Let’s face it your wedding is sort of like a BIG production, the dress, the flowers, the food and the wedding guest. You spend all this time, energy and money into one of the most important days of your new lives and yet, lots of what you’re doing is for the wedding guests. After all, they are your friends, your family and your loved ones. While you’re the center of attention for the day, your guests will have some expectations throughout the day.
As a 20-year wedding filmmaker I too have seen firsthand roughly 500 weddings in my career, and I notice certain trends and things that wedding guest expect at a general wedding. Well, today, I’d like to share with you those thoughts and trends so you’ll have a better understanding of what you should be doing.
Just about all wedding have seating, normally two sides, the bride’s family and the grooms. Today, couples want everyone to sit in just about any location of the venue as long as they are there to celebrate your day. Your guests however see if differently.
Most want to sit on the side of the couple that they represent and that’s perfectly normal. The biggest complaints I hear from guest as they wait for you to walk down the aisle include the heat and sun, not being able to see and not being able to hear too.
Top Wedding Guest Complaints
If you’re getting married outside, have a DJ there to provide a sound system to amplify the wedding. Your guests will simply not be able to hear the pastor talking, even if they speak up, so take a few extra bucks and hire the DJ for the ceremony too. Your guests will thank you and be much happier. TRUST me. I use a microphone but that’s for the video, I can hear what’s being said perfectly fine when I use headphones to monitor the sound, but chances are your wedding guests will have a hard time.
Additionally, make sure that your outdoor wedding seating is comfortable and ease to see the center where you’ll be standing. If sunny or rainy, you might see people with umbrellas and that keeps others form seeing you, so you might want to rethink having it in direct sunlight if possible. No one wants to travel 5 hours to a wedding only to be blocked by an umbrella in front of you and not be able to hear the service either.
While you are getting your photos and video done during happy hour, your wedding guests will want to relax. The BIGGEST complaint that I’ve heard over the years, couple need to treat happy hour more like a snack hour. Not everyone drinks, so having a few options like tea or lemonade and water can make a BIG impact on their day. For those that want a beer or wine, offer it but also think of those that don’t drink, especially those with kids.
The second most complained thing for wedding guests is not having anything to do. For families with kids you’ll want some outdoor games, horseshoes or corn-hole are always popular options, but think about having a kids table with board games, Legos or playdoh. Not only will it keep the kids busy it will give their moms and dads a little down time to enjoy an adult beverage too. If you’re on a tighter budget, ask families to bring toys for their kids and have a table or space for them to have fun!
Finally, your wedding guests will most likely be having a dinner service. While its common to put 10 people to a round table, wedding guests often times want to spread out a bit. So, if you have 100 guests and 10 tables, think about offering 12 instead so some people can spread out a bit. You guests will really love having the added space.
Other than the dance floor, I hear many wedding guests complain that there is nothing else to do. My suggestion have a bonfire with smores, those outdoor games I spoke about, places for couples to relax and enjoy the view, or just a couple of ‘stations’ where people can mingle and chat. Not everyone is going to dance or just sit at the dinner table so offer a couple of other locations at the reception where your guests can relax and have a fun time!
And there you have it some simple ideas to very common issues that I’ve heard time and time again at weddings. If you found this useful, be sure to check out my other blog-posts about the wedding industry, how you can save money for your wedding and of course how you can book me for an award-winning wedding film experience for your BIG day!