Originally Published: November 18, 2017 6 a.m.
Dear Annie: I recently attended a couple of weddings that left me baffled.
The custom of most weddings in the Midwest is for the wedding couple and their wedding party to hire a limo, party bus or some other method of transportation to take the whole group around to various bars after the wedding ceremony and before the reception, usually held at another establishment. The guests are free to go to the reception site, and usually some type of refreshment is offered.
At one particular wedding, the couple did not even greet their guests at the back of the church after the ceremony. They secluded themselves in another room and left their parents to greet and thank the guests for coming, and then they made their exit from the church with the usual fanfare and entered the party bus. It was more than two hours before they made an entrance at the reception. Meanwhile, the guests were left waiting for the couple to arrive before they were offered the reception meal. Some guests were elderly or had traveled a long distance and wanted to go home after the reception, so after two hours, they left without waiting for the couple.
Since another recent wedding, the bride has been selling unwanted wedding/shower gifts on the Facebook Marketplace forum. Are we wrong to feel that our gifts were not appreciated? Perhaps this is easier than returning unwanted items to the store, or maybe the couple only really wanted money, but with far-reaching social media, I am sure some guests are seeing their gifts being sold within a month of the wedding and before the thank-you cards are even sent.
I realize that the happy couple would like to celebrate with their friends, but shouldn’t consideration for their guests come first? At least make an appearance early at the reception so that the guests can enjoy that time, as well. And for goodness’ sake, have the grace to appreciate the time and effort guests have put into their gifts. -- Wedding Blues
Dear Wedding Blues: Selling wedding gifts on social media is tacky, plain and simple. I’d never heard of that before, and I hope to never hear of it again. Newlyweds, if you don’t want a gift, just return it.
As for the hourslong wait for the couple to make their entrance at the reception, I’ve noticed this trend. I believe it’s because photographers can take more photos now than ever, and photo shoots are elaborate, with multiple locations and every possible combination of wedding party members. I encourage anyone planning a wedding to take guests’ needs into account. If there is going to be significant lag between the ceremony and the reception, make sure guests have somewhere to socialize and something to eat.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Fume-Free,” who is concerned about her mother-in-law’s smoking around her new baby. My granddaughter is 13 years old. Fourteen years ago, when she was conceived, my son and daughter-in-law told my husband in no uncertain terms that the baby would not be entering our house if he continued to smoke. I told my husband that if that were the case, I would have to be living elsewhere. When my daughter-in-law was about seven months pregnant, he smoked his last pack of cigarettes.
Recently, he had a nine-hour operation in which his lung collapsed. The doctor told him that if he had still been a smoker, he would not have made it. He said the next day that he guessed Kayla had saved his life. So, “Fume-Free,” be stern, and make it about not only the baby but also future health issues. — Been There and Done That
Dear Been There: I am so glad your husband is OK. It sounds as if Kayla was a blessing in more ways than one.
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