Weddings are a celebration that includes more than just you and your spouse to be. It’s a time for you to share your love and commitment to one another surrounded by your nearest and dearest, which is why making your wedding guests feel appreciated and involved on the day is paramount. With all the excitement of the big day, the last thing you want is to neglect your guests so to help you avoid this we list the top 13 ways to annoy your wedding guests.
1. Plus One Confusion
Confusing your guests before the wedding has even started is an annoyance that can tarnish the rest of the day. You want to make sure your wedding invitations are clear, the last thing you want is your guests assuming they have a plus one when they don’t. To avoid this, make sure you address the invitation clearly to your guests, don’t mention the plus one. If the conversation regarding their partner pops up, answer them straight away. Don’t tell them you will think about it if the answer is a firm “no”.
2. An Inconvenient Date
Booking the date of your wedding on a popular holiday, for example bank holiday weekends, school summer holidays or even a religious holiday; may seem like the best option because everyone’s off work or the weather’s great. However, if you’re making plans for that day chances are so are your guests. You may even find there’s a major sporting event or festival the same day of your wedding. To avoid losing your guests or even inconveniencing them, do your research. Find out in advance what’s happening the weekend or week of your wedding. You also may want to ask your family and close friends what their plans are for the holiday season. You’re never going to please everyone, but planning accordingly will put your mind at ease.
3. Traditions Left Unexplained
If you know some of your guests won’t be familiar with your religion or culture, it’s only polite to inform them of what’s going on. We’re not asking you to have a running commentary during the ceremony. The considerate thing to do will be to describe the service and rituals in the order of service. Guide them through the traditions with a short explanation of what will happen and why. Knowing a little about your ceremony will make your guests feel welcomed and a part of each special moment.
4. Alfresco Activities in Unpleasant Weather
When you have a beautiful venue with scenic gardens and grounds, it’s only natural to want to make use of them. Alfresco cocktails and canapés sounds like a wonderful idea, but this can only be reality if the weather permits. If it’s too cold or too hot you will need a plan B. Forcing your guests to stand and participate in extreme weather conditions will make for one grumpy reception.
5. Being Kept Out of the Loop
Not knowing what’s going on or where you have to be is confusing and annoying on the best of days. Wedding guests are there to share your special moments with you and won’t be best pleased if they miss anything because they got lost or weren’t informed. Resolve this issue by delegating the task to either your groomsman or maid of honour, or hiring a toast master for the day. Alternatively, our wedding signs can point your guests in the right direction.
6. Long Gaps away from Your Guests
When you’re planning how your wedding day will flow it’s easy to run away with ideas of how you and your new spouse will spend the day, what time you’ll have your pictures, what time you’ll make your entrance, what time you’ll take a time out. It’s easy to forget what your guests will be doing during the gaps. When working out timings it’s important to consider how long you will be away from your guests, anything longer than two hours will push anyone’s patience. Book some wedding entertainment for a couple of hours to avoid them becoming restless and help get the reception party atmosphere off the ground.
7. Inconvenient Table Arrangements and Centrepieces
Finding their seats after a long morning shouldn’t be hard work for your guests. Make it a smooth process with place cards or a table planner that’s easy to locate and read. Once seated, your guests should be able to see what’s going on around them, this means your centrepieces shouldn’t get in the way. If you’re considering tall centrepieces make sure they are slim enough for your guests to see each other. Also when you’re picking flowers for your arrangements consider guests with allergies. No one’s going to want to sit through a meal and the speeches if they’re sneezing every two seconds. To avoid this, ask your guests to make a note in the RSVP if they have any allergies.
8. Sitting with Strangers
We know it’s hard putting together a seating plan; trying to accommodate everyone’s needs is difficult. But the last thing anyone will want it is to be sat with strangers. To avoid this try and make sure you seat people with at least one person they know and don’t try and play Cupid! Don’t force single guests to sit with other single guests in the hopes of them getting together!
9. Not Being Organised
There’s nothing worse than standing around not knowing what’s going on, especially when you have no control over anything. If you’re disorganised, the chances of your guests knowing what to do or expect is very slim. Make sure you have a schedule and you stick with it. Your guests won’t appreciate you wasting their time.
10. Not Serving the Right or Enough Food
Food has a way of playing with your emotions and not always in a positive way. No one wants a group of hungry guests because there wasn’t enough food or the food was inedible. Make sure you give your caterers a clear number of guests you are having and make sure you’ve asked your guests for their dietary requirements.
Photo Credit: Amberley Castle
11. Uncontrolled Kids
When inviting children to your wedding consider ways to keep them entertained during the reception. It may be difficult during the ceremony, but the reception is the perfect opportunity to give them a few activities to keep them happy. Having a crèche or a babysitter will help ease the strain on you and the children’s parents. If the children are upset or frustrated, this may have a knock-on effect for the rest of your guests, tantrums will definitely have your older guests making an early exist.
12. Couples Who aren’t Welcoming
With a lot of couples now opting out of a receiving line, saying “hi” is proving to be difficult. We’re not asking you to greet every guest as they arrive, but a simple “hi,” a smile and wave to show your appreciation will warm anyone’s heart. Especially if they’ve travelled a long distance to see you get married.
