Broke-Ass Tag: wedding guests

5/10

Affiliate Disclaimer NewThis weekend, Matt and I are attending the first wedding we’ll have gone to since we got married. We’re both really excited about it. The couple that’s getting married are both awesome people and together they somehow manage to be even cooler. On top of that, we didn’t have to worry about doing any of the planning or fretting over this wedding like we did our own. We actually get to just show up on the day of, enjoy the festivities, bask in the glow of their love and all that fun stuff. That being said, attending a friend’s wedding after my wedding has a few challenges.

My first problem is pretty obvious and might be only applicable to me, but I know a lot of ladies find themselves in the same situation shortly after they’re married: Finding just the right outfit for someone else’s wedding. What’s too formal? What’s not formal enough? Do you wear a jacket or sweater? Getting together Spanx, just the right jewelry and shoes and figuring out how the hell to do my makeup.11058526_10100462271665850_9065002663582979310_n

This is how I showed up to the last wedding I went to before I got married. I should’ve traded the sun hat for a poncho but otherwise I’d like to think my style choices were spot on.

Being pregnant and having to figure out what to wear to the wedding felt impossible, especially not knowing exactly what size I’d be when the wedding rolled around (just about 20 weeks for anyone keeping score at home). Luckily, there’s an awesome little wedding blog out there that does its very best to have all the answers right there at the fingertips of brides (and now guests) in need. While I didn’t purchase a dress off of that post, it did give me the confidence to know that there are tons of awesome options out there, even if I look like I’m smuggling a basketball into the wedding for an impromptu game of hoops during the cocktail hour. Something to remember when planning to go to a friend’s wedding after your own? All those great resources you utilized might also help you when it comes time to attend another wedding.

There are obviously other challenges that come with being a pregnant wedding guest besides just what you wear. While I think I’ve had a pretty calm pregnancy thus far, one thing I have learned is you kind of never know how your life is going to change week to week. My food aversions can be crazy at times, so I will be packing some animal crackers in my purse just in case my body decides it no longer enjoys the entree I originally chose. Sitting beside those animal crackers in my bag will be plenty of tissues in case I have a hot mess moment and bawl my eyes out throughout the whole thing. No matter what your role in a wedding is, it’s always good to come prepared.

Pregnancy isn’t my only challenge though. I’m going to admit one of my deep dark secrets here:
I was that little kid that went to other kid’s birthday parties and was totally jealous. I’m terrified that I’m going to go to this wedding and spend the entire time comparing it to my wedding. I’m scared that going to this wedding will damage my view of my wedding. I love these friends and want nothing for the best for them. I want their wedding to be amazing and I want them to feel the absolute euphoria that Matt and I did on our wedding day.

How do you fix something like that? Well for one, there’s reminding myself of what I just said. I love these people and I want them to have the very best. Secondly, I need to remember that comparing weddings is kind of like comparing couples. Comparisons aren’t fair because all relationships are different and there is no better or worse where they’re concerned when it comes to people that are planning to spend their life together. It’s all subjective. Matt and I aren’t any better or worse than this couple. We love each other very deeply, and they do too. That’s what it’s all about right? Matt and I made choices for our wedding that were based upon who we are as people and a couple. Our friends did, too. Their choices will be reflections of who they are just like ours were, and how can you be jealous of something like that? Plus, I’d like to think I’ve grown up a little bit since I watched somebody else unwrap the megazord I was hoping for or sat wishing my parents had hired a magician for my 6th birthday. I can enjoy someone else’s joy without interrupting my own. And hey, if I do find myself feeling down and out, I can always go home and flip through my wedding album and remember all the things that made me feel special on my day.

Yes. There might be emotional, and even physical challenges that come with attending a wedding after your own is over with. In the end, those challenges pale in the comparison to the excitement that comes with knowing what is in store for the newlyweds. Matt and I had our special day and know how wonderful it feels to both have it and have it be over with (SO MUCH FREE TIME! At least until October … ). We know the joy of wedded bliss and we’re excited to have our friends come over to the married side of life. No matter our circumstances or temprament going into the day, I know it will be wonderful for them, and for us to get to celebrate with them. I’m just looking forward to actually enjoying a wedding, and sipping on a few Shirley Temples.

