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  • Jack Helbig

Some Things Guests Secretly Wished You'd Do At Your Wedding

I see this question a lot on various wedding boards and social media pages: Do guests care about "party favors"? My answer is always "NO!" Now, occasionally there is unique guest favor (like an ornament for a Christmas-themed wedding), or perhaps unique hot cocoa mixes for a winter wedding. But, for the most part, quite a few guests leave them behind. Which means they get tossed, and you just wasted a bunch of money. And a recent article I came across on Brides dot com confirmed what I believed. Guests polled also released some things couples wished they had/did at a wedding. Some of the highlights include:

1. INVEST IN THE BOOZE & DUMP THE "EXTRAS"

This is where guests have said to dump things like favors & the sparkler exit (I disagree with the latter; guests really enjoy that. Plus, sparklers are cheap) & invest in booze or beer/wine. I always advise couples to keep the money from the favors and either spend it on an experience at your reception, or save it for yourselves -- like for your honeymoon, for example.


2. DON'T STOP THE PARTY FOR STUFF LIKE CAKE CUTTING!

This is another thing I work with my couples and suggest they do not do. Once the party starts, keep it going. Get all of the "formalities" (i.e. cake cutting, special dances, toasts) out of the way BEFORE it's time to work off the meal and party/dance. (I don't consider stuff like "bouquet toss" a formality, per se, as it's a fun element). Plus, once the party has started, you two are free to do whatever for the rest of the evening.


3. LATE NIGHT EATS

"Late-night snacks" have become extremely popular recently. Think crowd favorite and something pretty simple. Like pizza slices/squares. Or sliders. Or mini corn dogs. Or maybe a food truck (that can be costly). Your hungry and/or tipsy guests will be appreciative (as you probably will because the chances of you being hungry later in the night are good).


4. ASSIGNED SEATS

This is not to be confused with assigned tables (where people are assigned a table to sit at, but whatever chair at that table they'd like). I always advise to put people who know each other at the same table (or try to). Think back to weddings you've been to. Have you ever been assigned a seat at a table where you didn't know anyone?

5. HELP THEM GET THERE

Clear directions (or a basic map) & the wedding details on the invites. With many venues in more rural areas, cell service could be spotty & when my couples have their wedding at a venue where service can be tricky, I always advise them to include a little insert that has basic instructions. Even a GPS or Google Maps/Waze can be affected if the service is bad or non-existent on the way. Also keep in mind, some of your older guests might not have maps available on their phones or even a GPS. So, providing directions for those guests will be very appreciative to them so they don't get lost. If you have a number of guests coming out of town and staying at a hotel with room blocks, arranging transportation to and from is always a huge "win!" with guests. They don't have to worry about driving their car to the venue and then coming back (especially if they plan on having some drinks).


Some other things surprised me. Like "Keeping the Dress Code Simple". Personally, I didn't realize some were making this difficult. But, apparently, "festive chic", "beach elegance"& "dress-to-the-nines" are being used to describe a dress code. Now, when I think of going to the beach, 'elegance' is not a word that comes to mind. I haven't a clue what 'festive chic' is either. Go with simple: Formal, Semi-Formal, Business Casual. Another thing I didn't realize was still a "thing": Playing matchmaker. Apparently single guests hate that and don't want to be set up with your frat brother or cousin. I'll be working on a blog about how to include single guests. When I assist my couples, I tell them to think back to weddings they've been to. Thoughts/feelings about weddings are pretty consistent. If there were things you didn't care for at a wedding(s), most likely your guests won't like it at yours.

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