Okay, I admit it – when I plan an event I always stress over every décor detail but the truth is, your guests probably won’t remember the sprig of thyme on each place setting or the gold foil trim on the program. When planning any party you should always have your guests comfort in mind and here are the items that really count towards the overall guest experience:
Drinks and Food
Above everything, the food is one of the most memorable parts of any wedding or event experience. Everyone remembers if the food was amazing, and more importantly, everyone remembers when the food is bad or if there isn’t enough of it! Same goes for drinks. Everyone remembers when you run out, if the line at the bar was too long or if, (heaven forbid) they have to PAY for their own alcohol! These factors can often dampen the evening for your guests and they can be easily avoided with a little planning and consideration.
Guests always come back from a wedding with stories of speeches. Whether they’re too long, too boring, cringe worthy or full of inside jokes that make no sense, a bad speech can have your guests rolling their eyes or falling asleep. As the bride, trust your wedding planner to manage the speakers and set the rules early on. The main thing is to make sure they’re not too long. You don’t want speeches that go on for 20-30 minutes – especially if they come before the food. No one likes going hungry, (there I go back to the food thing again).
Temperature is real tricky to control but so important to the overall guest experience, (and another reason to hire a wedding planner). Offer guests water and shade if the wedding is outside and pashminas if you are having a fall wedding. When searching for your venue in July, it better have air conditioning and if not I would strongly recommend NOT booking. Guests who are uncomfortable will leave your wedding early and you won't be comfortable either!
Travel time should be factored in if you are worried about irritating your guests. Be strategic about your ceremony and reception locations and the distance between them. You may have the mentality that the guests who really care about you will travel anywhere for your wedding but guests will always remember the $60 cab ride to get there and back on your wedding day. Consider having your wedding all in one venue to save on travel logistics and close to hotels for out of town guests.
A Proper Thank you
One of the major gripes guests have after attending a wedding is a lack of engagement between them and the bride and groom. Gone are the days of formal receiving lines but Brides and Grooms PLEASE go to every table during dinner to thank all the guests who took time to celebrate with you and get you a gift. Thank you cards are also a vital part of thanking your guests and must be sent immediately after the wedding. Guests will remember your wedding fondly when they receive their thank you card. It may not be something they wait for but they will remember NOT getting one, especially once a significant amount of time has passed.