It is rare that I attend weddings as a guest. When I do, it is a challenge to go about the experience objectively. For better or worse this "wedding vendor" hat is securely affixed.
I recently attended a friend's wedding to find that I had nothing to do, so I took on the experience as an observer to find out what made my guest experience successful and what made it awkward.
After the ceremony, once guests arrived at the cocktail hour, drinks and light mingling seem to flow easily. This section of the wedding began to feel awkward to me as I noticed family members huddling close as did the various friend groupings. Other than the few who were brave enough to brake away and make an attempt to get to know the other groupings, it seems like an ice breaker would have been great in this situation-- something fun and silly from an MC/DJ host to connect the guest and break the tension.
This same semi-segregated atmosphere followed everyone to dinner. The assigned seating followed tradition, family with family, college friends with college friends. The seating chart for a reception can be a nightmare but I'm waiting for that 'pioneer' couple who say, "Let's mix things up and draw names out of a hat. First 10 names get table one!"
I know this sounds crazy and I am sure there is a better way to go about it. And, at the same time, I know you want your guests to be comfortable. It's only natural to veer towards the familiar, but there's the rest of the night to huddle in the security of our familiar groups. As I enjoyed my meal, talking to people I already knew well, I admit the security was safe and fun but couldn't help noticing the room full of strangers.
Ultimately, the dance floor was the game changer that was able to unite us all. Together we danced, we laughed, we cheered. Yet the question remains, how can this level of merriment be achieved sooner?
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Quiana L. Adams, Managing Editor
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