When we discuss wedding planning with our premarital couples, Eric often stresses, “Let people dote on you! Everyone wants to bless you during your wedding season – and especially your wedding day. You will never get special treatment like this again, so enjoy it!” Some days, I remember my wedding season with longing. How cool would it be to open piles of presents all while listening to tons of advice from sweet “old” married ladies? Your wedding season will be a special time and it is okay to soak up the attention and kindnesses!
Seven years ago today, two of our close friends took their wedding vows. In honor of their anniversary and the thousands of weddings taking place over the next few weeks, here are ten ways you can bless a bride or groom during their whirlwind wedding weekend!
- Run errands before the wedding! There is always one more loose end to tie. It is truly amazing how many details go into creating a dream wedding. Our wedding was fairly basic and yet there was still an army working behind the scenes to make it happen! (Thank you, everyone!) The day of the ceremony, we realized the music to our slideshow was not syncing correctly while playing on the church’s DVD player; so, my aunt darted across town to Walmart in search of the CD. It meant a lot to me that she was willing to jump into the chaos and help! And, my godmother perfected the art of being in three places at once – putting out fires everywhere! We were so blessed on our wedding day and we probably do not know half of the work, expense, and errand running people did for us.
- Create a last minute oops Bobby pins, hairspray, concealer, clear nail polish, tampons, soothing essential oils, tweezers, a small sewing kit, and other helpful items might just save the day if the bride runs into an issue just before the wedding begins. You may also keep a spare garter in your kit in case the groom forgets (or didn’t know he was supposed) to buy one. ~wink~
- Create a honeymoon care package. You can include snacks, candles, a book of romantic poems, or whatever strikes your fancy. ~smile~
- Provide man (and woman) power! Unless a crew is hired to care for all details, there is usually decorating and tearing down to be done. When someone gets married in our church, all the sound equipment is moved and it is quite the job getting everything set back up properly. Giving a few hours of your time to help set up decorations and tear them down would be a huge blessing to the bride and groom, and even more so to the family members responsible for clean-up!
- Put together a booklet of advice, quotes, and anecdotes. In lieu of a card, write them a book. You can make copies and pass them out at other weddings too if you would like. Nothing fancy – just a small booklet filled with helpful and insightful tips to start them on their way. A little money sprinkled throughout the pages would be a fun surprise too!
- Wait on them hand and foot at the reception. Eric got two bites of food at our reception… two! He still talks about it! ~smile~ He graciously waited on me, but then himself did not get a chance to eat in the rush and hustle. Tell the lovely couple to sit and enjoy each other’s company. Bring them food. Keep their glasses filled. Stay nearby in case they have any requests. This would be in situations where a paid waiter or waitress was not already working with them.
- Guard their car! When I was fourteen, I attended a wedding where the groom’s truck got completely trashed. He was furious! Decorating the outside of the car is only mildly annoying, but destroying the inside is going too far. Some people go too far (Eric protected our car by not giving out his car keys to anyone [and many asked!]). You can be an unsung hero simply by guarding the bride and groom’s vehicle. ~smile~
- Take pictures. Most brides and grooms have a professional photographer wandering around; but, a few excellent shots from you would be appreciated too! (As long as you do not get in the professional’s way. Be a background photographer!) Notice what the professional is shooting and look for different angles. Our photographer was on a four-hour contract, so we had to rush through the reception after the wedding. (It was kind of a bummer.) It would have been so nice if a guest had taken a few more shots at the end! Bonus: If you are an amazing videographer, offer to tape the wedding as your gift! We had two well-intentioned friends video ours and we never received either copy. We would have deeply appreciated someone videoing, editing, and giving us a copy of our wedding. It is a lot of work, but what a priceless memory! (Even without the editing, we would have loved it!)
- Run errands after the wedding. Turning in tuxedos, getting dresses dry cleaned, returning rentals, and stocking up their food pantry are grand ways to take the load off of a newlywed couple. Some of our friends drove my car from NC back to our house in VA, brought us our unopened wedding gifts, and made us lasagna to eat on the night we returned from our honeymoon! It was fabulous!
- Bless them on their first anniversary! By the first anniversary, couples have generally spent their wedding money and many newlyweds are on a tight budget. Instead of giving a large gift at the wedding, consider waiting until their first anniversary to mail them a card and a big check. If you are not rolling in twenty-dollar bills yourself, think of another way to be a blessing. Baking them a fresh, delectable anniversary cake? Making them dinner? Taking care of a need around their home? Throwing them an intimate anniversary party with a few friends?
These ideas are just for starters. Add as many as you can think of to the list! Put yourself in their shoes and imagine the help you will want at your wedding; or, if you are already married, think of the help you received and the help you wish you had received. Use that knowledge to be a wedding angel to your friends!
How could you best serve your friends at their wedding?