top of page
  • Alexis Alvarez

An Open Letter to Wedding Guests

How to plan a Chicago Wedding by Chicago Wedding Planner
Photo by: Sean Cook Weddings

Dear Wedding Guests,

The last few weeks I've been tackling my grievances with the wedding industry. I started with the industry itself in our tendency to push feelings of lack & not-enough-ness on couples that can't afford or don't want to spend their life's savings on their wedding. Then I talked to engaged couples about the sense of entitlement that sometimes settles in the hearts of couples planning their wedding, and last week I talked to the parents of engaged couples about some of the BS stunts I'm seeing them pull. Well, wedding guests, pull up a seat, cus this week we're talking to you. Wedding guests can be some of the most fun people to be around on the wedding day, but some of you need to hear some candid opinions of your look, cus it's not cute.

Let's start with the invitation process. A few things my couples and I are BONE TIRED of dealing with.

"Can I bring so and so?" Let me demystify wedding invitations for you. Is the invitation addressed to you and so and so? Is the invitation addressed to you and guests? Is the invitation addressed to the You Family? If the answer to these questions are all no, then your answer is no. & you have no right to throw a shit fit because your girlfriend of six weeks was not invited to your 2nd cousins wedding. My couples spend an average of $250-$350 per guest on their weddings (sometimes more), so no, so and so is not invited.

"What do you mean, its an adult only reception?" Okay, so let me start with my empathy here. I have a 2 and 3 year old and if I were invited to a family event that was adults only, I would sadly probably have to decline the invitation because anyone who would be able to watch them overnight would be the event. It sucks, I know. But let's be real since I am a mom of 2 preschool age kids... kids are wild cards and often RUIN EVERYTHING! It's not their fault, but they get bored, curious, overstimulated, tired... and they just lose it. So either one of 2 things is going to happen: either you're not going to be able to unwind and have any fun or worse, you're going to anyway and no one is going to be parenting your child. They'll get in the way of the caterer, knock over a speaker, or get into an area of the venue they're not supposed to be. Some of my couples can't imagine their day without this mess and some want no part of it. That is their choice and yours is to either hire a sitter or politely send your regrets.

*Texts bride or groom or mother on wedding day* "Can you send me the address? & what time does the ceremony start?" Guys. This is a real thing. I'm actually laughing and rolling my eyes as I type this because I cannot for the life of me wrap my mind around this but literally every single wedding we have at least one person texting - I KID YOU NOT - the couple or their parents questions about logistics. First thing, DO NOT text a bride, groom, or their parents on the wedding day. Period. If you're in the hospital dying, tell them tomorrow. I'm serious. They only get one chance and this & a it burns a fiery rage in me that people have the audacity take that away from them... but I digress... Here are places you can find the answers to these asinine questions long before the wedding day:

1. The Invitation

2. The Wedding Website

If you're prone to losing shit (*raises hand*) take a damn picture of it with that phone that never leaves your side, but for the love of everything good in this world, PLEASE be an adult and keep track of your shit and stop bothering (yes, I'll say it for them, you are a BOTHER) my couples and their families with questions they spent good money to communicate to you.

Ok, now let's talk about the wedding day.

Stop getting in the way of the professional Photographer and Videographer that the couple spent thousands of dollars to capture their wedding day. You will ruin important photos & video shots that cannot be edited. You'll just forever be walking in the frame in the back of the processional. Annoying. On the same note, STOP STICKING YOUR PHONE OUT INTO THE AISLE DURING THE CEREMONY. If you want copies of the professional photos later, just ask, but my bet, all you wanted to do was post the photo on IG/FB and you'll never look at it again, unlike my couple who won't get a photo of their first kiss because you felt the need to get a photo for your story.

Stop complaining about everything. I've already told couples that it is not just their day and that I know you've taken time off of work, traveled, bought a new outfit, possibly hired a babysitter, and likely bought a gift to be here and they need to be considerate of that and put a focus on their guests' experience when planning, however, the bitching about the weather, the food, the music, the timeline, the fact that your table is being called last for the buffet... just stop. It's supposed to be a nice day & you're spending the whole thing bitching.

Stop drinking too much and being rude to the wedding pros. The number of guests I've had to scold for screaming belligerently at the DJ when the reception ends and he turns the music off is ridiculous. And the number of times I've witnessed one of my assistants or a bartender/server being asked to go up to a guests room with them - I mean - really?

Alright wedding guests, I know I've gone in on you quite a bit and I know it's not most of you, but these issues come up enough that I really felt like we needed to address them. Our team and couples love planning a fun & gorgeous day for you to experience, so let's see if we can show some better manners during the process.

With Love,

Alexis Alvarez


bottom of page