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

posted 9 years ago in Logistics
Post # 32
448 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Yikes!!! Is a two hour wait between ceremony & reception really that big of a deal ? Because thats what I have but we are in Vegas, so they can gamble in between ?

Post # 34
4334 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

View original reply
@Dsquared: I don’t think it’s a huge deal. It seems to me that most weddings around here have at *least* an hour and a half break.

Most of our guests are either in town (and can go home,) or else will be staying at the hotel, and can go and freshen up or check-in or whatever.

Post # 35
2408 posts
Buzzing bee

i agree with a lot of these like:

the bride and groom must enjoy their own wedding and dance! if they’re on the dancefloor, then the dancefloor will be packed

assigned seating for parties of over 100 are crucial. plus, make an effort to put people who either know each other or you know have something in common. that makes a lot of difference.

if you said “reception immediately following” then please, please, PLEASE have some kind of food to nibble on. i always hate rushing to get to the reception only to realize the bride and groom are taking pictures and now i have to wait with nothing to eat. no matter how short the gap, it will feel like forever on an empty stomach.

no one really cares about the centerpiece after about 5 minutes at the table. but, the lower the better. makes it easier to talk across the table.

head tables are unnecessary. the bridal party aren’t really the ones that need to be on display. let them sit with their dates. i love seeing the bride and groom get comfy at their sweetheart table though

killer dj = killer party

mix in different kinds of music. the last wedding i went to played a lot of fun hip hop and r&b music from the early 90s and some nice oldies that had everyone dancing at one point or another.

i always care about the cake. i might not be able to tell you about the bathroom baskets or what favor you gave out, but i’ll always be able to tell you about the cake and whether or not i liked it.

some other notes:

an open bar is sometimes begging for problems. there was an epic argument/fight that happened outside the reception hall from a drunken couple. awkward.

open bar will also lead to half finished drinks. i am guilty of this only because i left mine unattended a little too long on my table and the waitstaff cleared it 🙁

be nice to your bridal party! they are there to support you and will do their best to do so. remember, you still want them to be your friends the next day. also, providing snacks/water during the day will be greatly appreciated. (the last wedding i was a bridesmaid in, the bride completely spoiled us. it made running after her train all day a lot easier to make happen with a real smile on my face)

as much as i enjoy open mics for toasts, sometimes it’s best to carefully select who you’ll have give a toast. it’ll help keep that part of the reception from dragging.

edible favors are the way to go. if that’s not your forte, doing a donation type favor or skipping favors are fine alternatives. i agree, i don’t want to keep something with your monogram or wedding date on it.

less is more! carefully pick which elements you want in your wedding and make those shine. no one wants to have a wedding that looked like the WIC monster threw up on it.

Post # 36
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

-open seating sucks

-if you have stations/a buffet, make sure there is enough food for everything

-even if you like to eat nothing but junk food, have some healthier options. Or at least a vegetable. I went to one wedding where there was a buffet with nothing but brisket, french fries, and mac & cheese

-bands generally make for less fun than DJs

-don’t use a ballroom that is WAAAY too big for your number of guests

-try to start the ceremony somewhat close to on time, especially if your guests are sitting in the hot sun. I went to one wedding that started 40 minutes late and a number of guests were sunburned by the time the ceremony was over

-no one will notice if you don’t have music during cocktail hour (though I’m ignoring this lesson because we were able to get a string quartet for cheap)

Post # 37
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Under NO circumstances use scented candled. Attended a wedding with a teacher theme (apple scented candles).. ugh. Tight space + heat+ a bazillion apple tealights= hell.

Post # 38
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I went to a wedding where the ceremony was at 1 and the reception at 5.    I could have went home and watched cable instead of waiting at the venue.

  • I always eat the cake, some are bad and some are great.
  • I always take the gift.  If they spent the time on it I’m not going to leave it behind.
  • Wow. factor not needed on centerpieces.
  • cocktail hour a must.
  • I’m not having assigned seating, we are having 250 people.
  • A great DJ a must.
  • Exotic foods, who needs them, too much room for complaining.
  • Plenty of seats for everyone
  • Don’t have a dinky dance floor for large weddings.
  • Don’t send invitations last minute because you feel guilty that you didn’t invite someone.
  • assign a clean up crew/ or find out if you can do it the next day.
  • invite children, they are fun to watch and its a great expeirence for them too 

You could go on forever I think.

