(Closed) What have you learned from attending other peoples’ weddings?

posted 9 years ago in Logistics
Post # 17
26 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

The biggest thing I learned from being part of the wedding…please have a table reserved for your bridal party if they are going to be some of the last to arrive due to pictures.

Post # 18
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Love this thread too!

What I have learned from the past wedding I went to  and we still have 3 more to go before ours in September too!

–Don’t have the officiant make you repeat every other word…. People start to make faces and laugh when there is 10-15 minutes of repeating every other word.  Its best to sound like you can at least string 3 words together or at least a sentence and repeat!!

— 1 hour & 45 mins is too long to have everyone wait (while most are standing!) in a separate drink and appitizer room before being allowed to sit in the reception area.

—  The bride and groom were rarely together during the night.  Be happy together throughout the night, guest came to see you happy and married!

— Do not let the groom  or bride tell strangers, guests or significant others that they didn’t want to have a wedding.  (the lack of preparation and/or planning will then show twice as much!)

–Make sure your venue will (slightly) dim the lights for dinner…. I felt like I was in a school auditorium even though the venue was at a reputable university.

–spread out dinner tables if the space allows so people dont have to squeeze by every other minute.  (this reception could have spaced out the tables to make the guests more comfortable).


Post # 19
5103 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

*Good entertainment is a MUST!

*People pay a lot of attention to the food, make it count

*Speeches should be meaningful, but keep them short and sweet.

*Get all the big traditions and events out of the way as soon as possible a the reception

*Receiving lines should have a cut off time- waiting over 2 hrs to eat is no bueno.

*As the bride and groom, come ready to party and everyone else will too

*Keep the booze flowing.

Post # 20
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

A good dj is soooo important! The last wedding I attended we could barely here the music during the bridal party entrance and he didn’t announce the parent dances, bouquet toss, or cake cutting so a lot of ppl didn’t realize it was happening.

Post # 21
2790 posts
Sugar bee

People DO notice the details. Good and especially Bad.

Hiring all of your vendors online without ever meeting thing is a very very bad idea. Especially the photographer and the DJ’s.

Speaking to your Best Man about his speech and his behavior towards your guests may be a good idea if he is not an overly big fan of marriage.

Long waiting periods between the ceremony and reception is never fun for anyone.

Banning certain types of music can be extremely irritating to your guests.

Do not let your parents pick your DJ. That NEVER EVER works out. On the same level pick a DJ who knows what an iPod is and how to use it in conjunction with their speaker system.

People don’t like to be cold. Whether that means because of snow, wind or AC. You should make an extra effort to provide a comfortable temperature to your guests.

Wedding programs most often get thrown away. Do not make this Do not make this your top priority DIY paper product.

Keeping the ceremony short (20 – 30 minutes) is preferable to most. I know having a full church ceremony does not lend itself to this idea but I start to get board beyond 30 minutes. Just my own thoughts.

Do not wear your puffiest winter jacket over your wedding dress. Get a shawl, or a stole or a sweater or SOMETHING. Anything besides your snowmobiling jacket that is bright green.

I’ve been to a lot of weddings so I am sure I will come up with more.

Post # 22
5295 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Yikes, sounds like no one would have enjoyed my wedding 🙁

 – unassigned seating for 150 people. Everyone behaved like big kids and found a seat or made new friends. With ~8 no shows and ~5 non-rsvps who did show up, several tables would have been screwed up anyway.

 – 2 hour gap from ceremony to cocktail hour. Again, they were big kids and entertained themselves. My family has a dairy farm. My siblings had to go home and do chores. I’d rather my guests sit around doing whatever rather than my family not be there.

 – had an ~approximately 12 minute-long childhood to now slideshow. However, I agree no one likes to sit through them – the DJ was supposed to let it repeat during dinner, hence no forced watching. Instead they played it first. And never repeated it. We did get several compliments on it so hopefully no one was super-annoyed.

Things I learned from mine and others-

good DJ is VERY important

No obnoxious tall/wide centerpieces

cut off the toasts and/or serve dinner right away. People will just eat and leave. and no fun dancing.

ship your gifts. Please. Figuring out what to do with them at 12:30am is not fun.

Make damn sure your hotel room is not next to his parents.

Everyone has a good time and doesn’t notice the teensy things that go wrong 🙂

Post # 23
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’ve learned quite a few things…

– open seating for over 100 people it annoying. It sucks to have to run to find enough seats for you and the people you came with

-i personally find head tables to be kind of weird and awkward. Plus they are usually abandoned as soon as possible since the bridal party really wants to sit with their dates.

-food is VERY important. An amazing wedding can be ruined by bad food. Plus it sucks when you spent $100 a plate and everyones plate it untouched

-make your wedding personal. My fav wedding was my best friends because everything about it was them. From the veil made by her mother to the cake and rings made by her groom and even the fact that it was on a militay base. No one else could do a wedding like theirs. I really want my guests to feel that way about mine

-Have enough food for the amount of people you invite. Buffets are great but it sucks to be the last table called and there is nothing left to eat

-have a plan for who is taking home the gifts/decor. It is a really BAD idea to have your very intoxicated groomsmen carry your very large and expensive centerpieces to the parking lot. Booze + glass+ concrete dont mix. And it really sucks to have your bridal party drive 3+ hours crammed in a van with their luggage and your centerpieces…..

-its cool if you want to DIY but remember on the day of…it wont be you that is setting/cleaning up. If you dont have a DOC make sure someone knows how you want everything set up

Post # 24
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I agree with Ms Meowersen that if the bride and groom aren’t having fun, no on else will either.

