Your wedding should showcase you and your partner’s love for each other and be tailored to your taste, style, and personality, however your wedding guests are traveling near and far to celebrate with you and their wishes matter too. It can be cumbersome to try and take care of all your guests at a large wedding, however there are some things you should not overlook when it comes to your wedding. Here are ten things that your guests care and a few that they do not.
10 Things Your Guests Care About at Your Wedding…and What they do Not
What They Do Care About
#1 Celebrating You and Talking With You
You may not be able to greet and speak with everyone at your wedding, but you can try to make a point to get up and around during your reception and speak to as many people as possible. Guests want to celebrate with you, and they want you to know that they are there for you. There will be some that come and speak to you after the ceremony, during your reception dinner, especially if your table is placed near the line that leads to or from the food, however couples that make a point to go over and speak to guests show their appreciation and gratitude for guests that decided to be a part of their special day.
#2 The Food - Serve Delicious Food, and Do not Make Them Wait for It
After the ceremony is over, there is typically about an hour-long lull period that happens in between the reception and the ceremony when the bridal party has pictures taken. If you go ahead and serve light Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails your guests will have something to munch on instead of sitting and being hungry while waiting. Some couples have even opted to have as many photos as they can take prior to the ceremony, after a first look moment between the bride and groom, so to cut down on the wait time after the ceremony. Remember that the Hors d’oeuvres are little one or two bite finger foods that should not be too heavy if you are going to serve a meal and then a dessert course afterward.
This could easily be a top #1 item for things that guests care most about a wedding, however for some guests it is less important. Serving alcohol is your decision however bear in mind that if you are going to serve it, it is a nice touch to provide free drinks and cocktails to your guests. You can even serve his and her signature cocktails for a nice personalized touch.
#4 Music / DJ / Band
Guests want to have a good time and the best way to ensure that is to hire entertainment such as a DJ or a live band. Music is a wonderful way to unwind and celebrate. Having a band that is versatile in what they play is a nice touch. DJ’s can also really make things fun by bringing the excitement and navigating the schedule of the reception by announcing when toasts are to happen, when dinner is to be served, and more.
#5 Seating Arrangements
This is a biggie. Guests want to be seated with their families and friends where possible. Larger weddings usually are best without providing seating arrangements. Who wants to work up a seating chart for 280 people? If you are going to provide a seating arrangement, make sure that it is easy to find at the front of the reception venue. One thing that is often overlooked is planning for seating. At our Williamsburg VA wedding venue, you can seat up to 280 people total in our various areas. Some brides opt to not provide a seating chart with this much space.
#6 Wedding Décor
Your wedding décor is something that most guests will be paying attention to. You should not try and duplicate every Pinterest idea that you can find. Opt for simple, low key décor, with tons of florals for the biggest impact. If you need to save money on florals, you can always opt for more simplistic décor. Do not try and overdo it with elaborate tablescapes. Try a gigantic hanging floral from chandeliers, or a wall of florals that would be a nice photo opportunity for guests.
#7 The Cake
Your wedding cake and desserts should be both beautiful and delicious. It is a nice touch to offer different varieties of dessert foods, not just the traditional wedding cake that bride and grooms typically try and stuff in each other’s faces at the reception. If you want to go the extra mile, try and have at least one vegan and gluten free option if some of your guests have a food intolerance.
#8 A Place to Boogie
Whether it’s a dancefloor or you make exceptional use of the Grand Hall for tons of space after your sit-down dinner, you should plan to provide your guests with a space to dance and let loose. Ask the band or DJ to make a playlist of common songs that you guests will dance to and enjoy the group dancing that will come. If you have a large wedding, you will need a pretty large space for everyone to take part in the dancing that wants to.
#9 Fun, Little Extras
Whether it is a photo bus or van, or a cute little photo booth that you have set up inside of our venue, you should try to provide fun, little extra things for guests to enjoy. Yard games are also a big hit if you can acquire games like Cornhole, Giant Jenga, and Giant Connect Four.
#10 The Venue
You should choose a wedding venue that meets the needs of all your guests. Having a space that is elegant, timeless, and a bit of a blank slate that you can paint your vision on is what you should look for and value in a wedding venue. The Maine of Williamsburg is the premier wedding venue in Williamsburg. We feature indoor and outdoor spaces where you can seat and host your ceremony and reception. Learn more about our wedding venue amenities and prices.
What They Don't Care About
Your wedding ceremony should be about you and your partner and the love that you share. You should not be thinking anything remotely stressful during this time. Plan the ceremony to be exactly what you and your partner wants and make that moment be about you two. Your guests are there to witness the special moment. The ceremony is not for them.
Vows, Readings, and Special Moments During the Ceremony
If you are stressed about your vows, craft them from the heart if you are coming up with your own. If you are opting for more traditional vows that you both recite, just know that you should not stress about reciting them and messing up, or how you will sound. If you have special readings during the ceremony, just know that your guests are not thinking about these readings and judging them meticulously. Your ceremony is all about you and your future spouse and no one else.
Bouquet and Garter Toss
The bouquet and garter toss are traditional American wedding festivities, however for most guests these are some of the things that they tend to say they could do without. Sometimes they even create awkward moments between people that would have been spared that moment otherwise. If you really want to have these moments, go right ahead, but just know that your guests are hardly paying attention during them.
Your family and friends will probably be nervous the day of your wedding and have pre-planned a nice long toast that includes lots of fun memories and times that you have shared with them, however most guests will be mulling around during the toast and hardly paying attention at all. These moments should not be a stressful time at all.
These days it seems like everyone has a table filled with wedding favors including your signature lip balm, candles, bottle openers, koozies and other fun items that feature your wedding monogram or logo. You really do not have to stress about these items as most guests will not even take them home.