Weddings are filled with loving memories of family and friends celebrating together. Occasionally, however, guests may have a bad wedding experience that makes their memory of the event seriously tainted. It’s important to keep your guests comfortable, happy and entertained because although it’s your big day, they’re there to witness it and celebrate it with you. Nobody wants their wedding guests to leave unhappy, so here we’ve listed the 10 most common wedding guest complaints along with tips on how to avoid them.
1. A difficult date
When planning the date of your wedding, try to steer clear of holidays or annual social events. Many people have traditions and travel plans revolving around days like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July weekend or even the Super Bowl. These are usually plans that people would prefer not to miss, so try choosing an alternative date for your big day. If your heart is set on a potentially busy date, then be sure to send a Save the Date card out far in advance.
Photo Credit: Green Bride Guide
2. Traveling to and from venues
You may have grand plans for showing guests all of your favorite spots by utilizing multiple venues for your big day, but you need to take your guests’ travel into consideration. Guests who spend the day traveling to and from different venues for your wedding will end up tired and stressed. You’ll also prevent your drivers from kicking back and relaxing with some cocktails, so do your best to minimize the amount of travel required. If you do have multiple locations then offer up a shuttle service to remove the hassle of parking and to allow guests to enjoy some drinks throughout the night.
Photo Credit: JD Entertainment
3. An uncomfortable climate
Whether your venue is indoors or outside, it’s important to make sure your guests are comfortable. There’s nothing worse than having sit through a windy and freezing outdoor wedding, or melting from the sweltering heat. Weather is unpredictable, so be sure to accommodate for shifting temperatures by utilizing air conditioners, fans or heaters as necessary. You can provide fans, cold drinks and sunglasses for warmer weddings, or cozy pashminas, scarves and blankets for colder weddings.
Photo Credit: Tikko Weddings
4. Not expecting the unexpected
It’s important to manage the expectations of your guests and give them a clear sense of what to expect at your wedding. If the ceremony will be held indoors, be sure to list that on the invitation so that guests can dress appropriately. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a soggy garden reception site in 3-inch heels. If you are only having small nibbles and hors d’oeuvres at your reception, be sure to mention that on your invitation as well. You don’t want guests to show up expecting a full dinner and then going home hungry.
Photo Credit: Kathy G
5. Seating snafus
Guests will not enjoy their evening if they are uncomfortable at their reception tables. Don’t crowd your tables so much that guests are bumping elbows trying to cut their steak. When deciding how many guests will fit at each table, consider the size of your centerpieces and the formality of your place settings. Also, be sure that your centerpieces don’t obstruct views around the table.
Photo Credit: Bridal Guide
6. Cash for cocktails
Wedding guests may expect an open bar at your wedding. After spending money on traveling, a hotel and a wedding gift, the last thing guests want to do is open their wallet again at the bar. If you’re on a budget, then stick to a limited selection of beer and wine, or consider creating a couple of signature drinks. By creating a custom alcohol menu, you’ll be able to save money on an open bar.
Photo Credit: Tie The Knot
7. Disregarded dietary restrictions
Your guest list may include vegetarians, vegans and folks with food allergies. Be sure to inquire with guests beforehand about any dietary restrictions so that you will have a plan for feeding them a proper meal, not a last-minute plate of side dishes thrown together. You can ask them what their dietary restrictions are on their RSVP cards and keep an organized tally on your guest list to see what kind of food you’ll need to include on your reception menu.
Photo Credit: Food Art Inc
8. Formalities that go on forever
There are some staple formalities and wedding day traditions that every guest expects to see, like the exchanging of vows, the father/daughter dance, the toasts and the cutting of the cake. However, if any of these customs goes on for too long, guests will lose interest and get antsy. Allow your guests plenty of time to socialize and dance by keeping the timing of these rituals to a minimum. Remind those who are giving speeches that short and sweet is best and provide them with a timeframe for their remarks.
Photo Credit: The Plunge
9. The disappearing duo
Your guests want to personally congratulate you on your big day, and many of them have traveled a far distance. You don’t want them to only see you once when you walk down the aisle. Make time to visit with each one of your guests individually. For a more personal touch, consider skipping the receiving line and instead go table to table to thank each person for coming. You can also have your photographer follow you and take photos of you greeting every guest so that you have a complete record of who was there.
Photo Credit: Ben Eng Photography
10. A neglected note
Once your big day is over, don’t forget about your thank you notes. Guests spent time and money to celebrate with you and give you a special gift. Take the time to recognize their generosity by writing a personal, meaningful thank-you note and send it in a timely fashion. Even if you fall behind on your thank yous, it’s never too late to send a handwritten, heartfelt message.
Photo Credit: Project Wedding
When you’re planning your wedding, you and your partner are the center of attention. But, your wedding day wouldn’t be nearly as special if your friends and family weren’t there to celebrate it with you. Follow these ten tips and you’ll be sure that the memories your guests carry with them are happy ones like experiencing the beautiful wedding venue, chatting with the glowing bride, eating delicious food and dancing the night away.