Newly married couple toast by Once Like a Spark Photography Ideas & Advice Guests by by Once Like a Spark Photography

8 Tips to Keep Your Guests Happy

Chances are, you’ll be the only one to notice if a flower is out of place or the best man dons the wrong shoes, but wedding guests everywhere want to be taken care of in these eight simple ways.

Build a Strong Timeline
Work with your event planner or venue coordinator to build a strong timeline with a good flow. Long pauses between the ceremony and reception are generally a bummer. If you cannot book the ballroom immediately following the ceremony, arrange for an activity or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at an adjacent space. 

Say ‘No!’ to Cash Bars
Sorry but a cash bar is never an acceptable money-saving solution. Swallow that expensive pill by thinking about this: You would never ask guests to pay for a cocktail in your own home; your wedding should be the same. Consider simply serving wine and beer to cut costs. Pop a signature cocktail in the mix if you can swing it. If you’re on a budget, a full bar isn’t necessary, but providing drinks for your guests is.

Be Kind to the “Plus Ones”
Don’t create a painful experience for the your wedding party’s significant others. Speed up the marathon photo sessions and absolutely seat them together, either with the wedding party, or away from the head table, at the reception.  Don’t split them up and make the best man’s wife sit with your relatives.

Provide Transportation
If your wedding reception and ceremony locations are far apart or far from accommodations, you should provide guest transportation. Besides the obvious safety concerns of drinking and driving, your guests should remember what a lovely time they had at your wedding – not what a pain it was to get there. 

Realistic Accommodations Recommendations
Failing to provide information for convenient and affordable accommodations for long distance guests never goes over well.  Don’t force guests to be their own travel agents, and don’t secure the only room block at a five-star hotel unless all of your guests have five-star budgets.

Sound the Dinner Bell
If your four hour reception falls during meal time, understand that your guests will be expecting just that – a meal.  And they’ll expect that meal during normal lunch or dinner hours, so don’t wait until 10 pm to serve dinner. 

Be a Gracious Hosts
Failing to acknowledge any gift or thoughtful gesture with handwritten, personalized thank-you notes is always an etiquette faux pas and never a breech that goes unnoticed. Suffering from writer’s block?  These useful thank-you note examples will help you get started.

Avoid Being Just Plain Tacky
Ok, let’s get it out: When it comes to money dances, novelty songs (hokey pokey comes to mind), or singles dances, most guests are in agreement that it’s a little out of date. Of course, there will always be those who find these acts acceptable and those who don’t – but as host/hostess, your job is to make guests feel at ease and comfortable, so consider your audience as you decide on the evening’s events.

At one time or another, we’ve all been a guest at a wedding, and many of us have a few things we’d like to get off our chest.  Gotta gripe? Tell us!

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