Post # 16
I don’t know, I think weddings in general are fun and not a chore to attend. I like seeing decor and personal style come through.
My only complaint was I once attended a wedding with 0 alcohol. That was not fun.
Post # 17
This is all SUPER helpful. I don’t know if I can give a ton of advice as I have only been involved in one or two weddings, but I agree: Don’t let the dances carry on for too long but I think they are important. Alcohol – yes. My cousin’s wedding was COMPLETELY dry – very religious as the bride’s father is a Pastor, and after the ceremony we all congregated in a weird undecorated church cafeteria and I was like “okkkkk we drove all this way to the middle of nowhere Texas and basically have to bounce.”
Good to know on florals and decorations. I just got a proposal from florist for like $8k. We are already way over budget with a luxury resort location, expensive photographer, and above budget gown so I feel better now about mincing the centerpieces. I want a spectacular bouquet and a nice ceremony trellis but beyond that this makes me feel a lot better about nixing the extraneous “romantic trees” and “fairy lights.”
Great thread! Keep it coming!
Post # 18
What did you love about a wedding?
– The drinks were flowing (most of the time I would mean alcoholic drinks but I have been pregnant at the 2 most recent weddings I’ve attended so this now also applies to nonalcoholic). Even if you don’t have open bar, make sure your guests are never thirsty: the bar should be easily accessible or have attentive servers keeping glasses full.
– Don’t let me leave hungry! Snacks during the cocktail hour, dinner served early into the reception, late night bites if the party goes late. I remember a few weddings where we left early to swing by McDonalds – the couples probably spent thousands on catering but that late night burger was the highlight of my night.
– DJ who reads the crowd. Definitely find a DJ that will cater to your musical tastes but ensure they are versatile and have a large and varied catalog to bring your guests to the dancefloor. I cringe when the couple circles the room trying to get people to dance after they shelled out on the DJ and/or spent hours crafting the perfect playlist. Make sure your DJ will pay attention to the crowd’s mood to get them dancing.
What did you hate?
– Long speeches or too many speeches. Unless you have really excellent orators, very few people will be listening attentively. Keep the speeches short (which has the added bonus of making bad speeches seem less terrible) and don’t fill up the evening with talking.
– Long gaps without any form of entertainment. If the ceremony and reception are being held in the same place, host a cocktail hour to bridge the gap. Games can work too, although in my case only people with kids appreciated them. But definitely do not have periods when your guests are standing around wondering what to do with themselves.
What would you like to have seen done?
Better streamlining of the “spotlight events”. For example, you don’t need to play a 3 minute song for each special dance: you can use 1 3-minute song for the father-daughter, mother-son and couple’s first dance. Have your speeches during dinner – a good speaker will catch the crowd’s attention regardless and a bad speaker won’t have as much attention if they are bombing. Basically, it is fine to keep all your favorite traditions but try not to stop the party too often because it ruins the rhythm of the night.
Would you have liked more guest paritcipation/activities/entertainment?
No. Give me enough food, booze and good music and I will be just fine 🙂
Post # 19
Everyone covered most of the items. One thing that many might care about but not know it is ambience. Lighting is important
Not too dark, not too bright. I don’t want to feel like I’m in a nightclub but also not like I’m in a Costco..
Post # 20
I hate a long gap between ceremony and reception, and really get bored in long speeches. Good food and an open bar are the most important things in my opinion!
Post # 21
Open bar, good food, minimal speeches, short dance as husband and wife, great music to keep the night going strong. Definitely organization is important, I hate when there is no timeline to follow and it seems like a mess. No dances with parents, absolutely no games and activities! I just want to dance and have fun, no I don’t want to participate or watch people play games.
Post # 22
Most people have covered the basics (food, hospitality, guest comfort, speeches and dances) but these are the things that really bug me at a wedding:
– impossible centrepieces. By that I mean huge centrepieces that restrict your view (because there is nothing worse than a million speeches/dances except not being able to see while you are subjected to a milion speeches/dances) and make it so you can only talk to the person on your immediate left or right.
– when a couple have clearly spent heaps of money on stuff for themselves or on decor and are stingy on guests. For example a cash bar but paying for top shelf drinks for the families/bridal party or spending a fortune on decor and wedding attire but have crap food and not a lot of it for guests.
Post # 23
*What did you love about a wedding?*
My favourite parts are the ceremony itself, I always feel super emotional watching people get married and love being a part of the special atmosphere. Then I love the social aspect afterwards, chatting to new people and having a few drinks.
*What did you hate?*
This is a really tough one, I guess the worst part of weddings I’ve attended is where there is a wait between ceremony & reception (I’m talking an hour or more) and nothing to do/nowhere to go. I’ve been to weddings where the guests had to hang around in a tiny lobby for over an hour with no drinks/food etc. It’s boring and awkward.
