Weddings are all about the details, but unfortunately sometimes the most important of detail of all is overlooked.
When planning a wedding, it’s not uncommon for couples to take great strides to make sure the font is exactly perfect on all the printed pieces, the flowers are the right shade of lilac or the linens match the bridesmaids’ dresses within a half a shade of teal. But the most important detail of all isn’t something that you can photograph or touch, instead the most important detail is all about the guest experience, how the guests are thought about during the planning, meeting the guests’ wants, and celebrating the guests’ importance to the couple. This is, at the core, the difference between a bride hearing that her wedding was “the BEST we have had ever been to” and “thanks for the invite, we had a good time.”
Here are some of my tips for creating the best guest experience:
1) Provide enough heat after dark for an outdoor wedding:
It’s a beautiful 80-degree day, but after the sun goes down at 7 p.m. you still have guests dining outside under the stars. Make sure to have heaters in place for your guests’ comfort at night.
2) Give your guests plenty of seating room at dinner:
Don’t seat too many guest at a dinner table to save money on centerpieces or keep groups together. Guests like to spread out when they sit down for dinner and not sit shoulder to shoulder with somebody they don’t know or may not even like. By keeping 60″ round tables to no more than 8 guests and 72″ round tables to no more than 10 you will ensure that everybody will have their own personal space and be able to enjoyt he food you spent so much money on.
3) Pay for extras… period, end of story:
Cash Bar? Under no circumstances should you have a cash bar. There, I said it. Either have a bar or don’t but don’t expect your guests to shell out additional money to pay for a drink. You wouldn’t charge them to have a drink at your home would you-so then why at the biggest event you will host in your life? If you can’t afford to serve liquor, forego it. The guests will not miss what is not there and will move on to another beverage. But they will notice if they’re embarrassed because they don’t have the amount of cash.
4) Cater to them! If your wedding guest list includes many kids consider providing fun options to keep them busy. We had a bride this year who rented out a moon-bounce and not only was it a major hit for all the kids but the adults had a blast too. Remember, make your wedding fun and memorable!