One wedding trend that we’ve been noticing is that brides are increasingly more concerned about the guest experience at their wedding. Brides are spending a lot of time making sure that all of their guests have as much fun as she does. We’ve compiled a list of common wedding guest complaints so that you can avoid these faux pas and make sure your guests have the time of their life!
- Complaint: Inconvenient wedding dates
- Solution: Consider when you want your wedding to be and try not to plan it on a major holiday. Holidays such as Labor Day are going to be easier to swing with your guests than say, Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you are absolutely set on having your wedding on a major holiday, check with friends and loved ones well in advance so you can make sure the people most important to you are able to attend. The earlier you get those save-the-date notices out, the better! Also, it would be wise to check the local events around your wedding venue. It would be most unfortunate if a parade happened to be happening on the street outside your venue during your ceremony.
- Complaint: Not taking care of out of town guests
- Consider things like lodging and extracurricular activities for your out of town guests. If everyone is staying together at a hotel, don’t book a block of rooms at an expensive hotel when not all of your guests may not have the finances necessary to pay for such extravagance. Also keep in mind that out of town guests may be flying into town and as such, may not have transportation. Consider finding a way to mass transport your guests to your wedding and reception location. Also, if they’re traveling to attend your wedding, they might want to explore the area a little bit. Designate someone to be a point of contact to refer activities and points of interest to these guests so that they’re taken care of, but it’s one less thing for you to deal with personally.
- Complaint: Seating issues
- Solution: Coming up with a seating chart is a daunting task, but a necessary one nonetheless. It’s important to consider not only who you seat together (you don’t want to accidentally seat Uncle Bob next to Aunt Maggie, only to have them remember that Uncle Bob once broke Aunt Maggie’s antique vase at a family reunion and have them get into a heated argument over the soup course), but also where you are seating your guests in the room (Great-grandma Betty probably wouldn’t appreciate being seated next to the speakers while the DJ blasts ‘Sexy and I Know It’). Also, try not to cram too many people at a table. Your guests want to be able to enjoy their food without having to literally rub elbows with their neighbors.
- Complaint: Poorly scheduled weddings
- Solution: Having a 1-2 hour gap between your ceremony and reception is okay, but be thoughtful about what your guests are going to be doing while you’re off taking your photos. A popular trend we’ve been seeing is the bride setting out games like croquet or badminton on the lawn so that the guests have something to do during the wait. Having a cocktail hour is also a good solution. Also be aware that if your reception is happening during a regular meal time, your guests are going to be expecting to get fed. If they aren’t, inform them so they can make other arrangements for sustenance. If you’re planning on serving a meal, also make sure to serve it at a normal time. No one wants to be eating dinner at 9PM.
- Complaint: Cash bars
- If you’re on a tight budget, having a cash bar is not a good way to save on the funds. Asking guests to pay for alcohol at your wedding is like inviting your guests over to your house for dinner and then expecting them to pay for the wine. If you’re planning on having alcohol at your wedding, consider having a bar with a limited selection of preselected wines and cocktails. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding. You could also create a signature cocktail, like Tia’s Tasty Tequila Treat, if your name happens to be Tia, you like tequila, and have a penchant for alliteration. This way everyone can get a drink, and you don’t have the break the bank.
- Complaint: Long-neverending-I-think-I-see-my-hair-turning-gray speeches.
- Solution: Speeches are a wonderful, personal touch at a wedding, but no one wants to sit there forever. If you suspect that one of your toasters is long-winded and will talk forever, have them speak at the rehearsal dinner! The relaxed atmosphere of a rehearsal dinner is the perfect venue for a long speech, and it won’t hold up the flow of events at your wedding.
- Complaint: Ungracious hosts
- Solution: You don’t necessarily need an entire receiving line to be able to greet all of your guests and make them feel welcome on your special day. You can spend some time during your reception going around to each table. You don’t need to spend more than a minute per table, but just making an appearance at the table and saying hi to everyone is enough to make each guest feel truly valued. After the wedding, make sure to send out those thank you cards. They may be a pain in the hand to write, but guests will notice if they don’t receive a card. Like your mama taught you, please and thank you’s will get you a long way in life.
What are some faux pas that you’ve experienced at weddings?