(Closed) What did you learn from attending other people\'s weddings?

posted 3 years ago in Beehive
Post # 16
78 posts
Worker bee

jb7979 :  This is a really good question. Fiance and I have definitely learned stuff from attending weddings together–we’ve attended 5 so far, one coming up in November, one coming up in December, and one coming up next August before our November 2017 wedding! Here’s some stuff we’ve noticed:

-Stay far away from wedding cake made with liquor!! We’ve been to two weddings where this was attempted and it was NASTY both times…either too much added in or it didn’t cook out correctly. Either way, each bite was like taking a shot. Not pleasant!

-Bride and Groom need to make an effort to not get overly caught up in the festivities and actually spend some time together. Remember those five weddings I mentioned? Only one of them the bride and groom spent time together beyond the ceremony and first dance. All the other ones they got married, had their first dance, then parted ways and spent the rrst of the night with their respective friends. It made us a little sad.

-DONT GET SHITTY. I will never, ever forget my cousins wedding in which her brand new husband was so spectacularly drunk, he walked (or rather, swayed) around the last hour wearing the pirate hat from the photo booth and trying to sneak into the sorority ball next door as his friends restrained him. He loudly protested, saying something about “young pussy”, as his groomsmen reminded him he was married and his “dick was under lock and key”.

-Try to sort out what ceremonial or religious things are absolutely necessary from the more optional ones. We went to a wedding last summer that was mostly lovely, but the ceremony was heavily religious, and the reception was tradition after tradition of cultural dances, special blessings, special food tasting/passing, everyone and their mother making a speech, a couple family members played instruments and put on a performance…it sucked the fun out of it after awhile.

Those are the most obvious I can think of right now.























Post # 17
193 posts
Blushing bee

haileyblue :  “My biggest realization: the wedding I would want is way over our budget, I’m not willing to cut corners. So destination wedding in Mexico it is!! Couldn’t be more excited.”

So good I had to quote it.  I have expensive taste.  In my fantasy world, I would have a lavish black tie affair that would probably cost $100K.  I can’t afford that, so I’m going with an intimate wedding where I can get the style I want at a price that is more aligned with my budget and long term goals. Win win all around.

Post # 18
6669 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

jb7979 :  The most important thing I learned was not to get a big dress – they are heavy, hot, a pain to haul around and seem to exhaust the bride.  Not that it stops most of us, of course, but I went with a swing dress for comfort.

Other important things: don’t buy cheap catering (we went DIY but still made sure it was actually good food), play a variety of music genres so all generations can enjoy the dancing, you do not need 3000 photos of your wedding day and don’t cave to what others want (within reason) because you’ll regret it.  And don’t take it all so seriously or you won’t have any fun!

ETA: a lot of what the other responders are saying are things I agree with too – I just didn’t need to attend a wedding to figure out a lot of that (like not getting smashed, for example)

Post # 20
46 posts
  • Wedding: January 2018

Make sure there are things to do while bridal party is gone for hours getting photos. Especially when you have bridal party members with spouses waiting by themselves because they don’t know anyone. They will most likely end up drinking too much and get upset because they’re uncomfortable. At least introduce them to people before leaving.

No one wants “forever favors”, nor something with your name and wedding date on it. We’re just going to bake some fudge and put it in a box with a “thank you” tag.

Don’t drag it out too long, especially if you have a bar limit. People will generally just sit at the table, or go outisde and chain smoke instead of getting up to dance. We would rather have the extra few hours to spend time together at our hotel and let everyone else get home at a decent hour.

As pp said: Open bar + adolescence = awkward drunk children

Don’t have your ceremony on a boat out in the water with no microphone while your guests are standing on a cove/beach about 10m away. No one can hear what you’re saying and ankles are getting bitten by mosquitos.

Pay extra for really good photography.

Do not open the floor when it comes to speeches.


A lot more things but that’s a gist of it 😉

Post # 22
9568 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I got a good feel for what I liked and dislikes

I decided I hated cash bars

I decided that flowers are super important to me and could carry decor on its own, though venue was a close second

I decided that I don’t like readings, mini-ceremonies (unity candles, sand things, etc..) and in general want a ceremony that is short (though I made sure to make every word count)

I learned that literally every single woman I know hates the bouquet toss, and decided not to do one

Post # 23
2657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

At a wedding I attended in January, the cocktail hour went for about an hour and a half. It was far too long and everyone was starting to get a little restless at the 45-60 minute mark. On top of this, drinks weren’t made available until half an hour in (only water before this), the finger food was severely lacking and the servers rarely brought food around outside (which is where a lot of people had congregated, as the inside area was a little cramped). Fiance and I are determined to ensure that our cocktail hour goes for an hour only and that food/drinks are made available straight away.

