coming as well as those that can’t attend. You may want to invite a few people on the “B” list as room and time permits. (No less than four weeks from the event)
Proper addressing of cards:
Reminder cards, be they escort cards or place cards, save guests the embarrassment of sitting in the wrong place and also saves you the host from being the seat police at your reception. Here are a few helpful suggestions.
1. A married couple: Mr and Mrs Tom Hanks
2. Single and bringing an unnamed guest: Mr Johnny Depp and guest
3. Unmarried couple: Mr Brad Pitt and Ms Angelina Jolie
4. A family: The Smith family
You may also choose to just repeat how you addressed them on the invitation or go a less formal route and leave off all titles. To be more personable and inviting, try to ascertain the name of each ‘plus one’ prior to making out the cards.
The purpose of cards is to facilitate the seating process so keep them legible. This does not mean card can’t be creative, include a personal note or be combined with the wedding favor.