Post # 39
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Hmm… this is making me worry about two things:

1. We are having a band instead of a DJ. 18-piece jazz band/dance orchestra, to be exact (not nearly as OTT as it sounds! they were SUPER cheap because they’re a community group–same price as a small professional group, though they still sound great). How can I still make this a rocking party? As they’re such a big group, they’re pretty diverse, genre-wise… suggestions, anyone?

2. We have a 2-hour gap between the ceremony and reception. HOWEVER, we are filling the time: we’re serving refreshments (coffee, tea, mulled wine, and nibbles) for guests to munch on in the church cafe while we are having the receiving line (30 minutes?) and taking the mandatory both-families shots (15 minutes, tops). Then we’ll have our fun exit from the church (to go take pics) and guests will make their way to the reception venue. When they arrive, there will be welcome drinks and a pianist, and big plush chairs to settle into and chillax for a bit. The hotel is a beautiful old Victorian building with loads of history–lots of original art, beautiful gardens, pretty architecture… I think they’ll like it.  FH and I hope to be back about 45 minutes to an hour after we leave to take photos, at which point we’ll also mingle for about 15 minutes or so with the guests and then all head in for dinner. 

Is this unbearably long, or does the food and travel break it up?

Post # 40
7367 posts
Busy Beekeeper

You can’t fool people. Go ahead put on $how to prove to the world how “in love” you guys are, rather than celebrating the true meaning of “marriage”.

Just so you know – none of us were buying it. So please get married for the right reasons.

Post # 41
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

– Don’t waste your money on favors that aren’t edible

– Assigned seating is necessary, assigned tables at the minimum. Anything without is a huge cluster f***. Everyone is milling around for forever trying to switch seats so groups can be together etc. It’s awful.

– Don’t skimp on the photographer. A beautiful wedding can look really ghetto a few months later on facebook.

– Don’t invite people that hate eachother and then have an open bar..

– Don’t plan your wedding at the same time as a major sporting event.

– Lie to your bridesmaid dress store about your wedding date by 4-6 weeks. They tend to send them out by wedding date, not by order date. So even if you are prepared, they can come in 2 weeks before your wedding leaving no time for alterations/mistakes.

Post # 42
2187 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I love this thread! To the engaged bee’s: bookmark this.

The welcoming speech – brilliant. Why the hell didn’t I think about it? Everything felt awkward between our guests and our bridal table that was up on a stage because we hadn’t had time to talk to anyone. Then when we went around to do our personal thank you’s, a lot of people already left. Super weird.

Post # 43
1303 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Hotel chicken always sucks.

Post # 44
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I’ve read most of these and I’m breaking a lot of them, but so does every other wedding that takes place down here for the most part.

No assigned seating or seating charts, etc – I’ve never heard of that stuff until I’ve come on these website and I have been in a few weddings.

We also don’t do toasts at weddings or cocktail hours or gaps between ceremony and reception. Never heard of any of that before, except the toasts, but it just doesn’t get done.

We are only doing photos for 7-10 minutes after the ceremony and having a band play for guests.


What I think is important

Music – guests need entertainment

Alcohol – it makes the wedding more fun loosens guests up

Food- options would be nice. not everyone likes a fatty bad piece of steak and bland twice stuff potato and cinnamon flavored carrots

When hiring a coordinator, even if they are doing it for free, make sure they aren’t totally rude to the bridal party the whole time.

Don’t hold a rehearsal and have it last 2+ hours just becasue you haven’t decided where everyone was going to stand yet. Think of your Wedding Party and plan that out ahead of time.

Don’t try to require that all of you BMs wear the same color eye shadow, hairstyle, and similar jewelry as you, why do you want them to look like you on you wedding day?

Send thank you notes out as soon as you get gifts, you shouldn’t be writing notes out 8 months later.

Let people know you are cutting the cake and don’t just go through the motions of a reception, let people get involved.

Don’t make people stand in a narrow hallway for 20 minutes while you take photos of yourself “cutting” the cake and have in a first dance. Then you have no music at the wedding?

Fake flowers look fake.

The grrom should actually touch the bride in photos and not look photoshopped in. He is standing in the same position in EVERY photo, hands in front of crotch a few steps away from whoever he his by. He stands in photos with the best man and the bride the same exact way!



Post # 45
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

– Don’t do a dollar dance. They are long and awkward.

– Have lots of yummy food and drink!

-Good DJ is very important!!

– Keep speeches/slideshows short and sweet

Post # 46
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My biggest pet peeve when I go to a wedding is when you can tell that huge amounts of money were spent on the bride’s dress, hair, makeup/photography/videography/flowers, etc. but there is hardly any food or drinks for the guests (this peeve only counts when you promise a meal, not for a cake and punch reception).

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