Do you want your marriage to be up to the task? Imagine a perfect day where guests have fun in a good atmosphere under a bright sun. Perhaps you fear guest criticism? But do you know what the guests don’t like the most? To be able to avoid these problems and have the wedding that your guests really like, it is interesting to know what really bothers them during a wedding, to know the things they complain about the most.
Too much waiting time
A long period between the ceremony and the reception. Wait a long time while the bride and groom take pictures. A cocktail that lasts forever or a dessert that is long overdue. Guests are much less busy than you are on your wedding day. To keep them from getting bored, make sure you organise the day’s program properly. Make sure that the wine of honour does not last too long, take pictures before the ceremony or plan activities for your guests if they have to wait: a music group, a photo booth… Be imaginative.
The seating plan
The seating plan is an essential point for the atmosphere of your meal. It is also one of the most delicate parts to prepare in order to try to make each guest feel comfortable in the place assigned to him/her and have fun. My previous articles cover this topic: Keys to a successful seating plan and Which guests at the wedding table?
Music too noisy
Some guests like to dance but many guests prefer to continue to chat during the evening. If the music is too loud, some guests may be embarrassed and shorten their evening. Ideally, people who do not want to dance should be able to talk without having to scream. Adjust the sound system or plan a place where guests who are not dancing can chat quietly.
Interminable speeches or ceremonies
First the bride’s witness who gives a tearful speech of a quarter of an hour. Then, the groom’s witness who tells the details of a well-watered evening. In addition, friends who list the most embarrassing situations you have ever known. Finally, your father who philosophies about babies and hopes to become a grandfather. All this in front of your colleagues, your friends, your in-laws… And it lasts 35 minutes between each dish at the beach… Stop it and no one will like it. Limit the number of guests who will take the floor and let them know that too long speeches will not amuse anyone.
The ceremony is an important point for the bride and groom. But most of the guests are waiting for the reception. They enjoy having a drink and chatting and dancing. If the ceremony lasts longer, you will meet sleeping guests.
Guests who are hungry are more relaxed and the atmosphere suffers. But it is also true for the opposite. Imagine a secular or religious ceremony from 12pm to 1pm. The wine of honour will not start before 1:30 pm in the best case and will finish around 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm. And so the guests would settle for the meal at the earliest around 3:45 pm. I can imagine the hungry guests at 4:00 p. m. waiting impatiently for dinner. Not to mention that Uncle Jules has been drinking but has only eaten a few appetizer cookies: he is already rolling under the table!
Guests do not ask to eat, but they want to have enough to eat so they are not hungry. And if you have a tight budget, it is better to choose a sufficient quantity of food of satisfactory quality than to plan small quantities of luxurious food. Indeed, if they are very hungry, what the guests will remember is that there was not enough to eat even if the dishes were of a superior quality. On the other hand, if the food is correct in reasonable quantities and the guests are satisfied, the atmosphere will be more relaxed. In any case, it is likely that guests do not remember what was on the menu for very long.
The choice of the wedding date
Your wedding is the most important day for you but this is not necessarily the case for your guests. Think carefully when you choose what your big day will be. Do you want to take advantage of the summer holidays to organise your big day? Many guests may want to go on holiday. A long weekend or a day before a public holiday? Even if the rates may be more advantageous, guests often have a habit or even family obligations on these days. Mother’s Day or Father’s Day: Guests will probably regret having to leave their parents behind to participate in your wedding. Also to be avoided: on days of major sporting or other events because you wouldn’t want guests to keep their eyes glued to the screen of their smartphone to follow the performance of their favourite team.
The dress code
You want everything to be perfect, including the guests’ clothes: that’s normal. Would you like them to adopt a dress code? Perfect, but avoid requirements that make them uncomfortable. Make them dress in apple green or wear a hat and your guests may feel ridiculous or not easily find what you impose (they won’t spend a year preparing for your wedding unlike you). Imagine having to spend a lot of money to comply with a distant cousin’s dress code in addition to having already paid for a gift and transportation… Guests with the least means may find your requirements too expensive.
In short, a dress code is fine but a flexible dress code. Suggest a touch of green rather than requiring them to wear green from head to toe. Ask them to wear an element of the theme you determine rather than a whole outfit and if possible do not make them buy something expensive that they can only wear once. (You might want to check out how to wear for a autumn wedding.)
Having to pay for drinks
Bringing your wallet with you during the wedding reception is rather uncomfortable and guests don’t like it. If your budget is limited, try to offer a limited choice of drinks: soft drinks, beer and/or wine at least for the first few hours of the reception.
And you: Have you ever faced this kind of problem as a guest? In your opinion, what do you think the guests dislike the most? Or better yet, do you have any tips to prevent guests from being embarrassed at your wedding?