*What would you like to have seen done?*
I love it when the bride & groom hire a band, rather than just a DJ. It creates more entertainments for those who don’t dance and prefer to watch, and also just brings a great vibe to the room.
*Would you have liked more guest paritcipation/activities/entertainment?*
As above I love a band. However not a fan of guest participation, I think it is enough to socialise with other guests.
Post # 24
I have no problem with tiered weddings, they seem to be quite common in my area so the ceremony is mostly just close family and (sometimes) friends whilst reception is for the extended lot. However, I went to one wedding where my bf and I where the only guests not at the ceremony – very awkward. I realised later it was because I used to be the perpetually single friend, they didn’t expect me to use the plus one, at least not for a date, and I was clearly invited to dance with the groom’s brother whom I had occasionally flirted with in the past. So for the love of God do not tier a wedding for just one or two people.
If you can actually dance, then a full song is fine. If you’re just swaying on the dance floor please make it short. Had a friend who’s mother joined with her partner after about a minute and a half as a signal for others to join and essentially open the dance floor up to everyone which was a nice way of doing it. My SIL on the other hand made us watch her and my brother barely sway for a full five and a half minutes.
Sit down meal over buffet. I like speeches but don’t make them too long. Decorations are nice, but mismatched cheap things just to spruce the place up a bit is absolutely fine in my opinion. Some cards or mini table games are nice if you have guests you know aren’t going to dance much. And I have no problem with a wait between ceremony and meal so long as it’s planned and I know where to go and when to expect to be eating.
Post # 25
Open bar, good food, and good music are key for me.
I can’t stand gaps (unless they are truly required by a religious ceremony’s specific timing). I don’t need cutesy games (the “hold up the shoe” game or whatever), and I really don’t like the garter/bouquet toss thing. It’s so outdated and, frankly, I find that it gets a little appropriate half the time.
I really never notice the flowers except that they’re there, and I hate to say it, but DIY things that people spend hours on are often overlooked (or they look awful and stand out…).
I really just look for good food and company to celebrate dear friends or family. I’d like to dance with DH and celebrate, and imbibe on adult beverages. That’s all.
Post # 26
The best weddings I’ve been to haven’t been the most expensive necessarily. Things I love:
1. Open Bar
2. Good DJ or band and dance floor
3. Plentiful and tasty food
Things I hate:
1. Long ceremonies (sorry)
2. Long speeches
3. Gaps between ceremony and reception with nothing to do/eat/drink
Post # 27
I recently read an article right before I attended a wedding and the article was something about the top 10 reception mistakes. One of them was not having more than 1 bar. The wedding I just went to had one table, that kind of looked like a lemonade stand honestly, with 2 girls serving 200+ people. They were also serving Pepsi products, not just alcohol. If you go this route, I’d recommend having at least 2 of these “stands.”
At this particular reception, I liked that they did buffet style and the DJ dismissed tables by number to go to the buffet. Which was very organized since there was over 200 people there.
I honestly didn’t care for the wedding party entrance. I thought people were doing away with that lol. It’s ok to have an entrance, but this one was just obnoxious with the music and they were taking shots as they entered.
I do like that they had assigned tables for only like 5 or 6 tables. It was for bride’s family (which I was apart of) and groom’s family.
There were about 4 spotlight dances. Some speeches. Which I didn’t care for because we all had to turn our necks to even see because of the table arrangement.
Agree with a previous poster – garter toss is awkward. Just awkward. The brides dress was huge and her husband bad to go way up there to get the garter and the DJ said “he’s taking his time!” Just ew. Lol. And then when the toss came, it didn’t even reach the group of people behind the groom. It fell like 5 feet in front of the group. The bouquet toss isn’t awkward, just dates.
If possible try to greet each table. I think it is respectful to at least thank the ones that show up.
Hope this helps!
Post # 28
I’d also keep any spotlight dances to a shorter song to keep it less awkward.
Post # 29
Yikes! what were guests expected to do during the wait?
Post # 30
Outside our our own wedding this year my DH and I have been to 6 so far with one more to go.
Things I love
1. Good Food/ lots of food
2. Open Bar. Having more than one bar
3. Good music
Things I do not care for
1. Cash bar. One wedding we went to this year had a cash bar and the drinks were $10-12 each. We spent over $120 on drinks. I also felt like it killed the energy of the wedding. When the dance floor should have been full it wasn’t. The bar area was empty because the drinks were too expensive.
2. Long speeches
3. Garter toss
Also as other bees have mentioned. Focus on your guest rather than decor. I mean have basics such as uplighting, etc. But no one cares nor will remember what color your linens were or if you haad specialty chargers. Use that money towards food or drinks.