Wedding Guests' Secret Gripes : Part II

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just a bit more insight into your guest's secret pet peeves from The Knot...

Why would you bother spending thousands on your flowers if your food is going to taste terrible? We want a delicious meal way more than we want pretty centerpieces. You don't know this, but we actually think of that $200 gift as a contribution to a great meal. If it's not as good as something we'd have at a restaurant, we're going to be disappointed. Even if the food is tasty, don't make us go hungry. We don't need an eight-course meal, but we don't want to have to push through other guests just to get to the tiny hors d'oeuvres you're calling dinner.

Treat your guests like guests; don't make us bring our wallets whenever we want a drink! When you have more than 300 guests and a cash bar, we wish that you would've just cut the list and paid for our drinks instead. How exactly are we supposed to feel when we paid for flights, a rental car, a hotel room, and a gift, and then you make us pay at the bar? So not cool.

We want to have fun at your wedding, believe us, but it's pretty tricky when you seat us right in front of giant speakers. We won't be able to talk to anyone at our tables or enjoy our dinner if you're blowing out our eardrums. Before you book your venue, make sure there's enough space for tables without having to make us sit in the DJ's lap. And don't make us suffer in the heat. If you're having a summer wedding, do it somewhere with air conditioning!

Also, if you want to be outdoors, don't make us rough it: Walking around in the mud, swatting bugs, or using porta-potties is even less fun in formal attire. And please give us plenty of places to sit. Cocktail hours are great, but it's pretty tough to balance our plates, drinks, and purses while standing — in heels no less!


Eden said...

I love your blog and have found tons of helpful hints for planning our 10/10/10 wedding. This post made me angry, especially the "You Sat Me Here." We're not going to have the speaker problem as we're putting the head table in front of the speakers (figure we won't be sitting). It's the sentiment I fear from our guests. I'd hope that guests would understand some things are outside the control of the bride and groom. For example, our venue has two levels - a main floor and a balcony (pics at We'd always planned on roping off the balcony and only using the main floor. We found out later that only 1/2 the guests can be seated at tables on the main floor. So during dinner not all guests in the balcony can see the main floor. We're completely changing up the timeline for toasts etc. so that the guests in the balcony will be finished with their meals before anything happens on the main floor, but we're still worried guests will be offended that they were seated in the balcony. What irritated me about the post was the tone - that the bride and groom hadn't thought about the guests. There are some things outside the couple's control and this post made it seem as if the couple purposely gave someone a bad seat or stiffed them on drinks.

Beth Helmstetter said...

Hi Eden:

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and thank you so much for your comment. I completely understand and overall I try first and foremost to write posts that help relieve stress for the wedding day rather than add stress. First, I want to point out that I didn't personally write the post. I re-posted an article that was written by another source because I thought it did give some good insight into how guests think.The article was written in the voice of a guest by the author, and doesn't necessarily reflect my sentiments or even the authors. It was literally information she secured from guests of recent weddings. I agree that some of these guests sound rude and are missing the point of a wedding celebration, but, on the other hand, the reason I found this article useful is because it does serve as a reminder that while it is YOUR wedding day, you are still the gracious host of a amazing party. I'm a big believer in the art of entertaining which encompasses a good blend of trying to make everyone happy from you, as the bride, to Aunt Cathy who has attended dozens and dozens of weddings. It's not always possible but reminders of things that make guests uncomfortable can usually only help. The article was not my tone and not the words I would have chosen, but I thought it was relevant which is why I shared. My apologies for adding stress to your plans or for offending you in any way. If anything on this list caused you added frustration or concern because of some of your own planning decisions, feel free to email me or comment again and I can provide advice on how to combat any issues that may arise...Also, in the next couple of weeks, I promise to add a post giving solutions to these complaints as well as even a post on guest etiquette so guests know it's not appropriate to add additional stress onto the couple when they are trying very hard to plan the perfect day.

Thank you again Eden. I appreciate your readership and feedback! Congratulations again!