When planning a wedding, you will spend countless hours, months and sometimes years making sure that every detail is covered and everything is as perfect as it can possibly be. While the focus is certainly on you and your soon-to-be husband, it is important that your guests have an enjoyable time as well and that their feelings, expectations and desires are taken into consideration too. Inevitably, there will be some snafus but there are things you can avoid and do so in tasteful and thoughtful ways.
Chances are that many people at your wedding will not know one another as they come from both you and your fiancé and, most likely, haven’t met. As most strangers don’t tend to intermingle, if you are going to have an extended period of time between your wedding and reception, it is imperative (not to mention appropriate) to have some sort of diversion/entertainment for your guests. Plan for appetizers and cocktails to be available, rent a photo booth, have some games set up or anything else to keep your guests occupied so they don’t even notice the lapse in time.
Taste your food beforehand and give it some thought as two of the biggest gripes about weddings are that the food is either inconsistent in quality or that there are things that some of your guests, whether due to allergies, dietary restrictions or simple dislike, cannot eat. Choose a company that is reputable and is known for the first chicken breast, for example, tasting the same as the hundredth. Also, it is very important to make sure that you ensure an ample amount so that no one leaves feeling hungry.
Specify just who is invited on your invitations so you are not caught off guard and the location is not crowded to the point of being uncomfortable. It is prudent to either add specific names or include a check box for “plus ones” if they are welcome. Additionally, doing so can easily and tastefully avoid any issues if you choose to have a wedding in which children are not invited. All of these will help you to avoid unexpected guests as well as irritation, discomfort and a calamity of other errors.
At your reception, obviously, you choose those most important to you to give the toasts. Keep in mind a couple of things however. First, do exactly that. You don’t need to ask each relative, friend or everyone you’ve ever known to say something. Also, remember that many people who do so make references to times and events that a vast number of your guests will both have no knowledge of and/or in which they find no significance. The only thing worse than hearing about things you are not interested in is hearing about them for a prolonged period of time. Let your toastees know prior to the reception to keep it short and sweet. Have them choose a few important moments and express their wishes for you in a concise manner. That way, everyone can enjoy the speeches and memories and then the party can go on.
Respect your guests enough to spend some time considering the date you choose so it can both be special to you and not interruptive to them. There are many dates that you might not even think would be intrusive but often are such as any time around holidays as, for example, invitees from out-of-town may be less inclined to attend because they are accustomed to spending those times with their families. Days such as Friday where people either have to take off work (such as your wedding party) or attend after a long day are also not the best idea. Of course, perhaps there is a particular day that means so much to you that you insist on it and those who either can or choose to attend do and those who are not available for whatever reason don’t. The most important thing (if you are not set on a particular day) is to check the availability of those who are most meaningful to you and whose presence you want the most.
These are just a few of the things you should consider that, while may add additional time and effort into the planning process, will certainly make things easier as well as be worthwhile for both you and your guests in the end.