Couples spend a lot of time planning their wedding and of course pay attention to every detail that needs to be crossed off the wedding TO DO list. This means that the wedding with all its fixings will be greatly appreciated by everyone who attends, right? Wrong.
Throughout the years we’ve noticed how many things that seem obvious and necessary to the happy couple when planning a wedding are actually dubbed useless or even mildly annoying by many wedding guests. While its perfectly normal to have a few nay sayers on every social event, it is wise to hear what are the things that might really disturb your wedding guests. We have to say that there are a few things that we don’t really agree with and think people should just get over, but in many cases we do get where guests are coming from.
So let’s get into this!
1. WEDDING INVITATIONS & SAVE THE DATE CARDS (and objects!)
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on this as it’s a point that truly divides wedding guests into two groups- those who love and cherish pretty wedding invitations and save the date cards and those who would much rather receive a digital invitation instead.
While we get that pretty wedding invitations are somewhat part of the wedding traditions we have to say that our team is hugely leaning towards digital invitations – however small, the reduced impact on the environment is worth it. Most wedding invitations will be thrown away before the wedding day and we would much rather help the couple produce a sweet video invitation to send to their guests. After all- it’s much more likely that people will keep the video on their smartphone as a reminder of your friendship than save a printed version of the invitation.
Sometimes couples decide on small gifts that are included in their wedding invitation- a foulard to be worn on the welcome evening, a themed broch or an elegant fan for summer weddings. In that case we advise that the object be versatile enough to be re-used by guests- this way every time they wear the foulard or use the broch they’ll remember your wedding day. Please stay away from pointless things like little statues or porcelain figurines- they are nicknamed dust collectors for a reason.
2. SHORT NOTICE DESTINATION WEDDING /WEDDING ON AN UNUSUAL DAY
You have to bear in mind that your wedding guests will have to make plans in order to attend your wedding whenever/wherever it’s going to be held. But that is even more true when it comes to weddings abroad or weddings that are not happening on a Saturday- days off work and travel arrangements take some time to sort out.
While your friends and family will surely be delighted to attend your wedding it is important to remember that they do have lives of their own!
3. BEING HUNGRY FOR TOO LONG
You know that Snickers commercial “you’re not you when you’re hungry”? Exactly.
The mood your guests are in can make or break your wedding as far as enjoyment goes- people will be grumpy if too much time passes before they can have a bite. It doesn’t have to be much, we usually organise a toast right after the ceremony with a glass of champagne and finger food to keep the atmosphere cheery before the actual aperitif and reception start.
4. WAITING AROUND
Never, ever keep your guests feel like they’re just waiting around for something. While a wedding should feel spontaneous and non-scheduled, the spontaneity quickly looses its sparkle once an hour of nothing has gone by. The quality of a great wedding planner is to plan weddings that feel unstructured and relaxed, but are actually carefully organised so that there’s something going on at all times. Keep the music playing, plan a photobooth session during the time your photos are being taken and make sure your guests are entertained- they’ll thank you by making your wedding super fun and bad-mood-free.
5. TRAVEL TIME
We mostly plan destination weddings so guests are going to have to travel obviously. However, here we refer to the unnecessary time spent travelling from/to the airport or between venues. If your guests are taking the time to get on a plain to get to your wedding, try and avoid choosing venues that are more than 90 min away from the closest airport (and make sure that you organise a transport for them). There are many wonderful venues all over the world, so there really is no need to drag your guests landing in Paris half way across France to THAT chateau!
Also- 20min is about the maximum transfer time that people tolerate without problem between your ceremony and reception/party venue. Where it comes to weddings it’s all about planning in a way that allows for most fun and gives you and your guests as much time as possible to enjoy the wedding.
6. BAD FOOD
Bad food is one of the biggest complaints wedding guests have. Make sure that the venue you’re choosing has great cuisine as there’s nothing worse than attending a beautiful-looking wedding and end up with blah food. People attend weddings for two reasons- to share those special moments of joy with you and to have fun themselves. You know how they say love “Love goes through the stomach”? Well, we can tell you that your guest’s mood does to!
7. SELF-PAY BAR
This is a huge discussion- should the open bar during the party be payed for in its entirety by the couple? Or is it ok to give out limited drink vouchers and having guests pay for additional drinks themselves? We would love to know your thoughts.
While most of our couples are happy to offer unlimited drinks during the wedding dinner, the open bar is sometimes a bit tricky as it can get out of hand very quickly. We find that most wedding guests we’ve encountered were ok with paying for additional drinks themselves- it’s all about the way it’s presented to them. Don’t wait to tell your guests until the party starts- prepare an pretty welcome letter that you can email in advance or have it be left in their room upon arrival; that way they know what the programme/arrangement of the wedding weekend will be.
8. NOBODY LIKES IT HOT (or freezing for that matter)
This is self-explanatory really, but you’d be surprised at how often venues have no adequate shade or heating. While there’s nothing you can do about the weather, there are choices you can make in order to avoid the worst heat or cold, if you’re getting married in winter.
Make sure you stay away from scheduling your ceremony at noon in summer! And when choosing your wedding venue check for available shade and air condition. Have fans ready to give out and plenty of water for your guests. If you have a winter wedding, make sure you check if the venue has sufficient heating; while it sound pretty bonkers, there are many venues that don’t! Be careful with venues in Italy & Spain- for some reason they still think that winter doesn’t happen there.
9. BAD BAND/ DJ
The most obvious complaint here would be an awful music selection or singers/band that sound well, bad. But these are not the only things that qualify as bad.
Is the volume too low or to high? Are the speakers positioned in a way that blasts the head off guests seating next to them? And most of all- are the band/singers/DJ any good at motivating people to dance and party? This last point is one of the most important aspects of their work- they are the ones who can invite guests to the dance floor, crack a few jokes and make everyone tear up by reading a few lines written by your loved ones. So choose wisely!
10. BOOTCAMP FEELING
And last but not least- don’t turn your wedding into an over-planned affair. It’s important for your guests to know when they should be where, but don’t fill their days with minute-by-minute plans. It’s ok to leave a few hours free for them to explore the location and enjoy some down time, otherwise what’s the point of coming to Tuscany if you can’t actually see it?
Also- take it easy. Your wedding planners are there to take care of everything and everyone, so don’t feel like you have to act as coordinator and keep everyone happy. We’ve spent many months planning your wedding, so promise yourself to let go and focus on enjoying your very special destination wedding weekend 🙂