Post # 24
362 posts
Helper bee

A friend’s wife (the bride) came up to us (guests) at the end of the night and told us we’d taken the ‘vegan’ chocolate covered almond bamboniere and that we were supposed to take a bag from the other tray for non vegans…..when in fact there were WAY TOO MANY LEFT OVER on both trays which weren’t even labeled. Very few of the 60 guests bothered with taking the mini plastic bag on their way out. I can’t believe she had the audacity to do that. What a shame. When she said that, we basically pointed to the trays and let her know there are PLENTY left over and not to break a sweat or stress over the ONE frigging bag we took.

Sooooo as a bride or groom,  I wouldn’t run to my guests to tell them they’d taken the wrong bamboniere EVER, especially when there are tonnes remaining. 

Post # 25
150 posts
Blushing bee

Great Thread! More tips please! 

Although I will add for any British Brides that of the 21 weddings i’ve been to there were a total of 4 Open bars after the meal. Cash Bar is definitely not “Bad form” in the UK, its extremely normal!

“Normally” what is included is: Champagne reception, half a bottle of wine with Dinner and a glass of Bubbles for a toast. Then it is a cash bar following that. 

Post # 26
1378 posts
Bumble bee

Have a decent back up plan if it rains (ie. guests should not be sitting at round reception tables for the ceremony). Pick a place that has options!

I also HATE cocktail hours that are more than 1 hour (people get blitzed and its just too long). I also don’t like a large 2-3 hour gap between ceremony and reception, espicially if the venue is in a remote location.

Something WILL go wrong, chances are your guests won’t even notice, so just grin and move on and enjoy the day.

Please ask those giving speeches a) not to get wasted beforehand  b) keep it short and sweet  c) inside jokes suck for those on the outside  d) prepare something in advance, stumbling for seomthing to say because you didnt plan/write beforehand is unaccecptable 

Make sure you say hello, greet every table at the reception. People made an effort, gave you gifts, they want to wish you well to your face.

Post # 27
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

That I’d like to have a sweetheart table and not have a head table, as I want my bridesmaids to be with their SO’s if they want to. The SO’s met at that wedding so it wouldnt be as awkward at ours but i d like them to be together. 

That not everyone will eat the buffet or wedding cake, so we’re having a big sweet table and wedding doughnuts instead. 

That you need to be able to breathe in your dress, of the three i’ve been too, two of the brides needed their undoing later in the day so going to be extra careful mine will be comfy.

Make sure that the registar knows the witnesses names correctly before hand, someone needed their certificate redoing as the registar got it wrong. 

That I want a short ceremony and not to have loads of photos signing the register, a couple will do so we dont keep guests awkwardly waiting for it be sorted. 


Cash Bars are pretty common in the Uk as non drinkers we’re only paying for toast drinks and having water with the meal.

Won’t be having a cocktail hour whilst photos are done as we’ll be having fiance’s friends as photographers we just want to keep photos casual and short time allocated to them. 

Post # 28
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

– Do not close the bar during dinner (or if you are, let the guests know before it happens!) This happened at a wedding my fiancé and I were at, so we didn’t get to have anything to drink with dinner (like, I don’t think they even brought water around).

– Do assigned seating (open seating is too stressful if groups of people want to stay together)

– If the ceremony is outside or in a large room, have a microphone set up so that people can hear what’s going on

– Have ceremony music

That’s all I can think of right now. Since I’ve gotten engaged, I’ve been much more judgy at weddings (not in a bad way, just a lot more perceptive of what’s going on).

Post # 29
879 posts
Busy bee

– Make the guest experience a priority: I’m already in a sour mood if you make me drive 45 minutes to the ceremony, another 45 minutes to the reception, and a final 45 minutes home for an “in-town” wedding. Gaps make this worse, unless everything is walkable and guests can go grab a drink for an hour in between.

– No favors that aren’t food.

– It’s your wedding but other people are going to be there too, and keep that in mind. We went to a wedding once where the bride loved moscato and the groom loved Miller Light and so those were the only two alcohol choices.

– Boquet/Garter tosses are weird for EVERYONE.

– If you don’t want completely sloshed guests, provide actual food (with carbs!) at your cocktail hour.

– Don’t use inside jokes in speeches and don’t make jokes about the bride/groom’s first night together in them. No speeches outside of parents and best man/maid of honor.

– Think through your day of timeline and make sure vendors have a copy of it. Receptions get awkward fast when eveyone is looking around for what comes next.

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