A wedding is a special day for the groom and bride. After all, it’s the coming together of two people madly in love with one another. It’s the kind of day the couple will remember for all time. However, a wedding isn’t and shouldn’t just be about the happy couple. You also need to consider the guests who will be in attendance.
You’ve been told that it’s your wedding day, but when you get into the nitty-gritty of planning, you may overlook your guests’ comfort. Don’t make this mistake. Believe it or not, your guests don’t care about the little particulars of your wedding. They do care about the bigger stuff, though. For that reason, it’s more important to focus your energy and time on those issues that guests find more noteworthy. What issues do guests consider most important?
Invites To Both The Ceremony and Reception
When it comes to your ceremony and reception, you can’t invite guests to one and not invite them to the other. This exclusion can make them feel uncomfortable. Of course, you may have some guests who are happy to avoid a religious ceremony, but the people who love you want to share in the moment of your happiness.
If guests are invited to the wedding, it’s recommended that they also be invited to the reception. You could offend guests of the wedding if they don’t get an invite to the reception. In fact, some of your guests may see the option of a wedding ceremony attendance only means you just want a gift from that person.
You also don’t want to invite your guests to part of the reception – see you take the first dance as the happy couple but unable to eat the food. This could lead to some awkwardness as well.
When planning the wedding, ensure that your guests are welcomed to both, not one or the other. If you need to cut back on your guest list, it’s better, and people will understand (even if they may express some disappointment).
Weather and Comfortability
One of your first wedding decisions you’ll make is where to have it. Do you want an indoor or outdoor venue? The kind of venue you have will set the wedding’s tone. A wedding beach means a casual event; a ballroom means a very formal wedding.
When deciding on a venue, you need a place that ensures you and your guests are comfortable. You obviously don’t want to have an outdoor wedding in winter. And, if you do have an outdoor wedding, ensure there is shelter nearby if it suddenly rains or gets windy.
Always take into consideration the weather that occurs at the time of the year your wedding will be held. Make your guests are of possible clothing they may need to bring or not wear, either on your invitations or your wedding website. The idea is to keep your guests very comfortable during the ceremony and the reception.
According to research, nearly half of all guests consider the venue when invited to a wedding.
Your guests will look at the décor of your wedding and the reception. Therefore, you need to work with vendors to find a color scheme that goes well together and choose décor that highlights the special day and doesn’t distract guests from watching the most important part of the day – you getting married.
Food Type and Amount
What you serve and how much gets great scrutiny from your guests, which is why you need to make it a priority in planning the wedding. Half the wedding budget needs to go toward the food budget; keep that in mind. Guests are not all that concerned about what you’re serving but how much you are serving of it.
Granted, you don’t want to go too cheap – cocktail weenies, hamburgers and hot dogs. However, you should keep your wedding budget in mind when planning the food. If you can, hire an experienced caterer to help you develop a food palate that works for your budget and doesn’t look cheap. You may decide that a buffet or family-style is ideal for your guests.
Two things to keep in mind:
- If there will be a wait time before food is served after the wedding, you may want to consider having snacks or hors d’ oeuvres on hand to keep them from getting hangry.
- If you have an open bar or are serving alcohol freely, you want to make sure that there is a lot of food on hand during the reception.
Speaking of alcohol and open bars, you want to be sure guests have both alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks to choose from. Some guests look forward to weddings just for the free alcohol. Since alcohol is expensive, you don’t have to choose the best stuff to serve. If you feel you need a certain amount, err on the side of caution and buy a few more bottles.
If you have the budget for it, do an open bar. The last thing you want to do is make your guests pay for their own drinks. Even worst, making it an open bar initially and changing it to a cash bar during the dinner. If you don’t do an open bar but a cash bar, it would be a good idea to give your guests this information.
A wedding and reception tend to run late, so you want to make sure your guests stay entertained all evening long. This means putting on a variety of good music that includes an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic hits (fast and slow songs).
You also don’t want the music up too high so guests can continue talking with each other.
Should you choose a band or DJ for your reception? That’s really up to you (and your budget). Just make sure it’s a professional that will keep your guests happy and dancing.
If you are able to, consider hiring more entertainment (not a band) for the guests to enjoy at the reception. For example, you can have a flower crown creation station, cigar bar or even a magician. The key is entertainment for the guests.
Seating Chart For The Reception
Seating charts help when you have a large reception or are inviting people who don’t know many others at the reception. You don’t have to give everyone a seat, but you should give them a table to sit at. This lessens the chance of awkwardness when it’s time to sit and eat.
If you’re inviting single guests to the wedding, you can add a plus one to their invitation so they won’t feel all alone with people they may not know or know well.
You’ll be busy with the finishing details – your wedding dress or tuxedo, the caterers, the floral arrangements, etc. – and getting phone calls from your guests with regards to last-minute questions is going to be annoying. Why not create a wedding website for your guests to follow?
Your website can include pertinent, need-to-know information about the nuptials. You can specify the dress code, transportation and parking updates, rules about kids or plus-ones, etc. If you have out-of-town guests coming in for the wedding, give them information about the schedule and recommendations for accommodations.
The more information guests have, the less stressed they will feel about your big day. While the wedding day is for you and your new partner, you need to remember that your guests should be treated with some bit of royalty to ensure their happiness. After all, when they’re happy, you will be too!