Look Who's Coming to Celebrate: How to Be a Great Wedding Guest
Photo: Thinkstock/Maria Teijeiro
How to choose the perfect wedding gift
Do not think of the gift tradition as a quid pro quo transaction, a hunk of silver or a heavy kitchen appliance traded for multiple trips to the buffet, several glasses of champagne and dancing until your feet hurt. If budget is bugging you and you're considering skipping the event to avoid skimping, rethink your intentions and offer your expertise in lieu of a traditional gift. Tech-savvy? Offer to keep the couple's wedding website updated with information, photos and videos. Extraordinary kitchen skills? Make their favorite childhood treats to serve at their shower or engagement party.
Also, giving something from the registry may sound impersonal, but at least you know it's stuff they actually want. Put your personal stamp on it with simple tweaks, like a panini grill given with your favorite gourmet grilled cheese recipe. Or wine glasses given with a bottle of wine from the year you met. Or, go in with a group to by a big-ticket item and fill a mini paper photo album with snaps of each of the participants as the card.
How to be the life of the party
Photo: Thinkstock/David De Lossy
There's a secret to being a great guest, and it's simple: Always bring your best self to the party. In other words, take this opportunity to check your troubles at the door. Work, relationships, financial troubles—toss 'em out the window for a few hours. Make it your mission to get the party rolling. Burst into the room with a twinkle in your eye and ignite the fun fuse.
Put romance on the menu
If you're flying solo, remember that even if you arrive alone, you need not remain alone. This is an opportunity, a potentially life-changing-for-the-better opportunity—seize it! Steal a flower from a centerpiece and wear it in your hair (or your lapel), or present it with great pomp to someone who looks fun. Hit the singles' table with a bucket of optimism. Be open to the possibility of surprise in the form of an interesting stranger or even an old friend. Okay, you might not meet The One (cue the trumpets), but you never know until you do, and that's certainly worth rolling the dice.
Be camera-ready with these tips
- No one takes great photos straight on. Figure out which is your best side.
- Turn 3/4 to the camera with your best side facing the camera.
- Slightly lower your chin and raise your eyes.
- Avoid multiple cameras taking the same shot (they all won't catch your best side).
The most important advice is to summon joyful emotional energy and throw it at the camera. This makes a huge difference; Angela calls it "flirting with the camera." Since the eyes of the individual taking the photo are hidden by the camera, you have nothing to connect with—most of us pull back and the camera catches us in that state. Imagine that you are sending forward an unspoken happy message with your eyes, and really, the camera will catch it! Try it, you'll see.
Now you all you have to do is make sure the happy couple have the greatest night of their lives!
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