Yes, we all know that the wedding is about the couple, but a huge part of having a good event is providing guests with a great experience. After it is all over, what do you want guests to remember about your wedding? Is it the food? Is it the bar? Is it the music? Everyone has a different answer of what is important to them, which is awesome. We LOVE that every wedding is different. What we can tell you, is that there are certain things wedding guests secretly hate, no matter what you want people to remember about your event.
Before we dive into the things wedding guests secretly hate, we want to spend a second talking about why it is important to take time to plan an enjoyable event for everyone. We wholeheartedly believe that one of the top priorities of your wedding should be the comfort and enjoyment of your guests. People travel, take time out of their schedules and spend a lot of money to come to a wedding. The reality is, if it wasn’t for guests, there wouldn’t be a wedding celebration. Take some time to plan a good experience, so guests are in the right state of mind to have a good night and enjoy the celebration.
Now for that list! We put together a list of 5 things wedding guests secretly hate, so please avoid them to ensure a memorable night!
We are starting with the biggest culprit of them all!! Nothing makes guests more upset than having to shell out cash to get a drink at your wedding. It is a sure thing to put guests in the wrong state of mind at the start of the reception. Even if you and your family are not big drinkers, many guests come to weddings ready to celebrate and have a good time. We have seen it one too many times when a reception is dry or has a cash bar, guests will eat dinner and leave. You don’t have to have a full open bar if it’s not in your budget, but at least consider beer & wine.
Ceremony Start Time
Okay, this is one of those things that we personally really frown upon. If your invitation and wedding website say ceremony at 4:30 pm, plan on starting your ceremony at that time. Do not tell your guests to arrive at 4:30 pm and plan ahead of time to start at 5:00 pm. We’ve heard every excuse out there – our families run late, we don’t want people walking in once the ceremony started, etc. The reality is, no matter what, there will be people who will be late, it’s just how it happens. So, for the handful of guests who can’t figure out how to be on time for one of the biggest days of your life, it’s not worth planning around them and it’s not worth starting the evening off on the wrong foot with the guests who are on time. Not to mention, there’s nothing more rude than making guests wait for the ceremony to start.
No Seating Chart or a Confusing One
Pinterest has provided new and cool ideas for seating charts and escort boards, which we are all in favor of, but please keep them simple enough for guests to easily understand. It’s awkward for guests to go around to different tables trying to figure out where they are supposed to be seated. If they end up at the wrong table, it just adds extra confusion and more work for the venue and catering company.
We’ve also have heard, “We want to have a casual reception, with no assigned seating.” We hear you and get it, but here’s our advice, no seating chart creates chaos, confusion and added stress for guests. Just imagine that one guest arriving solo who doesn’t know anyone. Or the group of 10 friends who want to sit together, but the tables are set for 8. One couple has to sit at another table and feels left out of the group. Seating charts aren’t that hard to do and shouldn’t take a lot of time, but makes your guests feel comfortable.
No Plus Ones
We know how expensive each wedding guest is and the easiest way to save money is to decrease your guest count. We get it! Here’s the thing, wedding guests really appreciate the option to bring a plus one. From the moment they receive your invitation, they already feel treated to a nice celebration. From our experience, most of the time if it is a friend heavy reception, the single guests will end up coming by themselves and enjoying the night catching up with everyone else.
This is a super general category, but encompasses so many things. Save wedding guests stress and confusion by providing them with the necessary information. If the ceremony location or reception is confusing to find, provide instructions on a detail card included in the invitation suite. Also provide signage along the road to help point wedding guests in the right direction.
Try to keep the gap between the ceremony and reception to a minimum. Do a first look to get photos out of the way. If that’s not your thing, get some of the bridal party photos done before the ceremony. It will greatly save time later and keep the day flowing.
Parking! Many people tend to overlook it and it’s one of those things weddings guests secretly hate. If the venue is in the city or if it doesn’t have sufficient parking, figure out a plan ahead of time. Let guests know the parking location and cost – nothing is worse than not being able to find a place to park or being charged a significant amount. It’s not expected for the bride and groom to cover the parking cost, but if it is in your budget, guests greatly appreciate it.
99% of the time when we ask couples what they want their guests to say about their wedding, it usually is something along the lines of, “We want them to have a great time!” Great, we couldn’t agree more!! Therefore, keep your guests in mind while planning your wedding and of course try to avoid anything that falls on our list of things wedding guests secretly hate.
Cover Image – Creatively Captured