The Don’ts and Details of Guest Etiquette

It’s been a while since I have last blogged, and I am going to be totally honest. It’s because I’ve been very busy with events. Wedding season and spring events have certainly picked up the last couple of weeks!

And by doing so, this weekend alone I had the pleasure of connecting with more than 600 guests at various events I helped to plan. Guests included everyone from dapper men in ROTC uniforms and ladies in evening gowns to family and friends attending a Sunday brunch reception. There are a few things I noticed over the course of these events that always seemed to be common sense to me, but I thought it would nice to share a few gentle reminders since I get to see everything from the behind-the-scenes point of view.

phone-958066_1280#weddingsocialmedia
I’m sure the bride and groom are super pumped about you using their wedding hashtag to brag about your totally awesome time you are having at cocktail hour before they arrive, but if you show pictures of the reception room before the bride and groom even get to see it themselves, you can ruin the anticipation of seeing all their hard work come together. And as vendors you absolutely deserve to show off your delicately constructed cake or handwritten custom menus, but make sure to not do so until after the wedding has taken place. You never know what a sneak peek will do, especially if there are any surprises involved!

kitchen-731351_1280Know your boundaries.
If you have so graciously volunteered your time to help pull together and decorate a reception space, you are absolutely an important part of the wedding. However, note the type of venue you are at. If the venue is simply just an event space, and you have to hire and bring in everything from the service staff to dishes for the tables, chances are you can help yourself to the kitchen without any issues. But if the reception is happening at a place, such as a hotel, country club or restaurant, make sure you are respecting the staff and their space. If the kitchen says “Employees Only,” that really means employees only. The kitchen is the chef’s domain. By entering into the kitchen you are not only encroaching on the chef’s creative space, but you are also opening yourself up to health code violations and accidents. What if the floor is wet in the kitchen and you aren’t wearing the proper shoes and suddenly you end up hurt on the floor? You wouldn’t just let yourself into someone’s office who had the door closed would you? Make sure to ask the front of house staff if you are in need of something back in the kitchen.

steak-978667_1280Feeding the masses.
When you are at a restaurant dining with friends and family, it is completely acceptable to customize and modify your meal. At a large banquet or during a plated meal, keep your requests to a minimum. Allergy and dietary restrictions are one thing, but to ask a server for “light sauce” when they are in the process of serving 250 guests a plated meal only creates a back up in the process. Venue staff does their absolute best to accommodate special requests, but by having to take your plate back to the kitchen and send out a new one, the flow of the food running and expoing gets disrupted. And that could mean making other guests wait even longer for their food. On a side note, if you do have an allergy or dietary restriction, I suggest noting it on your RSVP card or calling the venue ahead of time to make special arrangements in advance.

corridor-495262_1280Beware of your surroundings.
Lots of event venue spaces are meant solely for celebrating and enjoying the space as party guests, but there are plenty of venues that are multi-purpose. If you attend an intimate outdoor wedding in a public park, you can’t complain about the dog running around because after all, it is a public location. Or if you’re at a country club, don’t be yelling things from the patio to the bridal party who is taking photos because there are probably golfers around trying to focus on a round of golf. And if you’re at a hotel, keep in mind there are community spaces and there are spaces for the guests of the hotel. Don’t let your children run up and down the hallways of rooms for entertainment because there are probably guests of the hotel in those rooms trying to relax in peace and quiet.

Now do you see what I mean by common sense? All of these instances were issues myself and our staff ran into this weekend. Obviously none of these caused any major issues, but it is important to think about a few of these actions before proceeding. And if you’ve never been on the other side of any of these situations, I hope I shed a little bit of light on situations you might be exposed to.

Happy celebrating!

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