“It’s your wedding – do what you want!” I say that a lot and I firmly believe it. Keeping that in mind, here are a few suggestions to enable your guests to enjoy your wedding that much more.
Have a pub height sign in table. Think about it. It is always a little awkward when you are at a wedding, and you sign the guest book and you have to bend over just to sign it. I’ve seen more than one guest show off a little more than she intended. Having your guest book be on a table that is pub height will allow your guests to sign it much more comfortably. And they will be much more likely to sign it.
Think about the weather. I live in Austin where we can have outdoor weddings nearly year round. Although it looks pretty year round, the temperatures are something else entirely. Think about what your guests will be wearing – think about what you will be wearing – and consider a back up option may be necessary for exceptionally warm weather. You don’t want your guests being miserable in 100 degree heat with the sun bearing down on them while you are waiting to make your entrance. Bringing the ceremony indoors may make everyone happier and you can still do your photos outside. If you just have to have that outdoor wedding, offer your guests cold water, tea or lemonade while being seated and provide fans. Even better if your ceremony can be in the shade.
Skip the buffet. It isn’t always the cheapest option anyway, but if you must have a buffet have it be two-sided. The more guests you have, the longer it will take them all to get through the buffet, which results in unhappy or disappointed guests and a timeline that is completely out the window.
Don’t over do hors d’oeuvres. I think cocktail hour is a wonderful idea but don’t serve so many hors d’oeuvres that your guests lose their appetites for the main course!
If you have alcohol, you must provide real food for your guests. It’s never pretty when guests drink on an empty stomach. And finger foods don’t count.
Be careful where you seat people. Everyone wants to put Grandma near the dance floor so she can see all the action – but keep in mind where the speakers will be. If tables are near speakers, fill those tables with the people most likely to get up and dance.
Have a gift table – and a place for cards. Too often a couple insists they have received all of their gifts and there is no need for a gift table…and too often we are scrambling at the last-minute trying to figure out where to put the gifts and cards. Someone always brings a gift.
Think about parking. If parking will be complicated, consider hiring a valet service. Even if there is plenty of parking, but the lot is gravel – consider hiring a valet service. The last thing you want on your wedding day is a guest twisting her ankle in the parking lot!
Think about comfort. Look at your wedding plans from a guest’s point of view. If you were a guest, would you be comfortable? If not, think of alternatives.