Guest before Bride

I spent Sunday evening of Memorial Day Weekend attending my cousin’s fabulous wedding. Ashley and Keith became husband and wife at the very same venue where I will marry JB in just a few short weeks. My one night role reversal from bride to guest was surprisingly liberating. It was a much-needed break from wedding planning.

Since my hair will soon be flowing like the brides, with a sparkling veil, I decided to throw it up in the highest pony possible. I wanted to rock the farthest look from that of the bride.

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Mission accomplished with a slight Mohawk.

If at all possible, I suggest brides attend at least one wedding before tying the knot. On that note, it’s better to be just another guest so that you can observe the affair with zero responsibilities. Bridesmaids are busy.

Below are a few observations from the perspective of a guest, rather than that of a bride-to-be.

Cocktail hour is social hour!

The ceremony is intimate. The reception is where family and friends surround the happy couple with song, dance and champagne filled cheers. I recently learned that the cocktail hour, however, is intended for the pleasure of the guests. It’s roughly one hour where couples, families and the string of singles begin an evening of indulgence. From this hour forward they will be eating, drinking and mingling well past midnight.

At first, I was surprised to observe that the bride and groom were out of sight for most of cocktail hour. Apparently, I will be intentionally hidden too. Perhaps someone was busy helping Ashley bustle her dress. The bride and groom most likely snacked before greeting their guests. I’ve learned that newly married couples rarely enjoy their delicious cocktail hour. They are far too busy receiving congratulatory hugs and snapping pictures. Starring in your own show is hard work.

Solidify the details of special dances.

I’m not the type of bride who can cry on cue. Although moved, I kept dry eyes throughout Keith and Ashley’s beautiful ceremony. It was during the father/daughter dance, however, where I became emotional. While a familiar version of Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately” belted from the band, I looked over at my dad and imagined our dance together.

My father has always been my dancing partner. Whether we are at a family party, wedding, work dinner or just at home in the company of two rambunctious Chihuahuas, we never waste an opportunity to share a dance.

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It’s hard to make us sit still at events.

Direct the band before your big day.

The ride home from Ashley and Keith’s wedding was spent discussing music. JB contemplated a few songs for the dance he will share with his mom; he is currently deciding between the iconic Billy Joel and the adorable Jason Mraz. The band at my cousin’s wedding drew a joyful, energetic crowd to the dance floor. The beats were popular, playful and catered perfectly to both the friends of the bride and groom and those from a (dare I say) slightly older generation.

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#AshleyandKeith2015

Dedicated to the magnificent bride Ashley and my sweet cousin Keith. You two make a magical couple. Although I will soon swap places with the bride, I know we will both share the dance floor for the entire evening!

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