bride with dogIt’s been years since I’ve been a wedding guest.

Despite my warnings to engaged and pre-engaged family and friends that if they want me at the wedding, they need to call me with a date as soon as it’s official, we’re still forced to decline invitation after invitation because those weddings are: a) in prime wedding season  b) on a Saturday and c) planned less than a year in advance.

You’re a wedding vendor, so I don’t need to explain this Tragedy to you.

Well, Jeff and I were invited to a Wednesday night beach destination wedding last week, and you bet your sweet bottom we were there.

The ceremony on the beach was gorgeous, despite the thunder, with an adventurous, plucky bride who laughed through the drizzle. When the minister asked, “Do you take this man?” her answer was, “You bet your ass, I do!”

I could give you my insider’s critique of the performances of the various wedding vendors…the makeup artists, the florist, the venue, the DJ…but what I really want to do is remind you of something that surprised me about being a wedding guest.

old photographHow much we NEED you.

As a wedding guest, and especially as one of the intimate group involved in the chaotic hustle and bustle of draping, bunching, cinching and bustling, I was surprised at how much I needed to rely on the wedding vendors for direction.

I mean, I AM a wedding vendor. I should know what to do. I’ve seen the man behind the curtain at hundreds (thousands?) of weddings.

And still, when these were my friends buzzing around like crazy people, trying to figure out who needs to do what, I was just as dazed and confused as they were. Well, not quite, but almost.

When you are at a wedding, you are the ROCK those befuddled brides and grooms cling to for their sanity. You are the Captain of their Wedding Ship, swooping in to save the day with safety pins and well-placed boutonnières.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the wedding coordinator, the bartender or the coat check guy.

Those guests NEED you. They’re over-excited, sometimes over-medicated and oftentimes over-stuffed and intoxicated, and clueless about what they’re supposed to do.

You can stick to your “job” and ignore their needs. Or you can flash a smile, answer their unasked questions, and give them the friendly reassurance of your professional calm.

Be a wedding superhero for your clients and their guests. Remember how much we need you, have compassion for us the uninitiated and inebriated, and we’ll remember you for it.

Oh, yeah…that “remembering” turns into more leads and weddings, by the way. Not that you need that to motivate you.

What was your last experience like as a wedding guest?

Photo credits: Beach wedding with Charlie photo by Hudson Valley photographer, Cheryl Bolton Reuter.  Beach gang photo by soon-to-be Outer Banks NC wedding photographer, Steven Planck.