Thoughtful Couples Do These Things
Back when I got married, I was certain I was a thoughtful bride because I let my bridesmaids choose their dresses from the pages of a catalog. I clung to that one act as proof of my thoughtfulness.
In the meantime, I had planned an expensive destination wedding for my guests, picked fights with my maid of honor and cheaped out on bridesmaid gifts. All the while, I asked our attendants to do tasks for me that I could do myself.
Looking back on my wedding, I realize I was kind of a horrible bride, regardless of the bridesmaid dress situation. Most egregiously, I didn’t consider the comfort and happiness of my guests first – my own vision of my day was the only consideration.
What I failed to be was generous – and if I had been, I would have asked questions like:
• How much will this wedding cost my guests and attendants?
• How many events can we feed our guests?
• What should we provide in a welcome bag to make sure everyone has what they need when they arrive?
To help save you from the same lingering regret, I’ve gathered some general recommendations that thoughtful couples would be wise to incorporate into their planning for the big day.
Love Our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
These friends are investing significant time, resources and energy into making sure the party goes off without a hitch. They’re throwing showers, bachelorette parties and getaways, while gifting the whole time. At a bare minimum, you can give them a gift that reflects how important they are to you. If your budget allows, consider covering transportation, lodging or clothing to offset their contribution to the big day.
Avoid engraving – as well as flasks. People can only use so many flasks and they have limited uses. Some other recommended gifts include a bottle of fancy scotch or bourbon (for the drinkers), a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, or cool sneakers.
As well, consider jewelry that goes with other occasions than just the wedding. Paying for hair and makeup, or giving a gift certificate for a post-event mani pedi are also appreciated. A high end bathrobe is a great gift for any gender.
Depending on how well they get along, experiences are another gift appreciated by attendants, even more so if the food, transportation and lodging are covered.
Thoughtful couples don’t necessarily need to make sure they have a dry wedding in case one of 200 guests has an alcohol addiction, but thoughtful couples do make sure that there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks at all events. Providing transportation back to the hotel, whether by a shuttle or a taxi service is a kind gesture that has the additional bonus of supporting their good life!
Include both parties
This should go without saying, but thoughtful couples should include both parties in their event planning. Just because one member of the couple cares more, doesn’t mean that they should be excluded from all the wedding planning. I speak from experience as I made some really dumb decisions by not allowing my fiancé a part in the planning process.
Thoughtful couples make sure to follow up with positive reviews for the vendors that made their wedding a success. Whether it’s for the officiant you hired, the caterer who served all that salmon without a hitch or a bartender extrordinaire, thoughtful brides make sure they all leave richer for the experience.
It’s not that hard to be a thoughtful couple – it just takes reimagining of the event as something that only celebrates you, to an event that delights and celebrates your guests. This change in mindset is one I wish I’d had!
(Well, there’s always time to plan our 20th wedding anniversary party, right?)