Guest Blog, Inspiration, Public Relations

Everything you need to know can be learned at a wedding

(Jas’ note: I’m thrilled to have Stephanie Florence offer a guest blog.  She’s currently working at JSH&A Public Relations in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. and writes a terrific blog of her own.  You can connect with her on Twitter @StephanieFlo. After a recent wedding, she was inspired to write this post.)

The rituals of a wedding vary based on tradition, religion and culture, but the general theme of coming together to celebrate a beginning remains constant.  This weekend I worked a wedding for a family friend – it was an evening filled with gestures of friendship, love and true happiness. It also proved that inspiration can arise from any situation, as long as you take the time to look. Raise a glass of bubbly and enjoy the life lessons straight from the source of all things good: the wedding reception.

Tell people how you feel – I watched as my friend Emily gave her maid of honor speech for her sister. Emily had the guests laughing out loud as she talked about their childhood and brought the room to tears when she discussed the woman her sister has become. Here’s the takeaway: you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to tell someone how you feel. People thrive from hearing positive affirmations and cherish the good things you have to share. This week pick up the phone, send an email or meet for coffee with someone you appreciate, and make sure they know it.

Capture the experience – The bride and groom set up a photo booth. Someone recorded the best man and maid of honor speeches. Guests signed a book with thoughts for the new couple. There were photos being snapped all night. These photos and messages will be looked at for years to come and bring back the memories of this celebration.

Dance like no one’s watching – Guests definitely shook their groove things and for good reason. You have the most fun when you put everything aside and live in the moment. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, throw on some tunes and let your feet do the work.

You can’t plan everything – There are times when it all does not go exactly as planned. Rather than let this interfere with the situation look at the surprises as a way to add to the overall experience. Sometimes the best decisions are made on the fly.

I only listed four life lessons – what else can be gained from a wedding?  For the married folks out there, what important lessons did you find during your big day?

14 thoughts on “Everything you need to know can be learned at a wedding”

    1. I’m glad to hear we we’re on the same page with wedding observations. As a guest I’ve always just attended to enjoy, but from the eyes of a worker there is SO much more to consider. Thanks Rachel!

  1. I like this post, Stephanie! Our wedding ended up being a very small affair (about 18 people), but I think it’s safe to say no one else was ever married at that precise spot on the Brooklyn Promenade, overlooking the one of a kind New York Skyline. I can’t tell you the number of bridal magazines I had pored over in my life, and although I was disappointed not to have ALL of the trappings, I had what mattered most: my husband to be, two sets of parents, close friends to share the joy, and a place that I will always love.

    As far as lessons, there is business I should have taken care of before that day. I wrote about that here:

    Wishing your friends a lifetime of happiness!

    1. Paula – I love your post! I felt like I was reading a movie script and it was fitting to include a reference to “When Harry Met Sally.” Your wedding location sounds perfect, thanks for sharing your special place : )

  2. I love this post! I was in my best friend’s wedding in January and after that experience, I agree with all of these lessons, mostly the “Dance like no one’s watching.” Out of all the photographs she had taken (all 800 of them!), the ones that really captured the weekend were the ones of the wedding party and guests dancing and having a good time. The pictures of my friend and her new husband dancing together, laughing together, really capture their relationship…more so than any posed picture taken before the ceremony.

    And with all of this picture talk, I agree with your point about “capturing the moment” 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t take as many pictures as I’d like because I was in the bridal party! My friends took great ones and the photographers shots are beautiful, so I have those to look back on.

    Thanks again for such a great post!


    1. Thanks for sharing, Christa! Regardless of the number of actual pictures you have I think we both can agree you won’t forget how happy the bride and groom were throughout the day and as a result how grateful the guests were to be a part of the experience.

  3. Love this post Stephanie! Perhaps one of the most important lessons I learned from my own (amazing!) special day, applies to social media– It is absolutely possible to behave in a manner that is appropriate in front of your grandmother, colleagues, college friends, high school friends, and even the friends of your soon to be mother-in-law! Not only possible, but fun. Knowing that any of those people could be standing next to me, I was on my “best” behavior… and by best I don’t mean prim or cautious, I simply mean best.

    1. Nothing but class coming from you, Valerie. I’m glad you brought social media into this. I loved the picture my friend took on her phone of her sister before the ceremony and posted to Facebook. Professionals or amateurs don’t matter as long as photos are taken. I appreciate you chiming in!

  4. Great seeing everyday ideas with a fresh perspective. Basic principles such as honesty, good communication skills and flexibility seem so simple in this post, and although I haven’t had a wedding myself, it really sparks something in people that just isn’t tangible. I liked what Valerie said, too, about being able to behave in a way that suits everyone, which is how you should conduct yourself in social media and your professional life. But the first step is stop worrying about every little thing and you’ll be much, much happier – like the people in the wedding Stephanie described. Fabulous ideas, and great post!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sara! Sometimes it’s the simple topics in life that lead to the most thought-provoking conversations. I agree with you in how I was surprised to what the event sparked in me (as a wedding feels so far in the future for me). I appreciate your thoughts!

  5. Good post Steph, I’m single but I have a lot of friends who already married and they say: “The best part after” here’s the challenge of work to keep these greats moments alive.
    Even I’m single I think like you mentioned:”you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to tell someone how you feel”. My theory is: “Appreciates and takes every opportunity to show what you feel, don’t give a chance to regret for what you did not. It makes sense?. Is like: “Do Something So You Won’t Regret Later”, sorry for my English! Regards!

    1. Beatriz – I’m glad you could connect with the idea of letting people know how you feel, regardless of time or reason. The time is always now! I hope you checked in with a lot of important people in your life this week. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Thanks again to Stephanie for this great post!
    To this day, my wife and I still get people telling us how much they enjoyed our wedding. We had just over 100 people and was black tie. One of the things I took from the comments and the day/night, was that when you do something right, people will remember it forever.
    Also, our wedding was very well planned… and like any good PR campaign, you need a plan. I like to think we built a good campaign. To top it all off, I married the woman of my dreams.

    1. Spoken like a true PR pro, Jason – I love how you called your wedding a good campaign, I’m sure that will be my approach one day. It’s great to hear you found the woman of your dreams to be the final piece to this puzzle.

      Thank you for the opportunity to guest blog. I loved being able to reach a new audience and connect further with readers. Once new things at my blog are in place the first guest post is yours : )

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