Weddings and all of the activities and festivities leading up to them can be stressful and emotional.
I get that. What I don’t get are couples who let the stress and emotions get the best of them. So, how do you remain a gracious couple before, during and after your wedding?
What does being gracious mean exactly? A simple definition is “marked by kindness and courtesy.” So how do we apply this to being a couple planning, celebrating or relishing in the memories of their wedding day?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
How to be a Gracious Couple Before, During & After your Wedding
Graciousness Before the Wedding
DO be upfront with your family and friends about your wishes and desires for your wedding. Oftentimes feelings get hurt and the claws come out when couples fail to communicate with their family and friends about the type of wedding they’re planning. This does not mean that you have to divulge every last detail to them, it just means explaining the big picture to them. Example: Yes, we’re so excited for our wedding! We’re planning an intimate gathering of close family and friends with cocktails, seafood Hors d’Oeuvres, and a jazz trio. This sort of description immediately sets the tone for further conversations about your wedding with family and friends.
DO listen to all the wedding tips and advice you will, inevitably, receive from family and friends. Notice I said listen and not follow. By the simple act of listening to your family and friends, you are validating their thoughts and emotions.
DON’T be negative towards the tips and advice your family and friends are giving. Oftentimes your loved ones are offering up their advice and opinions because they have regrets about their wedding and don’t want you to make the same mistake. Simply smile, thank them for their advice and, in a polite manner, explain why you’re not considering their advice (you’ve already covered that part of your plans, you’re not including that element in your wedding, it’s not your style, etc.) or say “thank you, that is something we had not thought of.”
Graciousness on Your Wedding Day
DON’T freak out on your wedding day if it’s not going as planned, especially on the small details. Yes, I know I’ve said time-and-time-again that it’s all in the details, and it’s true but it doesn’t mean throwing a tantrum if the napkins aren’t folded the way you wanted or the candles on the tables didn’t get lit in time for your grand entrance. Weddings are like a stage performance and the guests are the audience; they’re excited to attend and be a part of the pageantry and they have some idea of what to expect but don’t know the details. So, if you stay calm when things go awry your guests will too. They’ll have no idea that the napkins were supposed to look like roses instead of sailboats and they’ll think the candles were supposed to be lit once you all sat down to eat.
DON’T be selfish with time. What I mean by this is don’t plan for a big gap of time between your ceremony and reception and don’t sneak off during your reception for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. It’s one thing to plan between 40-60 minutes of time for photos between your ceremony and reception (your guests will understand that) but it’s another to spend 2 hours joyriding around in that classic car you rented. Your guests are there to see you, not sit around and wonder where you are.
DO visit with all of your guests during the course of your wedding day. Why is this important? Well, they’re your guests and they have decided to be a part of your wedding because they love and support you and it’s important that you validate their importance to you by at least saying hi to them and letting them tell you congratulations. Not visiting with each guest may leave them with a feeling of being snubbed and that they were just invited for their gift. It sounds petty but it’s true, it’s human nature.
Graciousness After the Wedding
DO write thank you notes for gifts, this applies to gifts received at any showers, engagements parties or money received. I know traditional etiquette states that you have up to a year after your wedding to thank people but the sooner you write them the better. One, it shows people that you actually opened their gift and sincerely appreciate their generosity and support and two, it’s just classy. Couples who tend to put off their thank you notes tend to forget about them altogether.
DON’T gush about your wedding and all of the details to everyone you meet. If someone asks you about your wedding then it’s polite to talk about it, otherwise, it’s rude and annoying. If you wanted the people that you’re gushing to, to know everything about your wedding wouldn’t you have invited them in the first place? Of course, this no-gushing does not apply to people who were invited to your wedding and could not attend.
So, through these small acts of kindness and courtesy, you will be a gracious couple from beginning to end.
Do you have any other thoughts or tips on how to be gracious? Let me know in the comments below!