One of the most important things about wedding planning is ensuring a good wedding guest experience. Although the couple is the most important people on their wedding day, the event will not be a success without the co-operation of the guests at it.
Certain details matter more than others. This checklist will help you identify what will be remembered and forgotten by your wedding guests. Of the various aspects we discuss below, you may consider some of the more important than others. In fact, there is always a gray area that some people notice while others skip. So this is up to you to identify and fix.
Your wedding wouldn’t be the same without your guests. Although this special day in your life is a celebration of you and your partner, your guests are an irreplaceable part of the celebration. They are people who make the effort and make time to be part of your lifetime celebration. Unless they are happy and enjoy the events of the day, they will not remember your wedding fondly.
Just think of all the weddings you have attended. There will be those that you loved, and then some others. It is highly unlikely that you had fun at weddings where the guest experience was the couple’s lowest priority. After all, who could enjoy a party where they were treated as an after-thought. When you analyze things from this perspective, you will realize the importance of this factor in your wedding.
Here is our roundup of all that real guests hate most at weddings. Take note and make sure not to overlook these factors at yours.
A remote venue that is difficult to locate
In your search for a unique and unusual venue that also fits your budget, don’t forget to consider how accessible it is. Your guests may not enjoy the trek to a far-off location which is difficult to locate and reach. Although you may provide clear instructions, think of factors like how remote it is and whether they should spend a long time on the road to get there. Also, check whether it has a public transportation option.
There may be guests who aren’t comfortable driving that far. Or it may be expensive to hire a cab to drive them there. If you simply cannot avoid this condition, arrange transportation from a central point to the place. Else, arrange a reception that is within a reasonable distance and invite the majority of guests to this location instead.
A vague dress code
There is nothing like a standard wedding today. From extravagant banquet affairs to rustic loft weddings and laidback beach nuptials, every wedding is different. Thus it isn’t always easy for guests to decide what to wear to a wedding. Nobody wishes to be embarrassed about their dress choice. So, they usually look at your invitation or wedding website to make this decision.
There are many clear, fun and even clever ways to communicate this point in your invitation. There are both traditional and non-traditional ways to let your guests know what your wedding style is. From simple straightforward phrases like “Black Tie” and “Casual” to “Dress to Impress” or “Festive attire”, provide a simple phrase that explains the style clearly. Take a look at this article on the Brides website for how to word it and what each phrase refers to.
Nothing spoils fun like a lack of clear instructions. From directions to a proper seating arrangement and instructions of where the various events will be held, guests need clear instructions. Unless you provide it, they just waste time trying to figure things out by themselves. So make sure you communicate all relevant details in a clear and crisp manner. Design and format the layout of your invitation card with a checklist that cites what information your guests need.
Similarly, make sure you mention all other information on your wedding website. Add details like landmarks, traveling time to the venue, nearest public transportation destination, etc, and make things easy for them. If the ceremony and reception venue is different, provide clear directions to get to the second from the first. Similarly, don’t complicate the seating arrangement. It should be easy to understand and follow. Your guests will appreciate finding their seats easily and settle in quickly.
Long breaks between events
It is plain disrespectful to make your guests wait for long spans of time during the day. Everyone values their time. Although your guests won’t look forward to a marathon of events on the day, neither will they be excited about an event that drags on and on. So, give accurate information about timings in your wedding invitation and program. Provide the “guest arrival time” and “ceremony start time” on your invitation to clarify things. This will allow your guests to evaluate the event timeline correctly and plan accordingly.
Make sure that you, your partner, and the members of the wedding party are on time. Also, space the different events of the day without too much delay. If there are long delays, arrange entertainment or refreshments to keep your guests occupied during this gap. Discuss with your wedding planner or photographer to create an accurate timeline that is practical for both you and your guests.
Spending too much money for additional expenses
Your guests will not be happy if they must spend additional money for expenses related to your wedding. Most wedding guests dread attending weddings at venues with high parking fees. Don’t be surprised if your guests get too fidgety if your wedding day events are delayed when they are paying for parking by the hour. It is equally disappointing if you will be having a cash bar, where they have to pay for their own drinks. A limited bar or one with few options will be better received than if they should pay for their drinks.
The same applies to gift registries too. Your guests will want to get you a gift that is useful. However, they may be on a budget. When you register for items with different price ranges, they can choose one that suits their budget. Don’t be a needy couple who looks desperate for contributions from guests to make their day special. So, don’t think twice about ruling out the money dance and honeymoon jar idea!
Long boring speeches
Unless you have a small, intimate wedding, save your guests the trouble of tolerating long speeches that they barely relate to. If your wedding speeches and toasts just go on and on, it will simply bore them to death. Don’t have more than five speeches. Also, ask all speakers to limit their toasts to five minutes or less. This will not take up much time.
Let anyone else who wishes to speak at your wedding do it at the rehearsal dinner. Since that will be a smaller and contained event, it will be an apt occasion for your friends and family to speak all they want. Also, make sure that there is a mic if your reception is at a non-traditional venue. You do not want your guests to strain and struggle to understand what is being said.
Being seated with strangers
We perfectly understand that creating a seating plan for your wedding is no walk in the park. However, you should do it with care. It isn’t fun for your guests when you assign seating in such a way that they are seated with total strangers. Most dates that accompany guests end up in such situations. Unfortunately, not all of them take it well.
