Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Notes on Wedd-iquette

The traditional bridal season is fast approaching... June Brides and Grooms are likely in a frenzy of activity to ensure their nuptial days are unique, meaningful, and hopefully without serious gaffe or error.

Wedding guests have a certain responsibility too, in helping make the day both memorable and effortless. Being on time for the ceremony and not over imbibing at the reception are two of the most important. Family members also have a strong duty to put aside any petty (or significant) differences and disagreements, acting in a civil and gracious manner for at least the few hours of the ceremony and reception.

MrMartha has been to a lot of weddings over the years. Some were breathtaking and elaborate, with every last detail thought out, and every contingency planned for. Others were more spur of the moment, or intentionally simple and casual, but equally as magical as the big fairy tale productions. The wonderful weddings seem to meld together in MrMartha's brain, into a lovely tulle trimmed haze of sweet memories.

Some details do stand out over time. What is recalled somewhat depends on how well one knows the couple, but usually guests take away a more general sense of the day -- so brides, and mother's-of-the-brides, need to remember that if the printed organdy tablecloth overlays don't get made, or the wedding cake is not iced in exactly the right shade.... there is no cause for meltdown. Nobody will really know but you, and certainly no guest will recall something like that after the fact, so let it go, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

While the wonderful weddings may blend together to some extent, the dismaying weddings, where something awful or unfortunate happened, tend to stay crisply etched in ones memory. MrMartha will spare readers the more lurid details of the worst from his own personal recollections, though a few avoidable moments from otherwise lovely events will be noted as examples.

The bride who's mother stepped in and covered the bridal gown bodice with a large and not particularly new bath towel just before the traditional feeding of the cake -- stating loudly to the reception crowd "The groom is a slob, the cake is chocolate, I won't let this dress be ruined by crumbs and smears!!"

A wedding in LA, where a pale out of town bridesmaid thought she would get a little sun the day before the ceremony, and had to walk down the aisle with her skin sunburned to the exact same bright cerise red tone as her bridesmaid was painful just to watch her walk. The bride was likely lovely, but MrMartha has no recollection beyond the dayglo bridesmaid.

One final, and strongly personal pet peeve of MrMartha's -- obtrusive photographers and videographers. Yes, every bride wants gorgeous photos of her special day, but it is not a reality television show, or a documentary for PBS. Paparzzi style audacity and cheek can really mess up a beautiful event. There are some weddings MrMartha would love to recall the details of, but all that comes to mind are memories of meddlesome and impertinent cameras. The photographer should not be stalking the ceremony like a guerilla in a war zone, and should not be dressed in a garish or inappropriate way. Make sure this is clearly understood with those documenting the ceremony, before it is too late to head it off!