Dear Annie

Dear Annie: In the past few years, I have learned to hate weddings. The ceremony is at an early hour, and then there is a long delay before the reception begins. What are guests supposed to do between those times, especially those who have traveled a great distance? I was at one wedding where the cocktail hour seemed to go on forever, and then the receiving line was formed as we were finally going in to dinner. There were about 300 guests, so you can imagine how long that took.

There were several dinner courses, and the dance music played at an incredible volume throughout. It was impossible to converse with one’s dinner companions.

When my daughter was getting married, we arranged that the formal photographs were taken before guests arrived. The ceremony started on time. The reception followed immediately after. The cocktail hour was just that — one hour. The meal was served promptly. And the dinner music was quiet. The dance music started only after dessert had been served, and guests had the option of taking their dessert and coffee in a lounge adjacent to the main hall, in the event that they weren’t interested in the dancing and loud music.

I’m sharing this story in the hope that others will be inspired. Let’s bring back a time when brides and bridegrooms actually considered the needs and comfort of their guests.

— Mother of the Bride

Dear Mother of the Bride: As long as the couple don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, taking photographs then is a great way to save everyone time and ensure the dance floor is full of happy guests later on.

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