Proper Hosting: What to REALLY think about?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I care if my name is scripted on a place card simply because I hate unassigned seating. I think it’s awkward, especially if you don’t know anyone else at the wedding. I think it goes along with the major overall thing that matters in being a good hostess, which is making sure that your guests are comfortable, having fun, and well fed! The worst thing about being a guest at a wedding is when the bride and groom disappear all the time for photo’s or this or that, and you sit around waiting for them so you can eat, or get a drink, or start dancing. Timing and being generally respectful that people are there FOR YOU is important. 

Post # 4
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@ShabbyChicBee:  It’s really not that complicated. I expect my host to provide a chair for me to sit in and food/beverage appropriate to the time of day.

Post # 5
3223 posts
Sugar bee

-seating for every guest

-guest does not pay for anything

-food is appropriate to the time of the event.  If you host something over a meal time you must offer food that would equal a meal’s worth of variety and quantity.

-Nothing intentionally offensive.  No death metal band, if your guest list is primarily religious, senior citizens for example.

That’s really it, well that I can think of right now.

Post # 6
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

1) event to start on time or at least no more than 15 minutes past the stated invite time

2) refreshments at the ceremony- sip of water while I wait is oh so nice

3) food at the cocktail hour- slow up  servers or pass out more

4) open bar, enough bartenders where I am not waiting more than 5 minutes for a drink

5) good food for dinner and yummy cake

6) music that makes me want to dance and lights that are dim enough to make me actually do it

7) don’t take up my entire day or evening…cocktail hour should be just a hour, keep toasts brief etc.

8) a couple seconds of your time for me to congratulate and hug you would be awesome…a few sexonds more to get a pic with you

Post # 7
9532 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Honestly, as a guest, in order for me to feel welcomed and have a good time I don’t require that much.

To be comfortable

  1. I need to be invited. 
  2. I need to be aknowledged by the bride/groom – you don’t have to talk to me all night, but I get a little pissy if the bride and groom never even speak to me
  3. I need to know the level of formality expected in my dress – so I don’t show up looking like an idiot!
  4. I need to know someone there besides the couple – before dating my husband I was fine going to weddings alone if I knew other guests but would feel uncomfortable if there was nobody there that I knew.
  5. I need to be reasonably comfortable – for me that means a chair, if the ceremony/reception is going to be more than an hour or so. My back will hurt if I have to stand all day.
  6. If it’s going to last more than a few hours, I need some sort of food. I’m not picky. Just give me something to eat. Same with drinks. I am actually fine with a cash bar, so long as I know that going in so I can know that I need to bring cash.

For “having a good time” it really depends on what you mean. I can have a great time just chatting with friends and family at a cake and punch reception. Honestly, that’s what the majority of family gatherings and parties center around – socializing. But if you want me to dance, I will need alcohol and a good DJ.

But really, if I’m going to a wedding it’s presumably because I like these people. I’m not there to judge them. I’m there to celebrate with them. So I don’t need fancy food or free alcohol or pretty decorations. What I really need is joy and fun from the couple. If they’re having a good time, I’m probably having a good time. If they’re stressed or absent or having drama – I’m probably leaving early. 

Post # 8
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

-Guests don’t pay for anything (food, drinks, etc)

-No “time gaps,” for example taking pictures for two hours while guests are staring at each other with nothing to do

-Directions and other logistical information is made clear and readily available

-No “gift grabbing,” for exaple pushing a registry (or in my opinion registering at all, but if you do register don’t push it in peoples’ faces)

-Assigned seats

-Be on time!!! 

-Make sure guests are fed adequately, don’t offer a “cocktail only reception” without warning, and make sure there is enough food!

-Greet all your guests

Post # 9
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Tagging to follow!

Post # 10
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Definetly enough chairs! Be more engaged with the guest as a couple, enough food and beveragE to go around, And if u want me to stay till the end, a great DJ is needed.

Post # 11
1216 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@JenGirl:  Yes! My requirements are about the same. If it’s going to be long I want a chair. And I want to eat if it’s meal time, but I don’t care what, and I want to know ahead of time it’s a cash bar. Your point that you are there to celebrate with people you care about is AMAZING! I basically just wrote a post about this and how all of the other rules irk me because people are wayyyy to critical of how weddings should be instead of how the couple chooses to host them.

