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Today a light-hearted topic on the joy that is the ‘wedding guest’!
It seems that just the mention of the ‘W’ word can ignite some, well, what I can only describe as ‘down right bizarre behaviour’ amongst some friends and families. I have been to many a wedding as a guest and as a performer and witnessed it before my very eyes. I like to think that I behave myself remarkably well (most of the time!) when I am invited as a guest to a wedding. And when I planned my own wedding I tried to put my ‘wedding guest hat’ on and give much attention to detail, thought and consideration about the guests, hoping to avoid any reasons for this behaviour to present itself.
Image source: Pinterest
I constantly hear from friends, colleagues and clients already wed or getting married about the uncharacteristic behaviour of some friends and relatives that seem to present itself around weddings – the run up, during and after the event!
There is an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) presupposition that I teach that states – ‘people are not their behaviour’. Which makes perfect sense. Just think about it in these terms: You are peacefully driving along in your car singing along to some Whitney Houston, until someone is completely discourteous, cuts you up and causes a near mishap – resulting in what I can only describe as completely irrational childish explosion of temper followed by a stream of profanities being launched out of your mouth, so much so you may temporarily lose your religion…. aka: road rage!
Now this behaviour does not define or represent the true calm pleasant balanced and well-rounded human being that you normally are. It is simply an effect / reaction to a situation. The same can be said for wedding guests – as most people have reported that the people they know so well suddenly behave in a way that is so unlike them.
So what is it about weddings that evoke some of this seemingly strange behaviour? What is it that brings some of these uncharacteristic traits to the forefront? Joy? Abandonment? Attention seeking? Anxiety? Envy? Jealousy? Insecurity? Boredom? All of the above?
I am going to have a little fun with this and here are some of the different types of guests I have conjured up and witnessed in my time:
Image copyright: David H Photography
The honoured is the type of guest that everyone wants at their wedding, the type of guest that doesn’t ‘expect’ an invitation, who is gracious, grateful, humbled and truly honoured to be a part of your special day in whatever capacity.
Viva La Wedding
I love these types of guests – very excited and enthusiastic about your impending wedding and wanting to hear regular updates about the planning details and living vicariously through you and doing the countdown with you, perhaps secretly hoping that their enthusiasm will prompt you into asking them to be part of your wedding party.
For want of a better word, this type of guest is those that suddenly feel it is their right to
steal take floral arrangements / decorations (anything that isn’t nailed down) from the venue and take them home with them as a ‘souvenir’ of your day. Now Aunt Uptomischief was normally a credible, logical and well-rounded individual who respects and follows the law and suddenly in the bubble of a wedding now a thief?! What the heck happened there? Now this is not a rare occasion, many friends have reported these on-goings at their own weddings. Things taken that were hired, which left the bride and groom having to foot the bill for items that were missing or embarrassingly having to contact the suspected culprits to ask them to return the item to the venue. Tut tut.
The Riff Raff
Now you know what type of guest I am referring to. ( I can hear you all giggling). There is always at least one at every wedding! The one who is your long-lost friends new husband, the one who is your cousins new catch, the one who was born into the family that everyone tries to avoid, the one who was married into your family. HAHA! The one that means well but is just a little bit…well…uncouth! Wears flamboyant clothes or Jeans, has outrageous social or political views, or simply has no views at all and just grunts. The one with consistently unpredictable behaviour and mood swings, the one that is a little bit socially awkward and as a result becomes very friendly with the bar and often strikes up either the dryest conversations known to man, about the different fibres that are found in socks or the most inappropriate sex-led conversations known to man. The one that inappropriately does ‘the bogle’ and the ‘dutty wine’ (if you are unfamiliar with these dance moves – google it!) with an elder on the dance floor and just causes general discomfort and high levels of anxiety for the hosts and guests.
The guest you don’t really want to invite, but do so out of obligation and the guest that doesn’t really want to attend but attends out of obligation!
The One Who Takes it Personally
The guest who is not asked to be part of the wedding clan and takes it as a personal insult resulting in child-like tantrums, sulking, uncharacteristically ignoring phone calls and text messages, deleting you from Facebook and eventually declining the wedding invite and spelling the end of what was before a long-term robust relationship.
The One Plus One = Too Many
This type of guest is the one who you send an invite addressed to them and only them and continually asks if they can bring a random friend with them or worse still, just turns up with random friend(s) in tow.
The Food Critic
The guest that suddenly morphs into a Michelin standard food critic . Scrutinising every detail of the menu, swishing the glass of wine around their mouth like a wine connoisseur and commenting on the food portion, presentation and seasoning, fluffiness of the potatoes, texture of the chicken to the very last detail, so much so that by the time they actually tuck into it, the food is stone cold and they critique that too!
The Eat as Much as you Liker
Now this guest always astounds me.
Normally on any other occasion their portion control would be modest and their need to feed their hunger exists at a normal reasonable level. Then strikes the wedding day and this guest morphs into a never-ending pit. Going up for seconds and thirds for the buffet, polishing off the bit of meat or veggies that the guest beside them for whatever reason, did not eat. Did I mention that the guest beside them is a complete and utter stranger? Can’t imagine that they would eat food off of a stranger’s plate in any other establishment ….but the ‘W’ word sets them off into a food frenzy.
The Attachment Theory Guest
Now these types of guests are usually ones with kiddies. If a couple have articulated on their invitation that unfortunately children will not be able to attend, this seems pretty clear to most. But not to the attachment theory guest, the idea of spending a night out without the kiddies sends them into a frenzy. They then try, again out of character; to beg and bribe the couple by offering to pay so that their children can be in attendance, following on by showing their disgust and annoyance at the fact that they will have to arrange childcare or ‘threaten’ not to attend at all if the invitation cannot be extended to their children. Very kind gesture to offer to pay, but of course down to the couples preference if they want to have children present at their wedding or not without feeling pressured, bribed or threatened. Take advantage.
The one (whether consciously or not), who tries to upstage the bride and party with their spectacular outfit that every guest talks about for years to come. Could also be the one already married who tries to compare every little aspect of your wedding to theirs!
Image source: Daily Mail
The guest that pretty much has a face like wet lettuce the entire day and moans from the offset about the inconvenience that your wedding is putting upon them. The inconvenience of travel, the financial inconvenience, the food, the cake, the weather, the music, the dress, the church, the ceremony. In fact, inviting them to share in your special day with you is just a complete and utter inconvenience.
A little bit like the enthusiast but one who whips out the photo albums and one who is keen to share all of their learnings with you about when they got married and planned their own wedding. When we got married we did this, when we got married we did that, make sure you avoid doing this.
(Often comes in the form of the Best Man. LOL!) the guest who questions why you are even getting married and bothering with a ‘piece of paper’ to define your relationship. The one who tries to convince the couple that being free and not ‘tied down’ is the best way forward and does their best in the run up to the wedding to relay this information to them.
The Triumphant One
I love this type of guest! The one who has a grin on their face from start to finish, who goes through the journey with you and shares in your tears and joy throughout the day. The one who makes the effort to talk to guests on both sides of the family and makes single guests feel welcome. The one who cries and sings the loudest during the ceremony (whether in tune or not) and the one who cannot be removed from the dance floor!
Viva La Wedding
Just a little bit of fun for you all and of course this list is not exhaustive! LOL! What is the reason why some friends and family behave uncharacteristically around weddings? I have no idea. Human beings are delightfully strange!
Have you had any bizarre or amusing experiences with wedding guests and their behaviour ? Which type of guest are you? I would love to hear some of your stories, so do leave a comment!