Wedding Guest Tips Part III

More tips on being a good Wedding Guest!


silver cloud photograph

Follow direction.  More and more brides are deciding to have photos taken BEFORE the wedding ceremony.  This means the party WITH the bride and groom can begin immediately!  If you are requested to find your seat at the reception site as soon as the couple is pronounced “Man and Wife” then do so.  Do not wander over to the bar and demand a cocktail.  If the bar’s closed, it’s closed.  It’s very hard for an catering employee to refuse a guest, so don’t abuse your power.



I’ve been guilty of this one.  If the wedding dinner is a buffet, don’t serve yourself up as if it’s all you can eat night at “Golden Corral”.  Remember, the hosts of the reception have paid a “per head price” for each and every guest and an unlimited supply of food is not available.  Think before you serve yourself.


If you are a smoker, please respect the hosts’ and venue’s non-smoking/smoking areas.  Most venues make accommodations for smokers.  And if you partake of “smokeless tobacco” products, follow the rules for them as well.  And please, just because you may be out of doors, (either at the outdoor venue, or smoking area), this is not an invitation to ground out your refuse wherever you may be.


romantic decoration

Provided you are assigned a table, and most hosts choose to do so, find it as soon as you enter the venue.  Set yourself up, and use this as your home base.  Do you use others’ tables.  I know it may be convenient to place your purse or drink, (or even used ‘Cocktail Hour’ “treats”), on someone else’s table, but don’t.  It’s bad form on more that one level.


And the photo above?  Well, I just really liked the flowers and wanted to share them with you.  🙂




The Bride With Two Dads

The bride with two dads…In today’s world of blended families, brides often ask the question, “Should my dad, or my step-dad walk me down the aisle?  Well, the young bride I worked with last weekend had the perfect solution.  She had both of the men who raised her enjoy the honor.


(Above is the ceremony venue before the gusts arrived.  Lovely!!)

The two dad’s had different styles, and that was ok.  Their style of dress reflected who they were.  And their daughter seemed to embrace that.  The love they showed her in a candid moment which I captured below, told their story.  They both cherished her and wanted to be a part of this most special moment.  Together, they walked her down the aisle to start the new chapter in her life, with the love of her life.


Look how they dads are both tenderly adjusting her veil.  That simple gesture speaks volumes.  And the photo below, so very sweet.


Below you see the beautiful couple exchanging their vows.  And if you look at the lower right of the photo, you can see the two dads sitting side by side, sharing together this joyous occasion.  I don’t know these men, only met them at the rehearsal. They were both lovely, but to me, their relationship is a mystery.  I do know, though, that on this particular day, there was a strong sense of camaraderie between them.  They did it right.  Their daughter came first.


And below, a close up of the beautiful couple.  As they said the vows they wrote themselves, there were few dry eyes.  Their words were sensitive, funny and heartfelt.


And the cake below…well, I included it just because I love wedding cakes and wanted to share it with you.


All photos: Mary P. Karnes





More Wedding Guest Tips



Do you want to be a good wedding guest?  Well, make sure you get your response card in on time…and oh, yes, make sure you write your name on the response card.  True story, we received this card for my daughter Kathleen’s wedding.  Good tip…number the cards, (notice the number “68” in the lower left hand corner), and write the number of each card next to the each guest’s name.  That way, if someone “forgets” to write their name on their card, you know who responded.


Photo creds: Patty Cloherty

According to the, arrive at least 30 minutes before the wedding is due to begin.  But wait to be seated by the groomsmen or ushers.  Old time etiquette?  The ushers seat the ladies, much like the photo above, and if she is accompanied by a husband or date, he follows behind.    Traditionally, the first few rows are reserved for immediate family members.


True Story: I was a guest at a wedding recently.  Two women arrived after the bride had entered the church.  The ladies just walked in front of her and seated themselves.  Now it happens.  We’ve all been late to important events.  If you ARE late, just wait until the procession enters the church or other venue, and then quietly sit in the back.


Photo creds: Hannah Colt Photos

How long to stay?  Well, the and I agree…stay at the wedding reception at least until the cake is cut.  And when you make your departure, try to find at least one family member, if not the bride and groom, and thank them for their hospitality and wish them well.

0899f9daca99f263d1563bffdf386f30 cautions to sign the guest book (make a point to round it up if you don’t see it immediately). And please remember to take the favor the  bride and groom so generously have provided for you.

Over The Top Wedding Cakes


Will you have an “Over the Top Wedding Cake”?  Weddings are the most personalized event you will ever attend OR host.  There is no right, or wrong.  Just your preferred tastes.  I happen to like the wedding cake as a decorating item.  Remember…wedding cake servings are far far smaller than a restaurant size dessert serving.  If served properly, your guests will receive only a sliver of cake.


If I have 100 guests, I order a cake for 150-175, then order different cake flavors for different layers.  This way guests have a choice.  Most often, a bride will choose to have a cake. Why not spend a little extra, and make it a decorating piece like the cakes featured on this post?  Yes you’ll spend a little more, but how much would you spend on more flowers or decorations?  Thinking guests don’t favor wedding cake as much as other desserts these days?  You’d be right.  Pies have become quite the thing this season, especially in the summer and fall.  Most bridal couples still have a ‘small cake’ to cut and hopefully a portion to save.


Think you’ll ever have to cut and serve a wedding cake?  Probably not…but just in case, click on the link and read how it’s done.  It’s interesting, and quite an art.  How to Cut a Wedding Cake.  The above cake is exceptional.  I like the photography as well, just a small glimpse of the cake.  But I do hope the wedding photographer got a shot of the entire cake.  It wouldn’t be one to miss!


Fresh flowers definitely add to the lushness of a cake.  And I like all the 3-D work the baker applied to this cake, even if it’s not in the photographer’s focus.  But do flowers need to be real to LOOK real?  No, just look at my daughter’s cake below.  The flowers aren’t real, but spun sugar!


Thank you to my lovely models…photo cred: Patty Cloherty

First 4 photos, theknot