Make your guests feel like they just attended the wedding of the decade? Here are few things guests really want from a wedding.
1. A Short But Sweet Ceremony
Yes, guests love seeing a couple exchange vows…but to be honest: They're really there for the party (i.e. reception). Keep the ceremony short and sweet, and they'll bounce right out of their seats, ready to get the festivities started.
2. A Wedding That Flows
Have you ever been to a reception that dragged on and on? Where people got hungry waiting too long for the food to be served? Where everyone was already tired of sitting, but the toasts hadn't even started yet? If you want to avoid grumpy guests, work with your wedding vendors to ensure a seamless timeline and flow of events from ceremony, to cocktail hour, to reception.
3. Clear Direction
Guests secretly want to be told what to do. No one enjoys standing around like a deer in headlights wondering where they're supposed to go next. Whether it's cute signs pointing to the ceremony location, or a seating chart that shows guests where they can put their stuff, they'll appreciate knowing where they're supposed to be—and when. Just be nice and try to seat everyone next to people they actually like.
4. Good Food
And plenty of it! Even offer extras like a late-night snack or a dessert.
5. The Right Music Mix
For the most part, grandmas aren't fans of gangsta rap. You'll want to stock hire a DJ that will get everyone dancing—young and old alike. The music is what will ultimately create that party atmosphere, so pick an experienced DJ who has knowledge of tunes that span the generations and appeal to every taste.
HINT: Mixlive Productions is great at this!
Your friends love to drink and dance. Your grandparents would rather treat your wedding like a family reunion and catch up with relatives. The kiddos want to play outside. Keep your diverse groups of guests in mind when planning your reception. Seat your college friends by the bar. Create a quiet lounge area on the opposite side of the room for elderly family members. Make sure there's entertainment for the kids. Win-win-win.
7. An Open Bar
Weddings are about love...and cocktails. And no, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to host a full open bar for the entire night. Guests will absolutely appreciate free beer and wine, and soft drinks.
If you choose to include children on the guest list, all the parents will be delighted if there's a designated kid's room, an area with crafts, or some other form of entertainment for the little ones. Hire a reputable wedding childcare company, or a beloved nanny and some of her friends to chaperone, and the parents can enjoy a date night courtesy of your wedding.
9. A Few Good Speeches
Try to stick to two or three speeches by people you've chosen. It's nice to want to open up the floor to anyone who'd like to express their well wishes, but you'll soon regret that decision if your drunk and long-winded yet well-meaning uncle gets a hold of that microphone.
10. Useful Wedding Favors
Give your guest something that won't just sit somewhere collecting dust..or get thrown away. When in doubt, go the edible route.