A wedding is a happy ceremony celebrated between two families, as an event to cement one’s love for each other. Truth be told, a successful wedding is one where two people marry the persons of their dreams. No matter how much money was spent, what’s important is that you pick the right person to spend the rest of your life with.
Regardless, while the wedding is between the two families, I do believe that the bride and the groom also have to think about their guests when planning their wedding. During my wedding, while preparing for the reception, I remembered feeling an outpouring of love and care for us from our guests.
In a way, by thinking about your guests’ comforts and happiness, you have a smooth and happy wedding ceremony and reception. Happy guests clap more, cheer more, and eat more. Irritated guests leave earlier and talk about your wedding on your way home.
So to make a great wedding, here are a few things you have to particularly focus on before planning a wedding:
1. Think of your guests when deciding your venue. Avoid outdoor venues if you can.
I dislike beach weddings and garden weddings.
They’re hot, outdoors, prone to weather risks (What if it rains? What’s Plan B?), and inconvenient to people walking with heels.It’s difficult for guests to look pretty if they’re walking on uneven surfaces or sand.
What’s more, some guests may be allergic to wildlife. My husband suffered red eyes while I had red elbows because the wedding was outside. Guests who are irritated because of the heat, sweat, sand and allergy, are unhappy guests.
And while we don’t really care about guests who complain — as there will always be guests who will always complain no matter what — it’s better to think carefully and think on behalf of your guests when picking the venue.
Ask yourself if the venue may be too far? If it’s far, don’t hold your wedding from Monday to Saturday. Do it on a Sunday when it’s less traffic.
Ask yourself if the venue is comfortable to the guests. Especially if you require that your attire be formal, do remember that if you hold your wedding in the open air, beautiful long gowns get dirty and it’s hard to walk when your heels are 3- to 4-inches high.
2. Think about your guests when deciding on a caterer.
First, you have to see what type of guests you’re inviting.
Depending on how high the level of VIP, plan your menu accordingly. Do NOT serve cheap food if you have Erap Estrada as a ninong. As they’re accustomed to good food, they will know if the food is cheap and tinipid lang.
I always see the food you serve in the wedding as your gift back to your guests for taking the time off their busy schedule to come and celebrate with you. It’s a wedding after all and they’re expecting a delicious feast especially after suffering several inconveniences just to come to your wedding.
And for goodness sakes, if you’re inviting more than 300 guests, serve the food plated or on a round table. It’s more than enough to come dress in long gowns and high heels. We hope that once the program starts, we can enjoy our food in peace without falling in long lines just so we cannot starve.
Make sure that guests are well-fed and aren’t starving. Tell the caterer to serve enough appetizers and canapes before dinner if you’re starting late, and please keep the drinks flowing. On my wedding, I made sure there were unlimited alcoholic drinks as liquor makes for happy guests.
3. Think about your guests when starting the reception. Hungry guests = unhappy guests
On my wedding, we started at 4pm sharp. After the wedding, we made sure that cocktails and canapes were immediately served, and our only order was to keep the drinks flowing.
We started dinner at exactly 7pm. By hook or by crook, we were going to adjust to our guests and not vice versa. We made sure our caterer knew this, and rushed the first course after we started the program between 7pm and 7:15pm by the opening prayer.
There were no relatives singing bad songs. There were no long games about “How do you know your groom/bride?” Just a handful of good speeches made by people who meant something to us to accentuate that the day is a celebration of love justween the both of us.
We were done with our reception by 9:30pm. People went home early that day, which they appreciated.
4. Think about your guests when taking photos. Have your photographer be ready and by your side wherever you go.
My greatest wedding regret was that we only took photos of half of our guests. My husband suffered a little emergency after the first dance and we had to take a 30-minute breather just to correct it.
Consequently, we ran out of time and couldn’t take photo with all of our guests table-by-table. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to remember who took their time to come to your wedding. Likewise, it’s important to remember guests who didn’t bother to show up despite RSVPing.
At the end of the day, as time goes on, you would want to have photos of those who attended your wedding to look back to. So do tell your photographer this is your wish so they can make it happen.
5. Lastly, think about your guests even after the wedding.
To end, while it’s great you’re happy after finishing such a tiring event, you still have to take the time to show appreciation to your guests. To be honest, I spent the next 3 days texting and thanking each guest we went for their presence and for taking the trouble for attending the wedding.
In a way, it’s like the cookie test. You don’t have to give cookies, but people do appreciate a token of appreciation now and then.
Say thank you for them attending your wedding. If you already know what gifts they gave, do send them a note that you’ve received the gift to show appreciation.
Do this for every guests no matter how many they are. A guest list of 300 or 1,700 does not differ. These people took the time to celebrate with you, and it’s crucial that you thank them for their efforts.
Once again, think about your guests when preparing your wedding. And while this day is between you and your partner, you can never go wrong by thinking of your guests too.