I went to a wedding recently that prompted me to write a summation of dos and don’ts that I think some of you brides-to-be may find helpful.
1. Do not allow your band or DJ to play deafeningly loud music.
2. Do not let your waitstaff or caterer allow for bottlenecking at a buffet-style wedding
3. Do not skimp on extra waitstaff to work your event, to avoid having guests finally receive dinner after you’ve cut the cake
4. Do not forget to thank your invitees’ dates – they are still your guests even if you didn’t specifically invite them
5. Do not let your guests wait around for hours in between the ceremony and reception. Cap it at 1.5 hours max.
6. Do not choose to have an outdoor wedding in New England without having a solid backup plan in the event of torrential rain. Clam bakes in June are a great idea….but not if the sand is soaking wet.
1. Do make sure your guests have plenty of seating during cocktail hour
2. Do take the time to greet each guest and thank them for attending
3. Do make sure your guests are comfortable by hiring a wedding planner or event coordinator who can proactively solve problems to make your guests feel like, well, guests!
4. Do choose a caterer that has well-groomed servers and plenty of them to go around. Food can only be as great as it was at your tasting if it reaches all of your guests within a reasonable amount of time and isn’t stone cold when it arrives.
5. Do secure a rental for a tent or an inside facility so that in the event bad weather hits on your day, your guests can stay dry.
6. Do make sure you have a facility that can accommodate the number of guests. If you have 300 people coming to your wedding, make sure that there will be plenty of elbow room and that guests won’t be crammed into a tiny little cocktail hallway or be tripping over each other to get to the restroom.
The biggest takeaways from this are that there are 3 basic things all wedding guests want: good food, good drinks, and comfort. Ok, yes, it is YOUR day, not theirs. But don’t you want to be considerate and make sure that your family, friends, and coworkers have a good time at your wedding? After all, they have given up a weekend day and evening (or even a full weekend in order to travel to your destination) and they have given you a generous gift.
If you are budgeting and need areas to cut back on – go easy on the floral arrangements, silk chair covers, or other unnecessary tidbits. Seriously, no one is going to think back and remember that you had an ice sculpture of your names. They are, however, going to remember how great (or not so great) the food was, how the service was, and whether or not they were comfortable.
I would highly recommend shortening your guest list, in exchange for having better quality food and service. Have enough chairs so that tired high-heeled feet can rest and invest in some extra waitstaff to make sure your guests get the same first class experience you had at your tasting. And for goodness sake, do not let the music blow out guests’ eardrums!