13. Not Being Thanked
We’ve all been taught that a thank you goes a long way and your wedding day is no exception. Thanking your guests for their gifts is a must, whether you do it in writing, through an email or via social media, showing them you appreciate their gift and the effort they made to come to your day is gracious and respectful.
1. Destination Weddings That Require Multiple Forms Of Transportation
A flight to Mexico City and a cab ride? That’s fine, because I committed to your destination wedding and that’s the same amount of transportation it would take if I was flying to Mexico for vacation. But a flight to Vermont where I need to rent a car and then drive two more hours to a faraway farm? That’s rough. (And also, sorry, not Mexico.)
But before I whine too much, I’ll say that there is a very easy way to resolve this: just organize that bus from the airport for your wedding crew, or let us know ahead of time that there won’t be Ubers available to take us from the airport to Tiny Town, New Hampshire. Information is key.
2. Two-Night Hotel Minimums
I recently received a save-the-date that listed one lodging option that required a two-night minimum at $450 a room, with one night’s stay deposit. I said “hard pass,” and did my own Airbnb search. I definitely understand that it can be tricky to arrange lodging for all of your guests, but providing information about the different options is extremely helpful. I don’t care if it’s a Holiday Inn — just tell me where to look! Especially if you’re not getting married in a major city.
3. Lack Of Bars Or Bathrooms At The Reception
After a long ceremony, and an even longer trip, the last thing your guests feel like doing is waiting in a massive line for the bathroom or cocktail hour bar. Choosing a venue with ample bathrooms and bars is key. The best solution to this I’ve seen in action? A self-serve frozen margarita machine bar. (And that was a black-tie wedding. Yes please.)
4. Having A Destination Wedding With No Friday Plans
If you are asking the majority of guests to travel to your wedding — even if it’s just a four or five hours — understand that they’ll probably want to settle in the night before, so that they can enjoy their Saturday morning pre-wedding, and start looking fabulous, so plan something for them.
No, you don’t need to invite everyone to your rehearsal dinner because it is 2018, but organizing welcome drinks for people to get to know each other is the right move here.
5. Having A Wedding On A Holiday
I completely understand that weddings are expensive, and that some couples are on a budget. I would tell those couples to go to City Hall, and then throw a really great party afterward. Taking up someone’s Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or even Labor Day just feels a bit self-important.
Arbor Day? St. Patrick’s Day? Go for it! I’m even OK with a Friday wedding — if it’s a destination wedding. You’re probably traveling Friday AM anyways, and then you have Saturday to hang out in Chapel Hill at a Brewery with the bride and groom (shout out to my friend’s wedding that fully converted me on Friday weddings). Taking up a holiday, however, is a rough look, no matter what day that holiday falls on.
6. Having A Shower And A Bachelorette And An Engagement Party
I love you, I do, but I can’t buy a gift for every darn party you invite me to. I think having a bachelorette and a wedding is a great in between. Especially since the rule is that you should send a gift to a shower even if you can’t make it. (Tacky!) You don’t want your friends buying three presents and a flight to Nashville all in the name of your love.
7. No Plus-One For The Bridal Party
These women are probably buying dresses, presents, flights to Nashville (see above) and more. Even if your bridesmaids are single, give them a plus-one. I promise they won’t take you up on it with some random from the dive bar, and the gesture is classy. And if you really can’t swing it, be sure to sit her next to the cutest single groomsman.
8. An Unclear Dress Code
When there is no dress code clearly listed on an invite, you are doing both yourselves and your guests a disservice. If you’re throwing the wedding, you are going to field one million texts from guests to clarify, which sucks. Plus, then your more polite guests who don’t want to bother you might end up over or underdressed, which is never a good time. Pick a traditional and clear dress code like “formal” or “cocktail attire,” place it on the invite, and let them Google for clarifications from there.
9. When You Have A Destination Bachelorette And A Destination Wedding
Again, I sound like Scrooge, but asking guests to spend an arm and a leg on multiple flights for destination wedding events is a lot. Especially because they’re probably going to quite a few more weddings this summer. It’s wedding season, which is fun, but expensive. Remember how you once felt as a guest!
10. A Buffet Dinner During The Speeches
I know that buffet dinners are sometimes unavoidable, but I hate waiting in a line for rapidly cooling food while craning my neck to watch the heartfelt speeches (my favorite part of a wedding). I want to be able to toast! Try to organize the food timing ahead of time.
Flood my mentions, but I don’t love children at weddings. These are adult affairs, especially if it’s an evening wedding, and screaming children just don’t exactly fit the mix. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: if the couple has children already, family members, and so on. But I would highly consider adding a “no kids” disclaimer to your invite.
12. A Cash Bar
I would rather have a 20-person wedding with an open bar and oysters than a 150-person wedding with a cash bar. It’s just wrong. People are spending money on you, the least you can provide is an open bar.
This is harsh, but this is how I feel. It’s your special day, and the more fun your guests have, the more fun you will have. Happy guests will make for a more memorable wedding day than custom chocolates shaped like the bride and groom as party favors. I promise.