|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Here is what’s worth shelling out a few extra bucks on.
Date, Time and Location. Be sure to ask around about your loved ones’ work schedules before you choose a date, since you will be able to know ahead of time what you need to book. Choose a date where most of your guests would be available. Holidays are an inconvenient time for guests as they often go on vacations. You also want to give enough time for people to get ready. Pick a location that is easily accessible to everyone. It’s also best to have your wedding on a weekend, since many people don’t work on weekends. However, if most of your friends and family work weekends, try having it on a weekday. Give crystal clear instructions and an address so guests can locate the area and not end up late to the wedding.
Labels. Clearly labelled areas such as the gift table for wedding gifts are essential, especially if your venue is having more than one wedding going on. You don't want your gift ending up with another couple. You should also provide clear indications of where to go. Venues who are used to hosting weddings and large gatherings already have this set up. However, especially if you have guests who speak and read a different language, it's important to lable important places such as the restroom area, the reception area and the ceremony space.
Weather. Too hot or too cold causes miserable guests. If you insist on having an outdoor summer wedding or a wedding in hot climates, provide lots of water and an indoor air-conditioned space. If you are having an outdoor winter ceremony, be sure to make the ceremony short and offer an indoor heated space for the reception. You don’t want uncomfortable guests.
Parking. Parking should be near the ceremony and reception and be free. No one wants to pay for parking, ever. Don’t make your guests walk for miles in their formal wear either.
Timeliness. Do everything on time. It will stress guests out and they are getting bored. Guests will notice if cocktail hour lasts 3 hours, and if it takes 3 hours to have the meal served. You also need to have some time to let guests be and mingle, socialize, and take bathroom breaks. This is especially important if your venue only has 1 bathroom for 100 guests. The ideal venue will have more bathrooms, so guests needing to go to the bathroom at same time because they will end up drinking and eating at the same time. An example of a good place to host your wedding are country clubs which have many bathrooms with stalls, so everyone can relieve themselves without having to wait in long lines and miss parts of the wedding. Keep in mind guests with children or elderly guests that may not be able to sit still for a 2 hour ceremony and will probably only be able to stay until their children's bedtime. Front-load all of the important things within the first 5 or so hours so everyone gets to participate in the important stuff. Keep the games, drinking contests or anything younger-crowd oriented towards the end.
Entertainement. A deejay is priceless. They can read the room and play songs and games accordingly. They set the tone of your entire day and shouldn’t be taken for granted. They often ask ahead of time if your guests area a younger or older crowd and choose songs, themes, and even make jokes accordingly. Be sure you don't shine light in anyone's eyes!
Music. Guests want to dance to songs they know, and songs that have a good tempo. Be sure to have slow as well as fast-paced songs. Classics never go underappreciated. Provide a song list to your deejay so they can play the songs during the best moments, and you have your chance to get your favorite tunes play at your reception. Be sure the sound system isn't too loud or hard to hear. Ideally, people who make speeches will practice at home or even at the rehearsal so the microphone isn't screeching, staticky or dropped during the reception.
Food. Be sure to serve some good food at your reception. People will be getting hungry, and you don’t want them leaving early because they are starving and can’t stand your food. Also, serve appetizers so guests will be full, especially if your meal is a long time after your ceremony. Many guests skip lunch so they can eat lots on your wedding feast. Warn them ahead of time to have a lunch if you don’t want guests to be too hungry.
Drinks. Guests like having something to drink, even if it’s wine or beer. If you’re not having alcohol, have interesting drinks such as mocktails. Cash bars are also a downer; if you can’t afford an open bar, serve wine and beer. You also want non-alcoholic drinks even if you are serving alcohol. With guests that are younger, be sure to have water and juice available as well, and maybe even milk if you are having really young guests. Sodas can also be used as mixers with alcohol so they are always useful to have.
Acknowledgement. Guests want some time with you, even if it’s just a few minutes. Be sure to chat with them, maybe take a few photos. Make the rounds at each table, the guests will love that they got to have a moment with you on your special day.
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