Post # 12
1216 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@MsJ2theZ:  I agree about assigned seating. While it’s lovely to think everyone will just mingle it’s not even feasible unless you are going to have extra seats. You can’t invite 100 people and hope they all magically sit into 100 seats with the person they came with without a seating plan. Plus it’s awkward to sit with people you don’t know if you are shy. Even at my super casual wedding I’m going to have a seating plan! I hope people get up and mingle and make friends, but I’m not going to force them, or risk splitting up a family or something because there are not enough seats all together for them.

Post # 13
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@nattiejeanne:  Yup. If you don’t know someone you end up sitting at the “reject” table. I really appreciate a bride and groom assigning me a table with other “randoms” that I might have something in common with or have a similar personality type as me. That’s what we did, and I was really pleased to see strangers chatting the entire dinner and walking to the buffet together. I know a lot of new friendships were forged at our wedding!

Post # 14
4890 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

– A place to sit at both the ceremony AND reception.

– Starting ON TIME.

– Food/Drink to be served that is appropriate to the time of day. I don’t care what you’re serving, but if it’s dinner time it better be a meal. Wanna serve BBQ, I’m game, it does’t have to be fancy but nothing pisses me off more than being at a 7pm reception and having nothing but limited apps and no real food. 

– Guests shouldn’t pay…..for anything. The ceremony is for the couple, the reception is to thank your guests for celebrating with you. They should not be asked for pay for anything, ever. 

– Having a guest, especially if I don’t know anyone…and knowing your parents don’t count. Knowing the bride’s mom is a moot point, MOB is too busy being MOB to hang out with me at your wedding. If I won’t know anyone, I should be provided a +1. (I’m married, so that should be a given, but before being married if I was invited solo, I didn’t attend. Anyone who is close to me to matter wouldn’t send me a solo invite.)

Post # 15
1649 posts
Bumble bee

@ShabbyChicBee:  Yes, “hosted properly” is a signature phrase from one of the many etiquette websites out there. Remember that on some etiquette websites, you are getting a kind of inbred meme about what etiquette is, rather than anything that your grandmother would recognize as good manners in real life. Etiquette is not as black-and-white as some of those absolute “rules” would have you believe.

A hostess is personally responsible for the safety, shelter, comfort and entertainment of guests while they are under her roof, even if she has just rented that roof for the evening. HOW you fulfill those responsibilities is up to you, as long as you fulfill them.

Comfort requires that you provide food and drink — if all you can afford is a crust of bread and water, then give your guests the best crust of bread and the clearest water you can afford. No well-bred guest ever complains about the menu her host lays out, but your own pride and self-respect should naturally influence you to offer the best you can. If you are bidding your guests stay for hours, across a mealtime, then you need to provide enough food to sustain them — but if you are just brushing up against a mealtime and guests can quite easily adjust their schedule to eat  before or after, you can provide simple refreshments. Use your common sense (yes, I know that “common sense” is advice that the black-and-white kind of not-etiquette “experts” abhor.)

Comfort also requires that if you have a long service, you need seats for everyone. But if your entire vows and declaration of matrimony will be over in minutes — say, in about the length of time it would take the slowest person to walk to her seat, and then walk away afterward — there is no reason not to just have the ceremony. There are plenty of everyday events that people stand at, sometimes for hours: a five minute ceremony with a few seats set aside for those who find standing difficult is not the etiquette disaster that black-and-white thinkers would make it out as.

If you have some experience hosting different types of parties, you’ll have probably figured out which ones need seating charts and at which ones people will mingle merrily. If you don’t have that experience, pick the brains of some more experienced hostesses: preferably those from the same ethnic culture and social circle (like your mother and future mother-in-law, and the members of the Aunt Mafia.

Post # 16
1649 posts
Bumble bee

@MsJ2theZ:  Good work on your part! The fine art of a really good seating chart is under-rated — and as a lifelong spinster I have spent enough time at the “rejects table” to be a huge fan of the properly-done seating plan.

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