Earlier this year I performed at a wedding which I was expecting to be a fun-filled night. The couple were very enthusiastic leading into the night and they were anticipating the party as much as I was.
But instead, when it came time for them to celebrate, the majority of their guests were already home in their pajamas watching TV.
How could this have happened?
We'll start with the photo sessions. There were a LOT of them. They didn't want any photos done together before the ceremony (understandable) so those had to wait until after the ceremony when the reception was taking place. And because they had gotten "a great deal" on a photographer who was just starting in the business, they had inadvertently hired someone who wasn't sure how to take control of the photo sessions or how to work efficiently.
Their 30 minute photo session went 45 minutes over the allotted time.
Meanwhile, the guests were waiting patiently.
After the photo session, the bride needed her dress bustled again. Once it was bustled, she and her bridesmaids pitched tents in the ladies room and told ghost stories around a campfire.
(For the record, I am only assuming that's what happened. Honestly, I have no idea what was going on.)
So the bustling was another 20 minutes.
And the guests began getting antsy.
The bride and her bridemaids finally exited the bathroom. And now it was time to find all the groomsment who were scattered throughout the grounds ... some in the parking lot, some already eating in the reception area, some huddled around an iPad watching sports in a gazebo.
Fifteen minutes to round them up.
And the guests were beginning to get boisterous.
Funally we had the Grand Entrance and First Dance. It was beautiful. The couple looked gorgeous and you could tell they were deeply in love.
Immediately following the First Dance, the groom went outside to smoke cigars with his groomsmen. Before speaking to a single guest, he went outside to spend more time with the guys he had spent the last 24 hours with.
The same guys that would be there all night.
And the guests started to leave.
The bride's grandmother accosted the bride, took her aside and together they had a sweet exchange with a few tears of joy sliding down cheeks.
Unfortunately, time got away from them both as they huddled together in a hallway for 25 minutes because Mom found them and joined in on the private reminiscing.
Keep in mind ... the night cannot progress any further. The Father/Daughter dance can't take place because the daughter is nowhere to be found. The cake can't be cut because the people cutting the cake are nowhere to be seen.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: On your wedding day, you must be engaging with everyone. For some people, that's just not as easy as it sounds. They're comfortable with a few people and that's who they spend their time with.
But your guests are there FOR YOU. They bought gifts FOR YOU. They took time out of their day, reorganized their schedules, sacrificed time spend doing something else FOR YOU.
If you stay within the parameters of the reception area and take time ... even if it's just a minute ... to try and thank everyone that came to your wedding, your guests will appreciate it and will stay longer than they would if you ignored them.
Trust me on this one. I've seen what happens when you don't.
And it's not pretty.