When planning a wedding most consult a wide range of experts on everything from the wedding invitations to the bridal gown and floral designs, all of which focus on the spectacular event that is the wedding day. But after the careful planning and preparation that goes into each and every detail of a wedding has been reviewed with precision there is still something of utmost importance that must be paid attention to and that is of being the cordial bride.

Have you ever witnessed a bride behaving in a way that was less than cordial? Maybe she was bossy and controlling or completely stressed out and worried, or what about bride at war with her family or in-laws where you could feel the tension so thick you could cut it with a knife? For most, witnessing one of these bridezillas, makes us pretty uncomfortable.

So let’s define for a moment what the cordial bride is not. Contrary to popular thought, although this is her big day, she is not self-centered, antagonistic, discourteous, brazen or brash. She is not exclusive, private or restricted. She is not cold, withholding or selfish. She is not flashy or boastful.

Now on the other end of the spectrum, let’s explore how the cordial bride should be. She should be friendly, sociable, warm, generous and inclusive. She is inviting, charming, gracious, & poised. She is well-mannered, kind, courteous, genuine and happy. She is classy, elegant and tasteful.

From the moment two people become engaged they embark on a road of endless meetings and exchanges. How the bride-to-be handles herself from that first meeting with her prospective in-laws, through the countless hours and months of wedding planning, and the multitude of parties and showers thrown in her honor, will determine the future and success of her marriage and partnership with her mate as well as her newly expanded family.

The cordial bride thinks of this occasion, not only as a fantastic celebration of the love between she and her significant other, but also the responsibility she has to herself and to the family and friends around her who have helped prepare her for this special day. She does not regard herself as the center of attention on her big day, but seizes the opportunity to replace self-centeredness with graciousness, sincerity and charm. These core values will only enhance the beautiful makeup, hair and style the bride has chosen and will determine her ability to truly shine. Her attitude, her interactions and her behavior are what will always be remembered and reflected upon.

Here are 5 ways to embody the cordial bride and shine on your wedding day.

1. Pay attention to attitude and bridal glow. To truly be beautiful a bride must be poised and relaxed and most of all be happy and look forward to the special day, this shows through by means of the so called bridal glow which comes from within. Allow the day to flow as you had planned & anticipate the unexpected for things will happen, how you react is what will make the difference.

2. Make a grand entrance. Poise and posture. Stand tall, and stop. Think of projecting a radiant laser beam of light to all corners of the room. Smile and soak up the warmth in the room, watch how people stop speaking and take notice. Then you walk gracefully into the room to greet your friends and invited guests. When you walk – do so with proper posture and elegance and take more time with your walk – on this day you need not rush.

3. Meet and greet your guests. Review smile, demonstrate hand shake, eye contact and name repetition. (A) Receiving your guests in the receiving line. When greeting your guests be sincere with everyone that means, you need to think less about yourself and be more attentive to that person you are shaking hands with at that moment! Direct eye contact with a smile, be gracious and kind. They will remember you for this! (B) Take the time to visit each table and thank your guests for coming. Oftentimes, the bride (and groom) are thinking only of themselves and do not take the time to greet each of those who have attended. At the wedding, the guests will always feel that the bride is truly gracious in her actions of warmth and kindness to all if she greets them personally.

4. Obey customs and traditions.

a. Displays of Affection – Overt displays of affection during the ceremony and reception are not necessary. Nothing more uncomfortable than seeing two people standing at the Alter w/ their tongues down each other’s throats. When love is strong and sound, such displays are unnecessary and kept for private moments.
b. Toasting – When being toasted, Bride does not rise or lift her glass, simply stays seated and smiles and graciously says thank you. The recipient of a toast never drinks to themselves.
c. Dancing – The reception often includes dancing. First dance always belongs to the bride and groom alone. The bride customarily is claimed next by her father. Again, here no dirty dancing, reserve this for the bridal suite after the wedding is completed. Keep it tasteful and fun.
d. Cutting the Cake – Be gentle and sweet. No shoving of cake in your spouse’s face. We don’t want to turn your wedding into a scene from Animal House.

5. Show appreciation and give thanks!

(A) Thank you gifts to bridesmaids and others who helped her such as wedding coordinator, dressmaker, photographer, etc. even to spouse. (B) Thank you notes. Though technically the bride has a year in which to send thank you for gifts, it is best to get those notes off within a month of your wedding, if not before. Be sure to mention the gift itself in your thank you note. Whatever the event, the bride should express her appreciation with a thank you note.

Final thoughts. Remember the golden rule and keep the meaning of the occasion firmly in mind: (1) Always say thank you for favors large and small, (2) Genuinely appreciate the efforts others make on your behalf, (3) Keep requests reasonable, (4) Treat suppliers, vendors and their employees with respect.

Bottom line is to be kind to others and be respectful to everyone for your wedding is a celebration of one thing – and that the love shared between two people and in today’s day in age that is an event.