Although it is impossible to make perfect groups, we advise that you do not randomly create your seating plan. Try to arrange the seating in such a way that there is at least one person who everyone knows at their table. It is a good idea to discuss the seating plan with your groom, parents, and the wedding party. A group effort will yield better results and help to avoid confusion.
Photographers who get in the way
Too many photographers can ruin the entire visual experience of your wedding. Whether it is that they shoot the couple or take selfies, this simple action can spoil the calm atmosphere. When guests are too busy capturing photos on their mobile phones, it often disrupts the view of the other guests. They can also get in the way of the professional photographer and spoil their shots. If you have hired a professional photographer for your wedding, trust him to do a good job. Also, inform the rest of your guests that you do not appreciate photos being clicked during the course of events.
Convey this clearly, but not in a condescending way. There are several ways in which you can do this. Put a note in your wedding program or make an announcement prior to the wedding. You can also display signs at various places in the venue. Just make sure that there is no chance it is overlooked or missed. When you have an unplugged wedding, your photographer will be able to do a better job of capturing your wedding pictures. Take a look at this article on Glamour.com to find out how to do it efficiently.
Loud and blaring music
You may have hired a highly energetic band for your wedding because you love their kind of music. However, it needn’t be the case with your guests. Music that deafens can really aggravate those who do not enjoy it. Be considerate and realize that there may be those who do not like the music you play at your wedding. For their benefit, keep the volume down. This will let them relax and chat or sit and watch without much difficulty.
Your guests should basically be able to talk to each other without having to scream because of the blaring background music. It is fine to occasionally raise the volume, to get the desired impact for certain song numbers. However, don’t make the mistake of maintaining the same volume throughout the evening. Your guests may rush to the washroom or out of the venue to rest their pounding heads. Most of all, this will ruin the entire day for them. Give your band or DJ a mix of songs in the playlist, so there is something that appeals to everyone there.
When the couple are totally engrossed in themselves
Nobody enjoys an event with ungracious hosts. Even when the guest count is huge, your guests expect to be treated with courtesy. So acknowledge their presence. Of course, they understand that you have a busy day and do not have time to chit-chat. However a quick hello, thank you or goodbye makes it worth their while.
If you are too busy taking photos or spending time with selected guests only, it can put off the others. After all, they made the effort to attend your wedding because they care for you. So, use the cocktail hour to mingle with your guests. Or wave hello to them when they step up to take a photograph. Treat your guests well and your wedding will be a memorable one for them as well.
Do you have any more things to add to this list? If so, do let us know through the comments section below.
Every wedding poses a unique set of challenges. Creating a great experience for your guests is just one of them. While there isn’t much we can do to help you with this, Best for Bride can help you with another equally important wedding planning task—finding the perfect wedding dress. Browse through our wedding dress collection to find a stunning variety of dresses that fit every style, weather, and wedding type. Apart from that we also feature a great collection of dresses for the wedding party. Visit the Best for Bride gallery today and begin shortlisting your favorites from our collection.
More and more couples are opting for wedding receptions in the morning, in place of the traditional evening affair for various reasons. Choosing brunch instead of dinner can considerably lower the catering and venue expenses. Or it could be so they want a unique wedding twist, or even so that they can set off on their honeymoon early and enjoy more time together.
Whatever be the reason, reception brunches work well when planned and executed properly. In fact, wedding reception brunches are convenient, and your guests will enjoy the function.
Here is a quick and easy guide to getting the little details for your wedding reception brunch perfect.
Keep the atmosphere friendly instead of formal
Unlike the formal plated dinner, brunches have a casual air. This allows you to have a more intimate gathering and enjoy quality time with your guests. The ideal location for a wedding brunch is outdoors, so plan your seating to utilize the beauty of the natural setting. Outdoor wedding brunches are ideal in spring or fall, when the weather is pleasant and the beautiful landscape adds a natural charm to your wedding. Plan the décor so it works well in natural lighting, and add elements like fresh flowers or vividly colored balloons that are casual, yet colorful.
Winter brides can also benefit from reception brunches, as the evenings are usually dark and depressing and daytime is more refreshing. Consider warming up your venue with a log fire and decorating with holly and mistletoe. Add to this, an enchanting white backdrop, and you will have a fairytale wedding to remind your guests of your lifetime event.
Plan your food choices wisely
A formal food service may seem out of place during the day. Opt for an interesting buffet instead. Include food choices that allow your guests to eat well, but not feel weighed down. The platter should include both breakfast and lunch-style dishes, so your guests can have their pick. Choose food that is great for late morning or early afternoon. Frittatas, cheeses, pancakes, pasta and sandwiches are good choices. You could also add a few exotic dishes like dimsums or chicken curry for a pleasant variation. Omelet and pancake stations, or s’more bars would be well-received and also add some action.
Don’t skip wedding cake or drinks
Just because you are getting married in the morning, you needn’t skip the wedding cake. Choose a light flavor like lemon or vanilla, and keep it fresh and welcoming with white frosting. Or you could replace the wedding cake with wedding cake cupcakes in multiple flavors instead. Since the portions are small, your guests will be tempted to try it. You could also get creative with a dessert buffet, and give your guests a variety of treats to choose from.
For drinks consider refreshing and lighter choices like cocktails, white wine, fruit juices, scented teas and fruit smoothies. If the weather is warm, fizzy drinks infused with lemon or ginger, or yogurt smoothies would be nice.
Doesn’t all this sound romantic? If you are smitten by this idea of wedding reception brunches, go ahead with it. Don’t forget to get the perfect wedding dress for the occasion; visit us at Best for Bride to do so.
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