Have you thought about your wedding guests experience at your wedding? There is no doubt that weddings are absolutely about the love of 2 people who have decided to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. But thinking about your wedding guests’ experience, can help you enjoy your wedding even more. Nothing beats being surrounded by your loves ones having the best day celebrating your wedding day. When your wedding guests fully enjoy your wedding day, they will be talking about your wedding for years and years to come. Which bride and groom doesn’t want that?
Here are 8 top tips for your wedding guests to fully enjoy your wedding day
1) Communication is key!
The location; think about your guest’s experience. Perhaps the postcode doesn’t take you to exactly where your reception is being held, some extra directions will be appreciated and make a location which could potentially be hard to find, easy.
The arrival time and what time the event ends. If there is anything specific you think may help your guests, for example, if taxis are few and far between near your wedding venue, suggest some companies who work in the area with their contact details.
Including a dress code can ensure your guests are dressed for the wedding you are planning. This can be quite formal like “Lounge Suites and Dresses” if that’s appropriate or it could be more personal like “Cocktail Dress and Party Shoes” or “Wedding hats are not essential but highly encouraged!”. They all conjure up a different sort of wedding which will help your guests know the sort of wedding they will be attending.
On the day, you can have a place where all your guests can see the order of the day. This could be what time everyone will be sitting down to eat or when the dancing will kick off.
Additionally, you can allocate a few people (I recommend the bridesmaids and groomsman) who have all the finer details and are happy to communicate them with other guests. By assigning yourself some assistants you can feel assured that everyone is in the know.
Another great option can be printing the timings on the back of your order of service so your guests can have a copy all day to refer to.
Because who likes sore feet!
Any good venue versed with holding spectacular weddings will know that providing ample seating is essential. Especially for your 80 year old grandparents, a friend who hasn’t worn heels for a couple months and is only going to manage 30minutes before she is carrying them in her hand and your cousin who is 8 months pregnant! Some seating by the bar, outside and around the dance floor should be just what your guests need for short breaks between dancing and for a sneaky drink.
3) The Flow of the Day
If you ask anyone who has worked with me they will tell you that this is a big one for me!
There are distinct parts of most weddings; the ceremony, the drinks reception, the wedding breakfast and then the dancing.
The flow of what happens between each of them is important and helps keeps all your guests entertained.
For example, between the wedding breakfast and the party, there is often a lull. Your guests have all eaten quite a lot of food, drunk quite a few glasses of champagne and wine and you want them to go into full party mode. They might need an injection of energy! I always suggest a little interlude before the party properly starts. How about some lawn games or a cocktail hour. As long as your guests know what they are expected to be doing then that’s perfect. I think the music is really important to consider here too. If the music is upbeat it will automatically make people want to dance so as soon as your band start to play and you’ve had your first dance, your dance floor will be full!
4) Wedding Favours
Although not everyone favours them (excuse the pun) My thoughts are that they are a good way to appreciate your guests. Some people question if they are a waste of your precious wedding budget; favours don’t have to be expensive and there are lots of ways you can give favours that will only cost you pennies.
Two of my favorites to consider is writing each guest a personal note thanking them for being a part of your special day. Remind them of a special memory that you share with them. Or how about one of your favourite photographs of you or your partner with them? This can also be used as their place setting!
Food is an area some people like to splurge and other see it as a necessary but not a show stopper. You want food that is appropriate for the masses and dinner plates that are left empty. This could be simple and tasty or beautiful and fancy, using luxurious ingredients. You want your food to be seasonally appropriate as nobody wants a traditional British roast on a hot Summers day or a cool and refreshing cucumber and melon salad in the Winter.
It’s also paramount that you feed your guests enough and cater to all dietary requirements. Your venue should be able to assist you with any questions you may have.
6) Length of speeches
You can plan your wedding day to the last detail but the speeches and their content and delivery are one part of the day you cannot plan. What you can do is set a timeframe. Make sure those that are giving speeches know how long they have to work with and that they practice and time themselves doing it! There is always flexibility so don’t get too worried if someone runs over a bit. You should try to keep all speeches within 30 minutes.
I would also recommend assigning someone you trust to read over each speech a few days before your wedding. If you have given everyone 10 minutes to speak, the speech should be no more than 1500 words each. Getting someone to read over them will also make sure there isn’t too much overlap. It can get awkward if you are hearing the same story or joke for the 3rdtime! Or if the best man is sat listening to the speeches before him worrying that all his material is being used up!
7) Take the time to speak to each guest
This is as much for you as it is for them. Sometimes it’s easy to get swept up with the idea that everything needs to run on time, that you need to go from “I do” straight to the ‘Newlyweds shoot’. Take your time and hug your loved ones that you have so carefully selected to be a part of this special occasion. You want them to feel as special as they are to you. It can be difficult to get around everyone but try to mingle as much as you can in the drinks reception and between courses in the wedding breakfast.
It is ok to excuse yourself from a conversation if you feel you need to move on and speak to more guests. They will understand and you can dance with them on the dance floor later in the day.
8) Book the right wedding planner!
When I work with couples to help them plan their weddings, whether it’s full planning, partial planning or on the day coordination, I will sit down to understand who their guests are. Once I have a clear picture I will map out the guests experience ensuring we have thought about each type of guest. For example, when they receive the invitation I will consider if it conjures ambience of wedding the couple are planning. This is all most guests will know about a wedding so it’s important to set the vibe from the get go.
I would also make sure solo guests aren’t sat between couples, that the champagne isn’t warm before it’s served. That the canapés reflect the personality of the happy couple and that everything is running on time and all the little extras that you don’t need to worry about.
It is important that you find the right person for you but please know that I absolutely love what I do and feel honored every time I am asked to organize a wedding.