This Just In

What About the Guests?

Weddings evolve around the bride and her preferences – as it should – whether it be her colors, her wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, venue, floral arrangements, the list goes on.  Many brides have a detailed checklist of things to-do and a timeline for the day-of.   The overall intent is for a beautiful ceremony and reception, bringing joy to the bride and groom’s hearts.

All that is well and good but what about the guests?  What makes them happy?  What are their simple pleasures?  Are you thinking of their needs, their comfort?  It might be helpful in planning your wedding day to know the 10 Things Guests Hate (courtesy of Woman’s Day.)

Having to Pay for Their Drinks

Guests understand if an open top-shelf bar isn’t within the couple’s budget, but charging them to celebrate a marriage?! No one should have to take out their wallets at a party. Unlimited beer, wine and soda is a considerate compromise, even if it’s only during the first couple hours of the reception

A Reception That Takes Place HOURS After the Ceremony

Churches often have set times when they’ll hold ceremonies—likewise with catering halls and receptions. But when the majority of guests aren’t close enough to go home or staying at a nearby hotel, they’re not going to be thrilled about killing two-and-a-half hours.

 Too Many Long Speeches

The best man drones on about a singular drunken escapade from college. Then two other groomsmen recount that same less-than-sober experience. The maid of honor cries for a solid six minutes of her toast. And a bridesmaid does a tribute to the couple—in rhyme. The father of the bride gives the family history. And the parents of the groom want in, too. STOP THE MADNESS. Extra guests who want the mic can get their chance at the events leading up to the wedding, or they can be honored some other way.

Sitting in Undesirable Locations

No one with functioning ears wants to eat dinner next to a throbbing DJ speaker. And the opposite is true, too: Guests don’t exactly feel like part of the action if they can’t see the dance floor or hear the toasts and music.

Being Forced to Participate

An MC who bullies people onto the dance floor, especially the unmarried folks to catch the bouquet or garter, quickly grates on guests’ nerves. Couples should invite people they’d like to be present when they get hitched, whether or not those friends and relatives want to be on display during the singles-shaming parts of the event.

Couples Who Spend More on Décor Than Their Guests’ Good Time

Sorry, florists. A wedding’s success in the eyes of guests depends far more on the food and entertainment than the bouquets. A budget devoted to flowers instead of enjoyable music and a tasty, filling meal is sure to leave guests disappointed.

Limited Food

When brides and grooms only provide light bites (no, five fruit and veggie platters won’t cut it for a wedding), or dinner options that aren’t crowd-pleasers (that mustard-crusted liver the couple split on their first date shouldn’t be the only choice on the menu), guests go hungry. And then get angry. And then leave to go get real food.

Too Many Organized Dances

The Electric Slide, the Dougie, the Macarena, and oh, the Chicken Dance. Guests want a chance to bust their own kind of moves.

Having to Wait in Line for Anything

Photo booths are fun…until you spend half an hour for a chance to get inside one. And who doesn’t love food stations? The people with grumbling stomachs who didn’t run to be first when they opened up, that’s who. Couples better satisfy guests when they designate when tables of attendees can go up to enjoy popular offerings and ensure there’s enough of a good thing for everyone.

Being Forced to Tolerate Extreme Conditions

Guests can get sunburn on a shade-free beach, or shiver in the October wind or get attacked by bees and mosquitoes. Even if the nuptials are indoors, a broken or overactive A/C or heater can bother people. When brides and grooms make guests’ comfort their number-one priority, they can’t go wrong.

The Calm Before the Storm

It’s your wedding day. In mere hours you will be walking down the aisle to exchange vows with your groom. It’s critical as you prepare for that magical moment that you surround yourself with serenity, unconcerned about the behind-the-scene activities that are taking place. Though other folks are hustling and bustling, scurrying around making sure the flowers are in place, or that the wedding cake is in perfect condition on the table, or with the musicians arriving setting up their equipment, you yourself are calm and poised. Here are some hints how to make sure that happens.

First, limit the number of people that are allowed in your dressing room. Keep the list to your bridesmaids, flower girl, parents and the photographer. (And of course, the hair-stylist and cosmetologist should their services have been retained.) It may seem a bit difficult as everyone wants to see you before the wedding starts. Out-of-town relatives may want to pop in to say hi, or there’s a snag in the set-up preparations that needs a quick decision. The last thing you should be doing is meeting all these well-meaning – and loved – people or handling the last-minute problems that can occur.

Designate your Maid of Honor as the keeper of the door. After all, that’s one of the reasons she’s your Maid of Honor, to help you during the hectic-ness of the day. Let her be the one to graciously explain to visitors that you’re in the midst of getting ready and that you look forward to talking to them after the ceremony. If there are problems, have your Maid of Honor – or parent – help un-snafu whatever has occurred. After all, this is your day and their presence is what is needed to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Make sure you have food and non-alcoholic beverages (preferably water) available in your dressing room. It’s important that you have snacks to nibble on, whether it’s high protein energy bars or an assortment fruit, cheese and crackers. You don’t want to be light-headed from not eating, no matter how nervous your tummy might be.

Though your hair and makeup are done, don’t put on your wedding gown until 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. That way should there be any spills of food or drink, it will be on your robe and not your gown.

Have a comfortable chair to sit in so that you’re not perched upon a stool. You need to be able to lean back and rest your shoulders from any tension build-up. Bring your favorite CD’s and CD player. There’s nothing better to sooth frazzled nerves than listening to music that you enjoy.