A wedding is a stressful event, so you should probably expect a few of your attendants to want to light up. Because smoking has become such a taboo activity in our modern society — less than 18 out of 100 American adults admit to the habit — many couples don’t consider smokers when they make their wedding plans.
However, preventing smokers from indulging in nicotine is perhaps the biggest wedding mistake you could make; cravings cause all sorts of bad reactions, from intense headaches to short tempers, which makes smokers and those around them less than comfortable. More likely than not, you will have at least one or two smokers attending your wedding, and you absolutely must anticipate and provide for their needs. Here’s how.
Talk to Venues and Vendors
Before you start to worry, you should call your venue (or, if you haven’t yet chosen one, your venue candidates) to inquire about their regulations on smoking. Most established wedding venues already have smoking areas set up for nicotine-dependent guests, so if you are planning your wedding in a ballroom or event space, you will not need to make any special arrangements for smokers attending your affair.
While you are at it, you might also want to contact your vendors to learn about their smoking regulations. Most caterers prefer to set up food as far from the smoking section as possible, and some linen rental companies might not want smoke around their tablecloths and chair covers. You don’t want nasty smells, stains, or holes to add extra fees to your (already high) wedding expenses.
Inform Smokers on Invitations
You might want to avoid the harsh smell of cigarette smoke for the entirety of your wedding — and most guests wouldn’t blame you. However, if you want your event to be a smoke-free affair, you must warn any invited smokers well in advance. Smokers can handle extended periods without cigarettes much better when they are forewarned; most have a number of subtle tactics to get their nicotine fix without offending non-smokers.
You might encourage them to bring along inexpensive smokeless e-cigarettes, which discreetly produce sweet-smelling vapor. The no-smoking notice doesn’t have to intrude on your invitation design; you can sneak it in on a separate card after mentioning the registry or providing directions to the reception.
Set Up a Designated Area
If your venue doesn’t provide a smoking section already — and you don’t mind smokers lighting up at your event — you should create a separate space for them to enjoy their nicotine products. While you don’t have to spend nearly as much time designing the smoking area as you do arranging the seating chart, you should still attempt to make your smoking guests comfortable. Providing lighting and seating is a simple way to show you care; adding decor prevents the smokers from feeling as though they have left the party. Whatever you do, you must provide a safe place for your smoking guests to ash and deposit dead cigarette butts, or your wedding could go up in smoke.
Tips for Smoking Brides and Grooms
If you or your bride has a nicotine habit, there are a handful of precautions you can take to avoid looking (or feeling) uncouth during your wedding:
- Warn the photographer. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you will want to remember every second — except the ones when you have a cigarette between your fingers. You should let your photographer know if you don’t want images of you smoking in your fancy dress clothes.
- Find a quiet spot. Even if you smoke, the majority of your guests probably do not enjoy the smell of cigarettes. You should only light up in your designated section with the other smokers — or you could search out an even more secluded spot so you can take a true break from the wedding festivities.
- Spill the beans. It might very well be that your family and friends (or particularly, your parents) know nothing about your smoking habit. Instead of worrying about sneaking away, you should tell them the truth and enjoy your big day fully.
- Wait to go cold turkey. Your wedding is going to be stressful, start to finish, which means you are going to be craving nicotine like crazy. Trying to kick the habit before your big day will likely end in head-aching, teeth-grinding disaster; instead, you should invest in an e-cig and worry about quitting after your wedding is done.