Now, for most of you reading this, it’s likely that you are the HOST of a party (most likely the party in question is your wedding) so, this post may not apply to you, specifically, BUT, if you may find it amusing/relevant to some of your guests… AND you may find yourself posting this to your Facebook wall in the hopes that the offending friend happens to see it, read it, and correct his or herself.
The truth is that for every major fete that gets planned, there is at least ONE guest who receives the invitation and, on the turn of a dime, morphs from being your friend or relative that you wanted to include in celebration to a guest from hell. It’s possible that this bad guest might be you! In case you weren’t sure what constituted good or bad guest behavior, we at the AAB offices developed a quick quiz to help you diagnose and correct your behavoir. Sadly each and EVERY case here has happened in real life.
1. You receive a Save the Date for an old friend’s wedding. You immediately:
a) Mark the date in your calendar, book your plane ticket and reserve your hotel room.
b) Put it up on your fridge with the other ones.
c) Call your mutual friends to see if they also got it and bitch, collectively about how much these weddings always end up costing and the only kind of travel you ever seem to do anymore is to go to weddings.
d) Email the bride or groom with a list of questions about who else you know might be coming, if they might know of cheaper hotels than the ones suggested, if you are invited with a guest because it didn’t specify if you were or not.
2. You and your spouse receive an invitation in the mail addressed only to you and making no mention of your very adorable young daughter. You:
a) Immediately start calling your parents/ baby-sitter of choice to see if you have childcare available before you RSVP.
b) Call / Email the bride to see if they have a baby-sitting service that they can recommend or that the hotel recommends.
c) You call/ email the bride to say that you aren’t sure if you are going to be able to come or not because it didn’t seem like your adorable daughter was invited and you aren’t sure if you can arrange childcare. You are doing your best, but you will have to let them know at the last minute if you can actually make it.. The entire call is in the hopes that they r hopefully break down and just tell you to bring her.
d) Begin shopping for adorable dresses for adorable daughter to wear to the party and emailing bride to tell her about your daughter’s peanut and gluten allergies. They must recognize how ridiculous it is to invite people who have children to parties and then expect them to not bring them, so CLEARLY it was an oversight that your child’s name wasn’t on the invite.
You get invited to a destination wedding, with an invitation that directs you to a very robust website filled with travel recommendations, accommodation info, a guest book and a detailed itinerary of the weekend. You:
a) book your flight and hotel. You email some of the other guests that you see are invited to see if you can share a rental car. You LOVE destination weddings!
b) Realize that the dates/ cost aren’t in your budget and send your regrets promptly along with a gift from the registry.
c) Email the couple with questions easily answered on the website. Post travel advisories to the area on the guestbook. Email the couple to find out who else is coming that you would know and can they help you get from the airport to the resort.
d) Email the couple and tell them that because of the expense of the location you chose, you aren’t sure yet if you can afford to join them. You want to, but you are going to have to let them know really last minute, and you hope that will be okay. Then you never actually tell them one way or the other.
You are on your way to a wedding that has an invitation time of 6PM. You:
a) Arrive at about 10 of 6, you never know if these things will start on time. You arrive alone as you are single and not dating anyone in particular and weren’t invited with guest. You wear a lovely jewel tone cocktail dress. You enjoy the ceremony, chit chat at cocktail hour, dance when it’s time to dance and tell the couple how pretty the room looked and what a beautiful wedding it was.
b) You arrive at 6:15, a little nervous that you are late. It was hard making your way on the train with the GIGANTIC panini press you saw on sale at Williams Sonoma earlier that day, which wasn’t on their registry, but WHO doesn’t love Panini? You are so stressed out that there will be no single guys to dance with that you zone out for the whole ceremony. You drink too much at cocktail hour, but meet very cute guy sitting at your table. You end the night dirty dancing on the dancefloor before you leave in a taxi without saying anything to the bride or groom. Crap! But you text them to tell them how much fun you had and you hope they like Panini.
c) You arrive at 6:30 because your date was late. You weren’t invited with a date, you realize this, but you are sure that your friend will understand especially when you tell her that he is the love of your life. You are hoping that you can quietly find him a seat at the table without calling to much attention to yourself. Your stress about this causes you to zone out for the better part of the ceremony, BUT you find the wedding planner during cocktails and resolve the extra guest issue without too much of a scene. The reception is awesome, though you drink too much worrying that you might never get married yourself and your date has to take you home early. You did kiss the bride before you left to tell her how beautiful she looks.
d) You arrive at 6:45 because your uninvited date dropped something on your white dress and it took you a minute to clean the mark off yourself before you head out. You are shocked when you get there and the ceremony already has started and so you exclaim “But the ceremony NEVER starts on time!” I don’t know that I need to get into the rest of the night except to say that you found the band too loud and the room too cold and told EVERYONE and you decided to move your table to sit with your friends.
If you had mainly A’s. You are a model wedding guest and friend. You should hire yourself out.
If you had mainly B’s, you are a normal person and a wedding guest. You are probably better than average, you know that this event isn’t about you, and you try and be gracious and polite when push comes to shove.
If you had mainly C’s.. you were raised better than your guest behavior. You are subtly aware that you are making the event about yourself with your bad behavior, but you can’t stop yourself.
If you had mainly D’s.. you should hug people for still inviting you anywhere. Talk less, listen more and remember, you aren’t the star of every constellation. (That’s real talk.)