Let’s cut to the chase, if your guests haven’t fully enjoyed your wedding or don’t look like they’re having a great time whilst they’re there then you as a couple are not going to be able to enjoy your wedding as much as if they’re having the best time ever.
Your guests’ experience is paramount to the success of the day – if they’re happy then that will radiate through the day and create an atmosphere like no other, they’ll be coming up to you and telling you how great your wedding is, you’ll feel the buzz of the atmosphere yourself and you’ll know that not only is this a day they’ll remember forever but also that it was something that you and your partner put together.
I thought about this in depth and came to the conclusion that there are 13 fairly simple steps that need to be made in order to make your wedding day perfect from a guest perspective – I’ve listed them below.
1. Inform us
– Get your invites out to guests as soon as you know your where and when.
– Give them as much detail as possible – check yourself how easy it is to find on a SatNav and if it is in the middle of nowhere then some helpfully placed signs on route will be gratefully received.
– Make sure anything they need to know on the day is clearly displayed or clearly announced by a member of staff or a maid of honour who can project her voice well.
2. Wow us
What’s the first thing that’s going to be creating an incredible impression on your guests on your wedding on the day?
Is it drive up to your castle venue?
Is it the beautiful, intricate and breathtaking styling inside?
Is it the finishing touches and bit and pieces which they will see and just instinctively KNOW that this is YOUR day?
Is it the bride’s dress and/or the groom’s suit?
Make sure there’s something to make them say WOW early on!
3. Show us your love
Without the ceremony you’ve just organised an expensive party so this is probably the most important part of the wedding day – THIS is arguably what they’ve come to see.
Fully embrace the moment and let all your fears, insecurities and concerns fall away during this time.
Literally everyone there is rooting for you and there is no easier time and place for you to be 100% you; the same applies to your partner too.
Love this time; it’ll be over too fast.
Great guests simply adore seeing two souls that are meant for each other joining forever.
4. Feed and water us
This is a recurring theme and although I’d recommend water is available guests will probably want something stronger.
The eating schedule is weird at weddings, people tend to have an early breakfast, a very small snack as lunch and then shortly afterwards have a large late lunch and then have a lighter even later dinner.
Post ceremony is a great chance to wow guests with a unique or interesting selection of canapes and appetisers – don’t be shy here!
5. Entertain us
Post-ceremony is also a time when there isn’t much going on for guests other than the food and the photos.
This is the perfect chance to put on some entertainment that will break the ice between the two sides of the family, turn one of the quiet times into one of the talking points and set the atmosphere for the day.
6. Feed and water us
Early breakfast and canapes aren’t quite going to cut it when it comes to hunger satiation (and maybe soaking up early alcohol consumption) as if you’re not eating properly until maybe 3:30 – 4:30 then guests will be starving.
Your perfect choice of 3 course meal, sit down buffet or exotic street-food will go down a storm – this is another chance to be adventurous, choose something that they won’t be able to get anywhere else!
(Obviously taking any medical or dietary requirements into consideration.)
7. Make us emotional!
The speeches are one of the most interesting, heartfelt and emotional parts of the day where past stories can be shared, loved ones remembered and true unbridled love can be declared.
Giving the speech givers the maximum amount of support possible both in the writing and the giving of the speeches will bring the best out of them.
There’s no-one there wanting them to fail – they just want to hear what they’ve got to say.
Also ensure that a microphone/PA system has been thought of – many people don’t feel happy projecting their voices to 100 people!
8. Entertain us some more
There’s typically a couple of hours between the wedding breakfast finishing and the evening starting so this is again a really good time to provide something different in terms entertainment, this could be a continuation of the entertainment from the drinks reception or something entirely different.
Entertainment here serves two purposes, firstly of course it keeps guests happy, smiling and the atmosphere flowing at a time when there’s not that much else going on for guests and secondly it stops, or at least slows down people going back and forth to the bar which I know can be a concern for some couples.
9. Dance for us!
Your first dance is a really special moment that typically the vast majority of guests will want to witness – whether you’re a dancer or not this is your time to shine.
Too many first dances are just the couples swaying side to side and having a chat – this isn’t a time to be self-conscious it’s a time to come out of your shell and physically demonstrate your love for each other (no, not like that!)
There’s a real up and coming trend of making your first dance even more memorable by actually spending time with a choreographer who’ll put together a dance for you to whichever song or song(s) you like so that you can your partner can truly own your first dance!
10. Get us up dancing!
This ties in so nicely with the above – if you nail your first dance and genuinely own it then it will inspire your guests to get up and join in.
Your music choice whether it’s a band or a DJ or a combination will also be responsible for this – their biggest job isn’t actually playing music it is in fact reading the room and playing the right songs to match the mood.
This is where paying for experience is paramount – that experience will fill a dance floor!
11. Feed us again!
A third time, surely not?
An evening buffet is yet another chance to impress your guests with fun food choices or just bowls full of various carbs – whatever suits!
12. Party with us
This bit is so easy, particularly if you’ve got the previous parts right.
Everyone will be in a good mood, they’ve seen people they loved marry, the fun atmosphere was set early by the afternoon entertainment, their bellies are full, they’ve drunk as much as they’ve wanted and now there are now no formalities left and it’s time to party!
13. Get us home!
Whether this is a simple as having the number of local taxi firms available or putting on coaches/minibuses to transport your guests make sure you’ve thought of how your guests are getting home well in advance of your big day.
You don’t want anyone even thinking about drinking and driving.
I don’t think I’ve missed anything and I do genuinely think keeping wedding guests happy is that simple!
I really hope you’ve found this blog interesting and informative – if you have then let me know your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or finding me on Facebook – Chris Piercy Magician, Mindreader, Hypnotist
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