11407156_10100468517269610_4684612383602846097_nNo matter what I look like and how crazy my feelings go, I know I’ll find a way to have a good time with this guy as my date.

Have you attended any weddings as a newlywed? How about while you were engaged? Did it stir up any emotions for you? Share in the comments!

  • 4/26

    Real Bride Julie: Staying Plugged InSo right around the time I was getting married, a photographer’s post about why couples should opt for unplugged weddings went viral. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “unplugged,” it refers to a couple requesting their guests refrain from the use of cellphones and other devices during the wedding. Sometimes they ask them not to use devices during the ceremony and other times they ask them to keep devices out of the whole wedding. The photographer’s post showed a groom whose view of the bride walking down the aisle was obscured by all the guests trying to snap photos of the moment on their smartphones. This stirred up a lot of conversation on other wedding blogs, Facebook pages, etc., and I won’t lie, it did give me momentary pause in our wedding planning. Was this something we wanted to consider for our wedding? Most couples and photographers alike joining in on the conversation seemed to think it was an absolute must and acted like it was impossible to get worthwhile professional pictures with a plugged-in wedding. I looked at it a little bit differently.

    I’ll be honest, I was really afraid of was that all of my careful planning would be for naught because of smartphones. I had a pretty big crew of people coming to the wedding who were under 21 and one of my major nightmares was that they’d all spend the wedding with their faces glued to iPhone screens instead of enjoying the day. While I was really worried about this, I decided to set my fears aside. I really didn’t want to dictate how my guests could spend their day because I felt like it would put a damper on the party for some people. Telling people they couldn’t use their phone because I felt like they were going to use it in a way that was rude or inconsiderate could signal to them (especially those who hadn’t gone through the wedding process themselves recently) that I didn’t trust them to be able to behave themselves and had to make decisions for them. To me, it had the potential to start a fight where there didn’t have to be one. I just had to have faith that my guests would be engaged in the wedding because of all the good times I had packed it with, and they would be too involved in what was happening to get in the way of the photographer in the first place. I also didn’t want to have to police (or ask anyone else to) something like this over the course of the day when I had so much else going on.

    I also really wanted photos from my wedding that weren’t of the professional variety. Don’t get me wrong: I adored my photographer. She was amazing and accommodating, especially considering I think we hired her about a month prior to the wedding. I’m looking forward to doing a maternity shoot with her and when the baby comes along, I’ll probably also hire her for any professional photos we do of the baby. She was wonderful. In fact, it took me so long to decide to go with her (not at all because of her portfolio, but because I wasn’t sure we could afford ANY photography) that she was busy the morning of the wedding and couldn’t be available until the the start of the reception. Instead she sent along a professional partner she worked with to photograph the ceremony and met us at the reception. We had our family members take the “getting ready” photos. She and her partner worked  through the end of the reception. That means she worked a super long day the day of my wedding, and she still knocked every single picture she took out of the park completely. But … there is something to be said of photos that are taken by the people that are intimately associated with your life and are taken out of the pure joy of seeing two people they love joining their lives together. There’s something to be said of the pictures people are taking while you’re off getting your professional pictures taken or when you’re otherwise preoccupied. Hell, there’s something to be said for selfies friends try to take with you while you’re in the middle of walking down the aisle.

    12240331_10207983004036248_9153086613803760192_oI was actually elated when I found this one under our hashtag.

    I also like the immediacy of friends and family members photos. Photos of family and friends might’ve hit the web before I could say “I do.” Some people might object to that, but honestly, I was too busy getting married to really care. Lots of people have very valid reasons for not wanting their stuff to be out there on the internet before they can check it out, but for me that just wasn’t a concern and I looked forward to what had been posted and tagged with our hashtag at the end of the night. For my professional photos, we wouldn’t see our sneak peaks until about two weeks later and the full album until about a month after that. That’s really not that long for the work that goes into editing a wedding photo album, but for impatient me who really just wanted to see myself in a pretty dress and to see all the smiling faces of the people I love, I couldn’t get them soon enough. {Eds. Note: This is a very real thing. Photos seem to take forever, whether that’s a true thin that’s happening or not.}

