On your wedding day, one of the things that makes that day so special is who you share it with. You may have a small wedding with just your closest family and friends, or you may have a large wedding with people you have never even met before. Either way, I think it is important to make sure that your guests are enjoying your day just as much as you.
With that being said, here are the TOP TEN WEDDING GUESTS COMPLAINTS.
- Receiving an invitation with an inconvenient date.
One thing that can be rather frustrating to your guests is opening your beautifully made invitations or save-the-dates and finding out that your wedding is held on an inconvenient day. For example, New Years Eve, Christmas Eve, Superbowl Sunday, Fourth of July, or even a week day. There may be a few others you can think of, but most of these days include traditions or other events that your guests may have already dedicated their time to which means that your final guest count could be drastically different than you had hoped it would be.
Possible Solutions: If you are thinking about having your wedding on a day such as a holiday or a week night, ask your closest friends and family if that date would work for them. There are some people that you DO NOT want missing on that big day, so just be courteous and find out how convenient that could be for them. For other guests you would like to see there, try sending out your save-the-dates a bit earlier than normal to make sure they have enough time to make their arrangements. Your guests might be more inclined to come if they know far in advance.
- Miscommunication on the invitation.
A question that I have actually had to answer a lot lately is this: “How do I know if I can bring a plus one?” This can be tricky to answer because most of the time the invitation doesn’t make that answer very clear to the person reading it.
Possible Solutions: BE SPECIFIC. BE CLEAR. Avoid confusion by writing the names or the number of the guests you want to invite on the response card and having them check off a “will attend” or “will not attend” box. If there is any confusion, don’t make things more awkward by dancing around the subject. That just makes it worse. If you are planning an adult-only wedding and some family friends call and ask if they can bring their kiddos, just be honest and tell them (in a loving way) that they can’t.
- Not being prepared for a client crisis.
Weather is definitely the one thing that we as humans cannot control on the day of your wedding. So be prepared! Even though you planning your wedding on a sunny day in July, you could face some crazy weather changes the day of (especially in Colorado).
Possible Solutions: Always have a Plan B. If you have a wedding coordinator, they should know that you need to have accommodations for your guests just in case Mother Nature pulls a fast one on you. For example, if your wedding is outdoors in the middle of summer, plan to have plenty of shade, water, and seating for your guests, and maybe even individual fans. If your wedding is during the fall or early winter, offer blankets to your guests to make sure they are nice and cozy.
- Don’t make your guests wait.
The longest your guests should wait in-between your ceremony and reception is about an hour and a half, AND THAT IS PUSHING IT! Can you imagine going to a wedding, sitting through an hour long ceremony, and then waiting two hours to be seated for the reception, and then waiting another hour for dinner to be served? I worked in the catering business and trust me, cranky, impatient, and hungry guests are NOT fun.
Possible Solutions: Make accommodations for your guests ahead of time if you think you might take a bit longer in-between your ceremony and reception. Either offer a cocktail hour with some drinks and snacks while your guests wait, or make sure you have plenty of signage directing your clients to the reception area and the bathrooms.
- Seating arrangements.
In my opinion, seating arrangements are nothing but a hassle for both the person planning the wedding and for the guests. I never understood the point of seating assignments. It’s seriously like AP Biology….but worse. You can’t sit him next to her since they just broke up, and his aunt and uncle can’t stand them so they have to be on opposite sides of the room. Oh, and Grandma can’t be put anywhere near the speakers and she has to be close to the restroom. I mean, what a hassle.
Possible Solutions: If you are like me and cannot stomach the idea of facing a seating chart, just make sure that you have a few reserved tables for your immediate family and your bridal party. They definitely need to be front and center for this event. However, if you do want to use a seating arrangement, there is a website called allseated.com that is completely free and it might be able to make your life a bit easier.
- Everyone likes free food . . . except when it’s awful.
I remember being a kid on Thanksgiving and always getting a Western BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. on the way home because I could not stand Thanksgiving dinner (yes I know, I am Chandler). This is NOT what you want your guests to experience on your wedding. Most of your guests will probably come to your event hungry because they know there will be a meal served at some point, so imagine their disappointment (not to mention frustration) if they come with empty stomachs and can’t even eat what is placed in front of them. The last thing you want is for your guests to leave early so they can head to the nearest McDonald’s.
Possible Solutions: Make sure you arrange a food tasting prior to the event so that you know your food will be edible and delicious. You also need to make sure that you are aware of any food allergies or preferences so that you can feed every guest…even the vegan ones.
- Monitor the music.
We all know that no one wants to do the chicken dance or the macarena at your wedding. But no one wants to hear thumping techno music all night either. Music is what will get your guests movin’ and groovin’ and it keeps the party going! So if it’s too loud your guests might leave the room to rest their pounding head or to actually have a conversation that doesn’t require screaming across the table.
Possible Solutions: Have a “Do Not Play” list for songs that you absolutely do not want coming out of those speakers. You could also include a line at the bottom of the RSVP cards for your guests to request a song that might get them on the dance floor. If you have a DJ that knows what they are doing, they should also know the appropriate time to pump up the jams as well as turn it down a notch to control the volume throughout the night.
- Short and sweet speeches please.
I am sure that almost every single one of your family members and close friends have something they would love to say to you and your significant other on your wedding day. And as much as you might want to hear it, your guests probably don’t. Let’s just skip the never-ending toasts and keep it short and sweet. Need I say more?
Possible Solutions: Normally, three to four speakers with speeches no longer than three minutes if preferable. If you are a little worried about your speakers getting carried away and going over their time limit, let them know that when the DJ starts to play music, that is their cue to rap it up. Kind of like the Oscars! It is way for you to push along the night without being rude and making sure your family and friends don’t feel cut-off and unappreciated.
- No one wants to hand out their cash.
When you have guests at your home, do you make them pay for you dinner or drinks? That’s basically what you are doing when you have a cash bar. But hear me out. . . no one is asking you to have an open bar because I know how expensive that can be. But your guests should not be paying for their drinks at YOUR wedding. Many of the pro’s, including David Tutera, absolutely HATE the idea of a cash bar.
Possible Solutions: Instead of having an open bar, just have a limited selection of beer, wine, and champagne or even just a couple signature drinks and cocktails. This will keep your guests happy and your budget under control. If you don’t want to hear it from me, just listen to David Tutera. He is a professional for a reason!
- Don’t forget to say “Thank you.”
When I was younger, after every birthday, my mom always made me sit down and write thank you notes to those who had sent me a gift as well as to those who attended any party I had. If your guests have spent their day celebrating you and showering you with love and joy and gifts, don’t leave the night thinking that your job is done. The last thing you want is for your guests to think of you as being an ungracious host.
Possible Solutions: ALWAYS send a thank you card to every single person or family that attended your wedding as well as those that sent you a gift or card. If hand writing over a hundred cards just isn’t going to work for you, you can print some simple but cute thank you cards and send those out instead.
For those of you planning a wedding, I hope that this helps you make sure that your guests love and enjoy your day as much as you do! Cheers!!