Assigned seating is a must

Good dance music is a must, whether it’s a band/DJ/iPod.  And it must appeal to all generations.  I had as many people on the dance floor for Glenn Miller as I did for Lady Gaga.  And just about everyone danced (or sang along to) Journey’s “Faithfully”.

Wedding food is generally not great.  Just make sure there is plenty of it.  Especially if you have an open bar.

Nobody wants to see a slide show.  Save yourself the time and aggravation.

Nobody cares about favors.  Save yourself the time and aggravation

If you MUST have a significant gap between the ceremony and reception, plan something for your guests to do.  A cocktail hour should be that–one hour, no more.

Have someone (not in the wedding party) assisting/directing the photographer, making sure all important pictures are taken.  These boards are filled with wedding day regrets of photos that didn’t happen.

Post # 26
3048 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I’ve learned that:

–Chances are I already know what your story is, so the officiate shouldn’t ramble on about it during the ceremony. Please make it short and sweet!

–Unassigned seating is fine, but PLEASE make sure there are enough seats for everyone in the least bit

–Make sure you reserve seats for your family members, they don’t want a magnifier to see your first dance, etc. Also, grandma needs to sit down… so please make sure she can.

–I may be hungry, but it’s worth it to wait for the bride & groom to eat first (just seems rude to eat beforehand IMO)

–Watching all the dances and listening to all the toasts is boring, unless you’re the one dancing/talking

–Having a full dinner (with normal food) is better than eating appetizers… your wedding is not the time to experiment with “different” food

–People will eat 3-4 bites of your cake and then leave it on the table

–Please stop talking to the bride and groom so they can get on the dance floor and actually dance with their friends… baha!

Post # 27
1497 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

-The music played during the dinner hour is important (I went to a wedding last year that was in December and the dinner hour music was just the CD sountrack of The Nutcracker…boring and repetitive and didn’t represent the couple at all!)

-The music during the dance portion needs to be at least somewhat personalized to the couple’s taste/representative of them — at the same Nutcracker CD wedding last year, the dance music was an awful mix of motown and rap music, neither of which the wedding couple listen to AT ALL…it just felt awkward and forced.

-Themed weddings are embarrassingly corny

-Toasts are boring and no one remembers them five minutes afterwards

-Tall centerpieces are annoying

-Young children at weddings is supremely annoying

-Choreographed dances are painfully embarrassing to watch

-The bride and groom need to have fun!

-Personalized weddings are the most memorable

-Don’t bother spending extra money on chair covers or Chivari chairs or whatever…they’re going to be covered by people’s coats/sweaters/purses/butts all night anyway. I literally cannot recall what a single chair at a wedding I’ve been to looked like, except for the one I’ve been to that had chair covers, because they were wrinkly and uncomfortable to sit on, not to mention hideous.

Post # 28
4334 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

A lot of these have been said already…

(and of course, these are just my personal opinions,)

-Tall centerpieces are annoying. But actually, I do think that people appreciate looking at a “pretty” or thoughtful centerpiece.

-If you have a live band, it will most likely be incredibly loud and people will either have to dance or leave, since they won’t be able to just talk.

-People usually leave a reception earlier than otherwise if there isn’t free alcohol.

-I do not care when I receive a invitation that is not hand-addressed. (in fact, I received one recently that was, and I thought, “gosh, that looks kinda sloppy!” [they had also used red ink, in addition to not having perfect handwriting!])

-I rarely take home favors, but I will nibble on candy/snacks if they are at the table.

-Receiving lines are awful. Nobody wants to stand and awkwardly make conversation with a whole bunch of people they have never met, and will probably never see again.

Post # 29
11164 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

There is nothing wrong than a simple low cost wedding.

In My Humble Opinion I have learned that if you have a small budget keep it simple, elegant, and classic. Trying to encorporate EVERYTHING on a small budget leaves holes that are very apparent to guests, at least to me.

One of the most amazing weddings I have ever been to had a budget of $3,000 for 40 guests. It was in the back yard and we had a great time. One of the worst weddings I have ever been to was a cousin’s wedding that had a small(ish) budget for 150 people but they tried to go all out. The food, decor, and location were terrible because they tried to bring in too many elements rather than focusing on the important ones and making them work.

Post # 30
1920 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I’ve learned:

-You should review your officiant’s speech so that you don’t have him screaming about procreating during your ceremony

-assigned seating is a must

-if you are having a cash bar, your guests should be informed ahead of time

-A drunk bride and/or groom is really distasteful 


Post # 31
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We are in the midst of WEDDING YEAR.  I have learned so much, especially as planning intensifies!  Here are some of my favorite ones that I agree with emphatically!

View original reply
@UK Bride:  “There is a point at which DIY stops being endearing and just looks…bad.”  haha.  So true!  I’ve seen some glue guns gone crazy out there.

View original reply
@Meowkers: “If the bride and groom don’t seem to be having a good time, no one else will.” I second this!!  A couple weddings I went to there was no bride/groom anywhere on the dance floor for most of the night.  Needless to say it stayed empty most of the time.  Besides me dragging my Fiance out there because I felt a need to fill the dance floor!

View original reply
@mzlouis2b: “i personally find head tables to be kind of weird and awkward. Plus they are usually abandoned as soon as possible since the bridal party really wants to sit with their dates.” I second this.  Segregating the bridal party makes the night less fun for them.  And you will end up with an empty table next to you as people run off with their SO!

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