While your wedding day is most importantly about the union between you and your partner, it's also about celebrating your love with your closest family and friends! And while there are so many different things to consider when planning a wedding, your guests' experience should not be an afterthought!
Here are 10 things that annoy wedding guests the most and advice on how to solve them-- so that your wedding is the best day ever, for everyone.
Having an open bar can quickly blow up budgets, but when you're hosting a formal party, it's majorly frowned upon to make your guests pay for their own drinks! If you need to keep costs down, consider only serving beer and wine, or just having signature cocktails, which cuts down on the amount of liquor and ingredients you have to buy. Your guests will understand and still have a great time!
Having a long time between ceremony and reception
If the logistics of your ceremony and reception locations necessitate a longer break, find a way to fill the time for your guests! You don't want them skipping the ceremony or showing up to the reception late and irritated, or having them already start the party on their own. Suggestions could be taking them on a tour of the city or having an open tab at a bar nearby for people to congregate.
Destination weddings when attendees live in the same city
If you and your fiancé are both from the same area, and most of your friends and family are also located there, then having a big destination wedding can seem a bit indulgent. So while you should be able to have the destination wedding of your dreams, you also need to be considerate of guests who can't afford to make the trip. Expect to have a smaller wedding, but then as a nice gesture, throw a low-key local party for friends and family to celebrate when you get back!
Conflict with a big event
From major sporting events to award shows and elections, do your research before setting your date to try and avoid any major conflicts on your big day. While weddings will obviously take priority, you can avoid disgruntled guests upset about not being able to watch the event watch live, or risk having their attention diverted elsewhere.Long lines for bathrooms and bars
No one likes spending their time waiting in line when they could be celebrating! Make sure your venue has enough bathroom facilities to accommodate your guests. To avoid bar crowds, set up a couple of bars dispersed throughout the venue, or if that's not possible, ensure that there are at least enough bartenders to keep the line moving. Experts typically recommend about one bartender per 50 to 60 guests.
Too long or too many speeches
Speeches at weddings can be incredibly sentimental, funny and touching, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Keep wedding speeches or toasts to 3-4 people max, and try and give everyone a time limit. More people want to speak? Amazing—just slot them in at the rehearsal dinner the night before when it's a more intimate group.
Not enough food
You can't expect people to spend their entire afternoon AND evening with you and NOT feed them! Passed apps and hors d'oeuvres will keep guests satisfied until dinner is served and then there are different options for different budgets for dinner. If you can't do a seated dinner, then a full buffet is a totally fine option! And always make sure you give your caterer an accurate headcount, and then budget for a little extra.
Forcing an outdoor ceremony
Mother Nature can rear her ugly head in the worst of times, especially during weddings, but unfortunately that's the risk you take when you book an outdoor venue, especially in the offseason. Work with your planner to have a backup plan you would be happy with in case of rain or extreme temperatures. Sometimes you have to let go of your perfect vision in order to ensure that your ceremony is both comfortable for your guests, and something you can give your undivided attention without stressing about the weather!
Unclear table assignments
Free-for-all seating sounds nice in theory, but in practice it can be hectic, confusing and potentially stressful for guests. Your wedding guests should clearly be able to tell where they're supposed to sit, aided either by escort cards or a clearly displayed seating chart. The best and easiest route is assigning tables but not necessarily individual seats.
Very specific dress codes
While requesting that guests adhere to general formality dress codes is totally acceptable and even helpful, asking them to wear a certain color or style can be a bit too restrictive. Especially if a guest doesn't already own something like this, because then it's just another expense they have to worry about! If you really care what people wear, suggest something with a little more flexibility, like neutrals or solids.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Julia Hurwitz is a freelance writer and Marketing Manager based in New York City. Her interests include travel, global craft, healthy baking, entertaining and exploring the outdoors.