People always say that it’s “your day”, and while they are right I always think the best weddings are ones that really take care of the guests too. While I am all for making decisions based on what makes you and your partner happy, I think it’s really nice to consider how your friends and family will enjoy the day.
Here are eight relatively simple things you might consider doing. After all, happy guests will make the day even more magical!
Make transportation easy
Logistics, especially if you are having parts of the day in different locations, can be a stress point for some guests. Particularly if they’re not from the area it might be a nice idea to lay on transport to make sure everyone can get from A to B. For extra bride-points, why not lay on taxis to make sure everyone gets home safely too?
Offer plenty of food options
With so many people having allergies, intolerances and dietary requirements, picking one meal to suit everybody’s needs is most likely an impossibility! To make sure everyone is fed and watered, consider putting on a couple of meal options (you can ask them in your invites if they have any specific requirements or have a couple of options and get them to pick one). You could also have a buffet with lots of different things to try. Most catering companies should be able to rustle up vegetarian, vegan and gluten/ nut free options for specific cases.
Have an open bar
OK so obviously this is very much budget dependant, but if you really want to hold favour with your guests, have an open bar! The more cost effective option might be to source drinks yourselves from wholesalers or supermarkets rather than using a bar service who will charge you per drink (pro tip: most supermarkets will do awesome bulk buy deals around Christmas so stock up then!)
Surprise them with things they might not have thought of
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, provide blankets or fans for the ceremony (climate depending!), have wellies for a potentially wet wedding and flip flops or ballet pumps on hand if people will be on their feet all night.
If you have guests staying over a ‘hangover kit’ including things like paracetamol, coffee, an eye mask, plasters and a mini toothpaste and toothbrush will also be very much appreciated the next day!
Include extra information on your invitations
The things your guests always want to know are directions and transport options, accommodation choices, things to do in the area (if they’re coming from out of town), dress code and info about the gift list. Make it easy for your nearest and dearest by including all this on an insert sheet inside your invites, or on your wed-site!
Be smart about your seating plan (or ditch it completely)
The seating plan can be a pain point for a lot of couples. Family feuds, the awkwardness of bringing different friendship groups together… it’s a potential minefield! My advice to you would be to either ditch the seating plan completely, allowing people to sit with whoever they please, or simply sit people who know each other on the same tables.
However I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Every wedding I’ve been to where I’ve been on a table with people I don’t know has been fine! Sit similarly aged guests together (i.e. your school friends with your work mates, your mum’s best friend with your aunts and uncles) and by dessert they’ll be laughing uncontrollably and considering cracking open the Sambuca! Remember, they all have one thing in common to kick off the conversation – YOU!
Another thing you can do if you’re worried about it being weird, is include things for them to do on the tables. Board games, a quiz about the two of you and mad-libs are all great ideas. Basically you want something that will keep them occupied and get them chatting!
Keep the speeches short and sweet
The speeches are a wonderful part of the day, but if your best man starts rambling on for 45 minutes people will start to get rather restless! It might be worth suggesting a time limit for speech givers that have a tenancy to waffle on! 10-15 minutes each should be plenty, remember your guests want to enjoy their dinner and get on the dance floor, they didn’t come here for a TED talk!
Have music choices everyone will enjoy
I get it, you want to rock out to heavy metal all night long, but think about your poor old granny!
There are a couple of ways you can handle this. First of all, you could ask guests to return their RSVP alongside a note of their all time favourite song. You can then give the list to your DJ as the set list and everyone will be happy!
Alternatively you could let everyone know that from 10pm onwards it will be a heavy metal only party. That way, your granny can go to bed (without missing most of the reception) and you can mosh away to your hearts content!