If you're okay with sharing the spotlight, you help a loved one pull off something pretty incredible.

By Lauren Katims
December 23, 2020
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There's a reason YouTube videos of proposals during someone else's wedding often go viral—it's a polarizing topic. Some argue it's egregious to take the attention off the bride and groom, while others see at it as more reason to celebrate while surrounded by friends and family. Simply put, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging your parents' anniversary, a grandmother's birthday, or a best friend's proposal during your reception, wedding planners agree, so long as the bride and groom are happy to share the spotlight. In fact, if you're excited about the plan, celebrating someone else's achievement during your wedding reception can be sweet, short, and greatly appreciated.

Here, wedding planners give tips on incorporating someone else's big news into your big day.

Make sure your wedding planner knows what's going on.

You've been working with your bridesmaid's boyfriend to come up with a proposal plan that'll take place just before your reception. You're excited to celebrate this big news in some capacity during your own party, especially after all she's done to help you in the months leading up to your wedding. Keep your secret from everyone—except the wedding planner. "There's nothing worse than a planner being surprised," says Jordan Flowers of Emily Jordan Events. "Planners want to be ready for it and have everyone ready for it."

The wedding planner can help you with the entire operation, including ensuring the photographer is ready to capture photos of the moment and that the band knows when to change up the music, so the attention moves back to the dance floor and the newlywed couple.

Time it right.

An ideal time to plan for an announcement is before the dancing and celebrating begins, says Tiffanie Elliot, owner of Elliott Events. Whatever you, don't stop the party to make the announcement, says Elliott, who suggests planning it for a quieter time, such as after the first dance when everyone is attentive. After the announcement, the focus can quickly be shifted back to the bride and groom by moving onto the next segment of the reception.

Be inclusive to all guests celebrating a milestone.

An anniversary dance is a great way to acknowledge a marriage achievement, says Flowers, while reaching a wider group of people who may have recently celebrated an anniversary. To give one couple special attention, play a meaningful song to them during the dance or have the DJ or band make a shout out. It will feel intimate to the couple, but doesn't exclude all other couples from joining them on the dance floor.

For a special birthday, for example, a great-grandmother hitting a milestone, lighting a candle on a smaller cake is a special touch.

Remember that it's perfectly fine to say no.

It's one thing for your maid of honor to get engaged, but if your second cousin's boyfriend who you've never met asks your permission, it's perfectly fine to say no, says Elliott. Ultimately, it's your day, so don't feel guilty vetoing a request that makes you uncomfortable.

Be ready to handle the unexpected.

Oftentimes, the news of a pregnancy spreads through the wedding unintentionally, your friends get engaged the night before the ceremony, or a couple has a dramatic break up. While you may not have wanted these announcements to be highlighted at your celebration, there's little you can do about it now. "Handle it with grace," says Flowers. Roll with it and don't add attention to the scene or let it ruin your night. Save sharing your feelings for after the wedding weekend, when you can sit down and discuss how upset you were by the events.

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