Thursday, April 19, 2007

"It's next to the viaduct across from the U-Haul Storage"

“Why don’t we have the wedding at The Steak Pit?”
“I don’t think you want the word pit on a wedding invitation” - Father of the Bride 1991

Even Annie’s little brother knew about wedding etiquette. There are many styles of weddings, but some things never look quite right.

You as a bride and your guests have certain visions about your upcoming wedding. These are perpetuated by all of the clues that lead up to your gala. People make all sorts of judgments based on these clues:
  • What they will wear: words on your invitation that lead to images of dust, picnic tables, a barn, a park all lead to jeans and casual shoes. If you plan to dress your site up your stationary had better look money.
  • What gift they will give you: think twice about those funky hot pink invites if you don’t want hot pink dishes. (You think we’re kidding!)
  • That you’re cheap: were those self-printed smudged Michaels invites really worth the message they sent “I’m cutting every corner but if you could ship me a rather expensive bone china place setting it would be great”
  • You got a deal on a site in the ‘revitalization’ part of town: drive several routes to your site- don’t just give guests the map-quest results. Being scared of where you’re sending them and what they’ve agreed to attend makes them more apprehensive about everything else throughout the evening.
Think about your event from your guest’s point of view. There are places you can save money and places where you’ve gone too far.

Some Red Flags to Watch For:

  • Directions include: turn right at the U-Haul facility, just past the shooting range, next to the Pizza Hut
  • Guests wonder if you were on a budget because the outside of your venue looks like a motel 8
  • The elevator is so old and creaky that guests are almost wetting themselves in terror, at least that’s what it smells like.
  • Your invitation contains the words “continue past the main entrance around to the back…”
  • Security will be provided after dark to walk guests to their cars
  • A disclaimer “not responsible for valuables left inside your car”
  • Guests have to keep running out to feed the meter.
  • Wedding scheduled not to conflict with the working hours of the Purina factory because of the smell.
  • You book the Butterfly Pavilion and your guests never see a butterfly because you only rented the conference room.
  • Three letters: V F W
Create an experience for your guests.
Your initial piece of stationary … your wedding website … how they respond … their car ride vistas to the ceremony … what they are expected to do with their time until the reception (FEED THEM!) … avoid the feeling of “now what?” at your reception … and finally how they feel when they leave - send them with a gift to a well lit safe parking lot or even better an option for a ‘Heavenly-Bed’ hotel room and Starbucks after a good night sleep.
“We’ll leave the light on for you"