Ever been to a wedding that...well....just sucked? What was the reason? Maybe the food was terrible, or the DJ played music you weren't into. But a lot of times, guests don't enjoy themselves at weddings because of minor issues that could have been avoided. In this blog we cover some items that brides and grooms can do to ensure their guests have a great time.
How and where you seat your guests is huge. There are some very simple steps to take when planning your seating chart. Elderly people should not sit near the music. If possible, sit them near the bathroom. You can put your college friends near the bar, just make sure not to put any friends in recovery near the bar. Make sure your tables and chairs on not on top of each other. Everyone needs some personal space.
You should have actual seat assignments at your wedding, even if you are having a very casual wedding. Having seat assignments help guests sit down quicker. Also you don't want guests feeling awkward by not having anyone to sit with.
If you are having an outside ceremony or reception, you will need to take extra steps to ensure your guest are comfortable. If you are getting married in the middle of August and it's 95 degrees out, get air conditioning units in the tents. Or bring in some type of portable units. If it's December, bring in portable heating. If your guests are too hot or too cold, chances are that is the only thing they will remember about your wedding day.
Again, outside venues require a lot more work. You should have bug spray, sunscreen, fans, umbrellas, blankets, or flip flops available. These can be displayed in a basket or cute bin near the bathrooms. If you are getting married in a 'woodsy' area, consider getting the area professionally sprayed for bugs prior to the wedding.
Bathrooms. Yes, this is something you need to think about. Make sure you have enough bathrooms for your guests. You should have two bathrooms per 100 guests. Also, you will need to think about how the bathrooms will remain stocked and clean throughout the night. This is particularly important if you have to rent bathrooms for your event.
Food. If you forget everything else in this blog post, remember this. You need enough food to feed all of your guests! You should never run out of food at a wedding. Same goes with drinks. Although I have been to several weddings were they run out of beer, or wine, or the specialty drink. Just make sure you don't run out of alcohol all together. Also, when selecting food for your cocktail hour and reception, have a wide variety of options. You shouldn't only offer sushi and seafood at your cocktail hour, and only have crab cakes at your reception. Chances are some of your guests won't like seafood. You should mix up the food that is offered to your guests.
Communication. Communication is very important to your wedding guests. Make sure your invitations clearly spell out the important details of your wedding. Times, food options, transportation, and lodging information should be on your invitation and on your wedding website. You should also communicate if your venue will take place outside. Guests will need to know how to dress and what type of shoes to wear (some ladies prefer not to wear heels to an outdoor ceremony). If you are incorporating religious traditions into your ceremony, you should communicate this to your guests in your ceremony programs. Example: If you are Jewish and will be breaking the glass, explain what this tradition means in your ceremony program. It will help your guests enjoy the ceremony rather than be confused.
Last but not least- the married couple needs to say hello to everyone. Sometime during your reception you should get up and walk around to each table and thank your guests for coming. If you follow these simple rules I have no doubt your guests will leave happy!