From the Editor

However you choose to show your guests appreciation, they will be grateful.

My husband, Lance, and I attended a wedding this past November in New Hampshire at a golf club that reminded me of Farm Neck in Oak Bluffs. The couple – the groom has been my friend since childhood – exchanged vows in a ceremony outside, followed by a cocktail hour and reception in the adjacent building.

It was a nice change of pace to be on the guest side of the celebration. In the past decade I’ve been a bridesmaid in five weddings. (Technically, six if you count when I was the maid of honor in my brother and sister in law’s mini Covid wedding, followed by a bigger ceremony and reception the following year.) Then I had my own wedding. And come January 2025, I’ll be a bridesmaid again.

It’s so special to be standing up there next to people you care for, celebrating  their love. And I’ve enjoyed and cherished every bridal party I’ve been a part of.

But attending as a guest was a whole different experience.

I didn’t have to get up early to get my hair and makeup done. I didn’t have a speech to prepare. I didn’t have to skip cocktail hour to take photographs.

Instead, I could mingle with fellow guests, enjoy the food, and grab a signature drink. I laughed and clapped along with everyone as the wedding party made their entrance dancing to “KernKraft 400” (the song the Boston Bruins play when they score a goal at TD Garden). I took a photo with the group of Vineyarders who made the trip – a silhouette of the couple’s dog formed the backdrop. I spent so much time on the dance floor that I forgot to sign the guestbook.

As Lance and I drove back to our rental, we talked about the highlights of the night, and the thoughtful elements the couple included to enhance their guests’ experience. We loved the blankets and hand-warmers given out at the ceremony to keep us warm. The notes at every place setting thanking everyone for traveling near and far to be with them on their special day. And the favors, which were ornaments hung on a Christmas tree.

Weddings are, of course, about the pair getting married. But many couples take that extra step to add a little something special to thank their guests for being there. Sophia Tabrizy and Andrew Wellman, who are featured in this issue, held their ceremony outside in December, so they gave their guests custom blankets and hot apple cider to keep warm. Each place setting at the reception included a personalized note for the attendee. Their wedding can be found here.

Jake Tucker and James Barton-Souza made sure their guests, who were traveling from all over the country, had accessible lodging – so they wouldn’t have to break the bank to be there – and transportation to get around the Island. Read their story here.

Couples often say thank you in the form of favors at the end of the night. Potter Jessica Kovack of JK Design Company crafts items such as ring dishes, mugs, wine glasses, and more that can serve as gifts. She can even add a couples’ name and wedding date to make it more personal. You can read about her art here.

Just know that not every gesture needs to be grand. Many couples take the time during dinner to walk around to each table, say hello, and offer their thanks that way.

However you choose to show your appreciation, your guests will be grateful.