Dealing with Wedding Guest Gripes : Part I

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wow! That last series really got a lot of you worked up! I even had a few of you mad at me which made me a little sad, but the truth is, while the guests quoted in those articles were really harsh, there were definitely some relevant messages to consider from what your guests will and won't notice at your wedding. I've said it before and I just want to remind everyone that I truly believe in the art of entertaining. And, while, I also think a wedding day should 100% reflect the couple's style, personality, etc., I don't believe it should be done so in a way that sacrifices the guest's comfort. It's your's your celebration...but you are still inviting several if not hundreds of people to be a part of that celebration, so again, while those opinions were rude, they are worth considering. Now, as mentioned before, you'll never make everyone happy so don't even try, but along with the amazing flowers, your one and only wedding gown and the other details, take some time to really focus on your guest's comfort as well. They truly are one of the most important elements in having a successful celebration.
Since I NEVER like to stir the pot or make the planning more stressful than it needs to be, today, I wanted to touch on each of the complaints mentioned in the article and throw in my two it goes. Oh, and if you're just tuning in and want to know what all of the fuss is about, click here, here and here.
Again, the wording was harsh, but the message is true. Leaving your guests in limbo is definitely no fun and can ultimately loose the momentum in your event. People want to celebrate you and your union IMMEDIATELY. They're excited. They're ready to party and nothing can ruin a buzz like milling around a bookstore for two hours while waiting for the real party to begin. It can be unavoidable, believe me, I know! So, if for some reason this isn't an option for you, maybe suggest a very casual get together for your guests to enjoy at a local restaurant or bar until the party begins.

This complaint, along with most of the others, really is only one you would hear from acquaintances for distant friends. BUT, if you are hoping for their attendance on your day, you might want to avoid holidays where they will likely want to be with close family. Now, on the other hand, if you are hoping for an intimate celebration with the best of the best, then a holiday wedding is completely appropriate as you would have probably spent that day with those people anyway!

I disagree for the most part with this one. I think most guests do really enjoy the ceremony. At least the guests that matter. BUT, what I do think is relevant from this comment is try to consider all of your guests when planning the evening. A head table of 30 of your closest friends when you only have 50 people at the wedding can leave people feeling left out, as can a song list that is filled with inside jokes. Also, this complaint isn't so much about hiring a BAD band, as it is, hiring the type of entertainment that YOU would want to dance to. The truth is, guests will follow your lead, so if you want guests to dance, start dancing, but first start by hiring a band, dj or any other type of entertainment that you would actually want to dance to...

I'm not sure how many guests actually think their gift is in exchange for an amazing dinner, but, I can say if you are having an over-the-top wedding where it is obvious you broke the bank to create a breathtaking atmosphere, you set the expectation that the food will be amazing. Many couples focus so much on the design and decor that they forget about the food. Guests like a beautiful party for so long, but if after a bit, they don't have decent food or entertainment, they will get bored. Sad but true.


Anonymous said...

I think the brides that got upset are forgetting that they are not just a bride, but they are also the host of a party. As a host, its your responsibility to consider your guests needs. Simple. So good advice, Beth!

Stella said...

Hi Beth, I actually think that the comments were really helpful and agree with them on the most part.. I am always weary of the fact that even though it's my wedding, I'm throwing the biggest party of my life and the same etiquette applies. the best weddings & parties i've been to were those thrown by considerate hosts, and have the same magic components: great food, great music, great crowd :)

Bling and Blog said...

Hi Beth

I can't find anything offensive about your advice what so ever. I think part of the problem is that brides keep hearing things like "there are no rules anymore" as far as weddings are concerned. While, this may be true with regard to location, decor, and even the wedding dress, there are still some basic rules that apply to entertaining. In my opionion, the #1 rule is: make your guests feel special. I think this advice, can sometimes get lost, in the haze of choosing the wedding gown and flowers. But truth be told, these things rarely make the event memorable.
I went to a wedding in Carmel, a few years ago. It was the best wedding I have ever been to. It was intimate, with hundreds of votive candles and the one of the best meals of my life and expertly paired with wine. The guests recieved their own individual cakes, as favors. while this might not be an option for those with larger guest lists, the point should be taken: the bride took painsaking efforts to make each guest feel spcial.