Weddings are beautiful, special, romantic and joyous occasions that publicly celebrate a couple’s love. However, while everything is about the two of you, you’re also the lead hosts of a lavish event. All your loved ones have been invited and this leads to certain expectations. I’ve already blogged about which wedding traditions you could do without, but this post is different. It’s about avoiding guest gripes before they arise to make sure that everyone is happy on your big day. Well, you don’t want a whingeing sister ruining your special day, do you? Nope! Here’s how to keep the grumbles to a minimum and it starts with choosing the ideal date…
SAVE THE DATE
It’s a rare occasion where everyone invited to a wedding can attend, but it does happen so be prepared to accommodate every RSVP. However, there are some dates that picky guests will moan and groan over including anything near Christmas, New Year or even the summer holidays! It’s also best to keep your wedding away from anything too commercial like Valentine’s Day because lots of couples like to book mini-breaks and getaways at that time of year too. It’s not only cheaper to get married out of season; you’re more likely to have the number of guests you wanted as people tend to see the autumn and winter months as downtime and their social calendars are less busy.
Millennials are avoiding paper wedding invitations like the plague as they instead turn to wedding websites, bespoke hashtags, and even personalized snapchat filters (aparently?!) However, while some of your guests may be au fait with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, unless your grandmother’s pretty cool she won’t be impressed with a YouTube video invite. Stick to traditional invites that include details of when, where, what time. Add menu cards and directions for anyone who’s old school. Then, on a separate card, include your wedding website, any social media tags and if you’d like your guests to bring their phones or not. Unplugged weddings are now just as popular as those live streamed, but you’ll need someone to police those guests who’re sneakily taking pictures without drawing any attention to the issue.
ANYONE FOR COCKTAILS?
The drinks reception is primarily so that the bridal party can have some extra time with the photographer. It’s normally punctuated by canapés and tiny nibbles, so that guests aren’t starving by the time they sit down to dinner. Cocktail hours are supposed to be kept short, acting as natural lull between the ceremony and reception, so once guests have had a couple of glasses, they’ll be getting bored. Keep to the timetable and know when to put an end to all the pictures!
IT’S TOO HOT/COLD!
Nothing bothers people more than not being the right temperature, but it’s not your fault if your wedding ends up being a scorcher in a month of cool April Saturdays. When booking your venue ask about plan b, and where the wedding can be relocated to if it starts to rain. If it looks like heat is going to be an issue for a summer wedding, look to see how the venue is ventilated and enquire whether sky lights and windows can be opened if things get too stuffy.
ON THE MENU
Next to the ceremony sitting (and cake, of course!) down to dinner is normally one of the highlights of the day. Bear in mind that when it comes to the menu, you aren’t catering for just one family, but lots of different people who may have dietary restrictions. Try to include as many options as possible – it’s great if you’ve got a buffet! Think about the food that you as a couple enjoy, then adapt it to suit most people’s palettes. You’re never going to please everyone, but as long as the food is edible and those individuals who are vegan, vegetarian and halal aren’t restricted to just bread and salad, it’ll be fine. Dishes like chicken, beef, and lamb are traditional, then you can either have a formal dessert or serve wedding cake instead.
Yes, it’s your day, but you also need to consider everyone who’s come all that way especially to see you get married! Make sure you say hello to everyone at least once, a receiving line is the perfect opportunity for this. Try to chat with as many people as possible – don’t just hang out with the bridal party and close family as it’ll appear rude and very cliquish. If you don’t know someone, introduce yourself! As the bride the chances are most people will come up to you anyway, so you’ll have to do very little legwork yourself. Smile, thank them for coming and then let the conversation flow naturally because everyone will be nice to you today!
I hope these tips have given you some practical ways to cut the complaints before they even happen! Don’t worry yourself too much about grumbles on the day – put a bridesmaid in charge of temperature control, allow the best men to make sure everyone has a drink in their hand at the right time and ask vegetarian your aunt for help with the menu. Let me know if you have any other ideas for pleasing your wedding guests by leaving me a comment below 🙂