ASK THE EXPERT: How Can We Acknowledge a Guest’s Birthday at Our Wedding?
Question: Unfortunately, it couldn’t be avoided, and our wedding day is actually on my sister’s birthday. What would be the best way—and time—to acknowledge her birthday at our wedding?
Answer: “This happens quite often, actually,” says wedding planner Sarah Morrison of For Washington-based All About Events. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped!
When it happens with a guest who you are very close to, she says, like your sister or another bridesmaid who has been helping you throughout the wedding-planning process, a great way to surprise her is to have the band or DJ announce her birthday and play “Happy Birthday” at some point when the dance floor is packed. “I’ve had brides order a small cake, and when this point in the night came up, I walked out onto the dance floor with a cake filled with sparkler candles as everyone sang happy birthday,” she says. “This is the ultimate way to acknowledge a birthday and surprise the person, and it only takes about a minute away from the reception.”
If it’s a big milestone birthday and you’d like to present a gift, too, the rehearsal dinner might be the better route, says Morrison, so that you can spend a little more time celebrating. “It’s a better place to watch her open the gift and maybe even offer a short toast,” she says. “You can still have it announced at the wedding, but you wouldn’t have to sing and you wouldn’t have to plan on doing anything over the top.”
And, if you’re a bride who has this situation at your wedding, but the birthday guest in question is a friend, distant relative or coworker and you know that wouldn’t want a big fuss, you can always do a simplified version of this, says Morrison, by having the band or DJ announce the birthday in between songs during dinner while everyone is seated. “A simple “happy birthday” shout-out is a very nice gesture, and doesn’t cause as big of a scene.”
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