Friday, September 19, 2014

Keeping Your Guests Happy

You've planned the perfect guest list, 
                  they've traversed the globe to celebrate with you,
now's the time to think about your event from the perspective of a guest. (psst. you're a guest too!)

When you plan your event, you often think of the big items; site, clothes, music, food, photography.  But we challenge you to think about it from a different angle.  If you haven't started planning yet, this is a great framework to use.  It will be a fresh take and will alert you to what matters to you and what you'd like to skip- then your budget priorities will be so much easier. 

Time of day...

You may have chosen the time of your event for many reasons; budget, availability, lighting, theme (dessert bar anyone?) but there's other things to consider about the time your guests will arrive..

Starving Guests...

When did they eat last?  When did you eat last for that matter. Sometimes clients have chosen an off time of day in hopes of saving some money on a full blown meal. Or perhaps on alcohol (think brunch not late night) but you should also consider- how long have they been traveling to get to your event? (up a mountain?) Will your ceremony end at an assumed meal time? Or will they be at your event for an extended period of time? Better plan ahead for food, and don't make them wait too long.

Traditionally no food or drink is offered prior to the ceremony.  But if your guests had to skip lunch to get to you on time, it might be nice to have a table set up as guests enter with water and crackers and cheese.  If your ceremony is in a church, then make sure to display a sign asking guests to refrain from bringing food and drink inside.  Perhaps a water station in the yard outside would be a nice arrival welcome for the weary traveler.  Remove or cover the food portion (leave the water) about 15 minutes prior to your ceremony start time to let guests know it's time to find a seat.


Something you want to consider for outdoor ceremonies (or indoor with poor ventilation.)
  • Indoors- test the ac and or fans before hand and plan when they'll begin to run.  (Several hours prior to event, to ensure proper cool.  Ac's don't recover well to quick rises and you don't save by leaving them off until the last minute.  Let them run little bits in the am in prep.)
  • If you've fallen in love with an old church with no ac and are marrying on a hot day, do everything you can to help your guests. offer handheld fans, a very cold water station just outside and ask the staff what they can do to help.  They often know some tricks of the space.  (Once you know the plan- alert your vendors!  Nothing ruins a cool room, like the doors left open while vendors set up.)
  • Outdoors- plan shade if you can.  visit your site a couple weeks prior at the exact time of day to scope the cool and shady spots.  Place your ceremony there if you can, rent pretty white umbrellas for the guests if not. (even a few are nice), or set up some chairs in the shade for older guests or those who are not so great at dealing with the heat.


If your event is outdoor and evening, then you should ask the staff what bugs they normally deal with.  (This also applies to barn or backyard events.)  Have the staff use bug sprays leading up to the event. (Make sure they are environmentally friendly.  don't want to be breathing the remains of those!) And plan your event away from water sources.

Boredom & Sleep...

That's right! You heard me! Don't let your guests sit with nothing to do for long periods of time.  And please consider what they have the following day. (Church? Early flight home?) If you're event will go into the wee hours, then make sure that the main events; dinner, dessert, toasts, are done fairly early in case a guest must leave you early.

The Ride Home...

Ice cold waters for the ride home are a nice touch.  Especially if they've been 'partying heavily'.  
A thank you sign on the way out, shows your appreciation.
A polite sign near the exit for a local taxi company says "I love you, don't drive if you've indulged too much." but maybe not those exact words.

You've done all you can do, but we just want to say... You can't please everyone.  Just ignore any rude wedding guests and Enjoy Your Day!