Confessions of a wedding guest
Yes, the wedding is all about the bride and groom, but guests should enjoy the day, too
For the bride and groom, there’s no doubt that this day is designed by them and for them. However, the day should also include the comfort of their guests, especially since many have traveled long distances and wrangled busy schedules to get there. Here are a few things that guests do complain about at weddings they’ve attended: • A long wait between the ceremony and reception Sometimes you don’t have much choice to space out the ceremony and reception. But experts suggest that anything more than two hours might require a change in venue or date, or the bridal couple might organize a gathering at a nearby bar or restaurant where guests can at least enjoy the wait (guests can pay for their own food or drink here).
• Bad food Choose your caterer carefully and take the time to taste every single item you’re going to serve ahead of the big day. • Unassigned seats This is not an event like “musical chairs” where guests should have to scramble to find a seat. Make sure to create a thoughtful seating chart for dinner. • Cash bar If you’re going to splurge on anything, make sure to provide an evening for your guests that doesn’t include them having to pay for that glass of wine. They are your guests and they’ve made the effort to attend the biggest event of your lives. • Too many speeches Family and friends giving toasts can be a heartwarming aspect of your ceremony, but limit speeches to the immediate family and bridal party, and encourage brevity. • Making the guests wait Don’t be late in starting the wedding, and keep the good wedding vibes flowing between the wedding and reception by keeping the reception waiting time to a minimum for the bride and groom to reappear. The bride and groom often have photos taken in between the ceremony and reception, and there is often an awkward lag time before the bridal party arrives at the reception venue. Try to keep this wait time to a minimum by talking to your photographer beforehand and perhaps planning photos before the ceremony. • Skip the fancy favors Most guests would rather have an upgraded bar than table favors that they don’t know what to do with after the wedding, according to Bridal magazine. • Receiving lines They can work at some weddings, especially small ones where most people know each other. Otherwise, guests find them awkward. Instead, plan to visit with your guests at the reception by casually mingling with them. It’s a way of thanking guests individually for coming, without an uncomfortable receiving line. • Bad flow No one likes waiting around not knowing where to go next. Use proper signage to guide people, good directions from the ceremony to the reception, plenty of space for people to get around, well thought out timing and easy flow from the dance floor to the bar. SOURCES: Vogue magazine, Bridal.com, Huffington Post