    The day of the wedding nobody blocked my view of Matt. People might’ve had cameras out as I walked down the aisle, but I had no idea because my sole focus was that he was on the other end of it. I didn’t turn back during the ceremony to make sure nobody was texting. None of my professional photos (that I’m aware of) were ruined because somebody stepped in my photographer’s way, or a rogue flash went off. If it did happen and I don’t know it, my photographer must’ve taken a picture to make up for it, because she didn’t miss a moment. During the reception, Matt and I got celebrity treatment. EVERYBODY wanted selfies with us. Matt would have them take the selfie with their phone and then say “Why not step aside and let the professionals handle this?” and we’d then have our professional photographer step in and take a much better version of the selfie. 

    12273632_707770929360492_8287570462074855475_oNot quite a selfie, but a picture before we “had the professionals handle it.” For the record, I love it in this form too!

    12466240_10100571663438860_5484758815721588735_o

    The professional version, with a few people added into the mix. Photo by SK Photography

    Some of the pictures our guests got were absolutely amazing, too. Many were of other guests and it was nice to see what everyone was up to while I was busy running around the hall. The guests themselves were able to capture all the moments I missed out on. 

    12255199_937297652983403_1703089509_oOne of my cousins grabbed this picture as we were headed back in from getting professional photos against the gorgeous skyline. 

    Oh and all those kids I was afraid would be too tuned in to their devices during the wedding? They were out on the dance floor having a ball most of the night, while half the adults tried to figure out how to watch the Patriot’s game on their phones.

    I do regret not talking to my photographer ahead of time about having a plugged-in wedding. I know it’s my wedding decision, but I also think it’s important to give her the courtesy to discuss it with her and do my best to respect her feelings on the matter. I think where it’s becoming such a contentious thing these days for some photographers is that one of the things a bride SHOULD think about is how their feelings gel with their photographers on something like this. I think my photographer was okay with how we handled things, but I wish I had been more respectful of her position as a professional by discussing this specific topic with her before the wedding.

    The bottom line for me was that having a plugged-in wedding didn’t take away from my wedding and only enhanced my experience. I have thousands of pictures from my wedding, professional and otherwise, and almost all of them make me smile. Some of the photos my nieces took with me were lost to Snapchat, but the memory of being swarmed for photos alone is worth it. I’m glad I made the decision to let everyone stay plugged in. 

  • 1/5

    Jetaport

    If you've been in the wedding planning trenches for a minute now, you've probably seen list after list urging you to set up your hotel block so guests know where to stay -- but what does this even mean? Well, darling, it means you're hollerin' at some hotels to set aside a chunk o' rooms so your homies have a place to rest their tipsy…

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    9/21

    overall

    Warning! This post contains a whole lot of spreadsheet-based nerdery! For so many couples, the hardest part of wedding planning is choosing the guest list. Do you want your event to be small, intimate gathering, or do you want to share with all your friends and family? Is Mom going to make you invite that cousin you forgot you even had? Can you invite your…

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  • 6/13

    Food and money. Man, oh, man. Isn't that the broke-ass life? You always try to have enough of both, but what about when you're trying to throw a big ol' party? That's where the stakes get raised, and some good, timeless advice from erstwhile BAB team member Liz, of Silver Charm Events, swoops in to soothe the nerves. Dear Liz, My fiance and I LOVE a…

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    1/10

    Christen and Leigh's Hawaii Destination Wedding by Persimmon Images

    Dear Liz, We live in Los Angeles, and I'm planning my wedding in Lake Arrowhead on Labor Day weekend, about three hours away. We're both from New York, so most of our guests are coming from the East Coast. I'm worried about how to keep everyone entertained and make sure they're having fun that weekend. Most of them are arriving on Friday, and the wedding…

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  • 12/28

    Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what's up! Dear Liz: Hi there! I am getting married in May at a stable. I want to have the ceremony on the inside and the reception outside (the views are amazing). Renting lights and paying for them to install them is pricey! Do you know of a cheaper way to…

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