Keeping Wedding Guests HappyPretty much the moment you get engaged the people around you will feel the need to impart on you their opinions & wisdom about what to do and what not to do at your wedding.  Some of it will be common sense {you’d think}, some things will be beyond your control, some completely outlandish & others will indeed be genuine pearls that really ought to be listened to.  An important thing to realize when people are throwing these gems your way, is that more then likely they had experiences  in the past where someone did {or didn’t} get it quite right and it made an impression.  Think about it.  You yourself have attended a wedding or two and I am sure there are things that left an imprint on your, good or bad.  Things to learn from.

Whilst creating killer decor elements, picking out just the right floral arrangements, choosing the perfect cake design and so on might feel like the most important things, there is something more important to concern yourself with.  There is a sense of entitlement that surrounds the couple that I vehemently disagree with. Yes, the day is about you and your love & yes you want to be a pretty princess BUT take out the marriage part, and what are you left with?  A party, an affair, an event.  Something that to truly pull off with success requires forethought beyond that of yourself and what makes you personally happy.  To throw a truly great event  there are things that need to be considered and executed to ensure that your guest, who possibly travel from afar, who’ve taken time out of their lives to celebrate you, actually have the best time that they can.  It IS important, so please understand that.  There are some simple things that can be done to ensure the best time for everyone, not just the bride & groom.  Let’s have a look.

Drink Me

Pre-Ceremony Beverages for GuestsSounds simple enough right?  Sure my dear caterer, please throw a few carafes of water on a table before the ceremony incase anyone by chance wants some.  Hum, wrong, trust me they will.  Sorry to be the one to tell you, and your caterer should know better, but unless your having a very small wedding, that simply wont cut it.  I can not tell you the number of weddings I have been to with exactly this set up.  The water goes in about 5 mins and unless the staff around is hyper efficent, most often it simply won’t be refilled well enough.  *Summer time weddings, this is exponentially more important!

Having beverages upon your guests arrival is crucial.  I can not begin to express this enough.  Think about it, when someone comes to visit at your house, what is one of the first things you do?  Offer them a beverage.  Same good hostess rules apply here, not just in being a good host, but in keeping your guest hydrated & happy.  Believe me, liquids equal happy, sounds silly, but its very true.  I suggest, and I myself used, beverage dispensers.  Not only do they provide you with a large enough amount of liquids to keep your guests happy, its another area you get to play with decor!  Double win!  Other option are premixed drinks in already served up and waiting in glassware even mason jars with the lids on.  Get creative & keep the liquids coming!

Eat Me

Vintage Popcorn MachineLike a white elephant, its a rarity to be given anything to nibble on until long after the ceremony has completed.  Typically you arrive prior to the ceremony, stand around until the ceremony happens, sit through the ceremony, waited for the couple and bridal party to head out, and then wait a bit more for the catering staff to work through the now truly starved entire guest list.  Unless you’re that crafty lady that sits in the back, throws elbows to get in line first, OR stands right where the passed hors d’oeuvres are coming out, you can factor more time into the food in belly equation.  Its unfortunate but true, but guests do not arrive with full bellies, it simply doesn’t work that way & as such, people get hungry, fast!  Eating is also an activity, something that moves the event along.  Putting guests into a situation where they become famished for food is not a good experience and something that is easily avoidable.

At our own wedding, for example, we decided to impart our love of popcorn on everyone.  Before our guest even arrived, a vintage popcorn machine was filled to the brim with freshly popped popcorn complete with adorable paper bags for our guests to fill.  There isn’t a need to go over board, but having something, even a small nibble for your guests, keeps the hunger at bay, & in their minds, they aren’t racing through the wedding to the parts where they get fed.  The pace slows down for them and they are more apt to be a happier part of your day, enjoying each step right there along with you vs stalking a server for the 5th time to figure out when on earth they will see the first signs of food.

              Heat Me, Cool Me

Wraps for Wedding GuestsNo matter the time of year that you are having your wedding, something else to consider is the general comfort of your guests at all phases of your day.  If your wedding is during a particularly hot time of year, consider the shade factor, possibly adding some fans, giving your guests areas of relief.  Umbrella tables are a wonderful source of additional shade as well as some super creative ideas that have been passed around on Pinterest with floating fabric lifted up by balloonslooove these!   *Make sure these shaded areas are proportionate to number of guest you will be having.  One umbrella table probably isn’t going to cut it, if you get my drift.  Something else to play with are your ceremony programs.  Most people are likely going to use them as ways to fan themselves off anyway, so why not make them into actual fans!      PS- Hot also equals thirsty guests, so this reinforces the importance of what I was saying above!

Likewise, having a wedding in a cooler time of year?  Make sure that your guests will be warm enough.  I love when I see weddings with baskets of wraps for the ladies.  I mean, lets be honest, it is the ladies that are always chilly right?!  But in all seriousness, this is an extra step that your guests will really appreciate & remember.  Worried about the additional cost of wraps?  There are plenty of places online, as well as all  kinds of discount shops around that one can truly find the right ones, at the right price.  Remember, its a one night covering, it doesnt need to be cashmere ladies!

I hope these simple 3 things help you create the most perfect wedding day…for everyone. It really is important to consider simple things like having plenty of beverages handy, food to nibble on, and ensure your guests are as comfortable as they can be, to make sure that things go as beautifully as you deserve.  I really hope you heed my word on the food & drink pre-ceremony especially.  I can not stress enough how big of a game changer this will be to your guests.  Practically every one of our guests made a point to thank us (some repeatedly) for considering those simple things for them & how much it enhanced their enjoyment of the day.  Take this as a gentle lesson in how to make your day….awesome!  I also really hope to hear from you guys about your thoughts on these 3 things as well as some possible other terrific things to do.  Throw some love this way!  Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

Storyboard Wedding Post Signature

Photo Credits:

Top 3 Photos by Sarah DiCicco Photography | Bottom Photo by Maggie Harkov