No doubt you’ve spent hours on your guest list and all that goes with it. You’ve even carefully selected a beautiful invitation suite and menu to be sure that your guests enjoy celebrating your perfect day as much as you do. But there are some unexpected things that can make their experience as a guest less than enjoyable. Let’s talk about six things that will make your wedding guests grumpy and how to avoid them!
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Sitting out in the sun/cold too long (not planning to care for them if the weather is tough)
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding it’s important to pay attention to the weather! It’s not uncommon for the bride and groom to be under an archway or canopy, but often guests are out in the open. If it’s a hot day and you have a long ceremony planned, be considerate to your guests by providing some shade and cool refreshments. You could have someone drape the ceremony area or provide parasols for them! If there’s a chance it could rain on your wedding day, have a backup plan in place (have the site tented or consider an indoor backup option) and consider having a tea/coffee station available. Some couples even opt to provide light blankets for their guests attending winter weddings. Not sure how to prepare for these scenarios? A seasoned wedding planner might be worth looking into!
Not giving them enough face to face time
Your wedding guests are exactly that, GUESTS; they took time out of their schedule to come and celebrate this special day with you so it’s understandable that they’d want to at least get a few minutes to congratulate you personally, dance with you, etc. Some ways you can ensure your guests get time with you is by keeping the guest list smaller and having a well-formulated day-of timeline. This will make sure you’re not so rushed through the day that you don’t have a minute to stop and talk.
Not having any food during cocktail hour
For most weddings, the only meal served is dinner and many times guests have to eat lunch early to get to the ceremony on time. So by the time dinner rolls around they could be cranky if they haven’t had a snack in between. Food gives people something to do. Food is a connector, people love to snack and hang out while they’re waiting and chatting. If you have enough food/drinks flowing during cocktail hour, guests will be having a great time and less likely to notice if you end up running a little behind with photos, makeup touch-ups, etc.
Too much theatrics and not enough dancing time
Over the years I’ve heard many toasts and one thing I’ve noticed is that after a few minutes, even a good speech can start to make guests antsy. Pick a select few ahead of the wedding day to give toasts and let them know they have a limited amount of mic time. Guests who are stuck in their chairs too long may get a bit restless. Limit any special performances or DJ/MC games and strike a nice balance of entertaining, but still giving your guests plenty of time to dance and mingle. They may feel rude if they have to get up to use the restroom or go to the bar during a toast, so allow some breathing room.
A Bad DJ
I’ll admit, I didn’t really understand the value of a good DJ until I encountered a few bad ones. Have you ever been out to dinner and suddenly you notice the DJ but in a BAD way? Maybe the music is too loud or perhaps the song is not appropriate for the setting. A good DJ will know when to be noticed and when to fade to the background. They’ll save the best dancing music for times when the dance floor is open, and the music during meal times will be subtle, there for ambiance but not so loud that your guests need to shout across the table to talk. Since weddings are family affairs, a professional DJ knows what to play to get both your BFF AND your grandma out on the dance floor, without alienating anyone.
Also, as tempting as it may be, DON’T have your friend who has an iPod and a laptop be your DJ. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen this scenario go south. Between not knowing how to transition music well, equipment malfunctions, and poor timing. A professional DJ will also know how to work with your coordinator and photo-video teams to make sure your reception flows smoothly in addition to providing great music and atmosphere.
Dinner being served late
If you’re at all like me, I probably don’t have to explain to you what being hangry is like. Don’t let your guests get hangry! You are off to a good start if you’ve provided them with appetizers during cocktail hour, but finger foods don’t quite compare to a solid meal! Work with your planner or photographer to build a day of timeline that factors in all the parts of your wedding day, including dinner. You’ll want to account for enough time for each piece and give yourself a little wiggle room in case something runs a few minutes behind (wedding days are sometimes unpredictable!). Additionally, talk to your caterer to ensure that the meal is ready to go on time so that your guests can enjoy a warm meal!
By factoring in these six things, you’ll be sure to create an unforgettable (in a good way) experience for your wedding guests and ensure they’re enjoying it as much as you are! Did you think of any other ways to help guests enjoy the day more? I’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts in the comments!