The truth of the matter is that sometimes brides can be so bound up in their wedding preparations and all the excitement that they forget a few crucial points that will ensure their guests have a good time at the wedding too.
So to make sure you don't fall into this trap I've listed 10 things for you to think about. Look at the list, consider and if you carry out the following you'll be well on the way to being certain that your guests have the best time on your big day.
- Don't scrimp on the food. If you're marrying at noon and the celebration is carrying on until midnight, then that's a long time for your guests to be there. They'll need lunch, afternoon tea and dinner - and that will bump up your budget. Sadly, I've been to weddings where the guests were expected to subsist on canapes straight after the ceremony with nothing to eat until 7pm. So work out what you can afford and plan accordingly. You might decide it's better to get married later on in the day (you can marry up until 6pm in the UK) and just offer dinner.
- Think about the temperature. If you're marrying in summer and having a reception indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation or air conditioning. Marquees can be hot too - so make sure a breeze is allowed to float through. On the other hand, a summer day in the UK can also be chilly, so you might like to offer blankets, wraps and even indoor heaters to take the chill off.
- If you are marrying in winter and the weather is bad, don't leave your guests to freeze outside the church whilst the photographs are being taken. Make sure umbrellas are to hand so ushers can escort couples to their cars and perhaps have some blankets inside a chilly church to warm knees.
- Children are delightful at weddings but children running around out of hand, screaming, are not so appealing. Organise a chill-out room for kids where they can watch DVDs, play and get away from the grown-ups. Not many three year olds will sit happily through long speeches.
- If you're clearing away chairs and tables after the reception to create a dance floor, remember that the people who have lost their seats will still need somewhere to sit - particularly the elderly. Create a seating area away from the dance floor that's quiet enough to chat in peace - and serve tea and coffee and wedding cake.
- When you're planning your menu, bear in mind that some people are very allergic to shellfish so it's best not to serve prawns etc as a starter. And give your guests a vegetarian option too.
- Whilst champagne is a regular part of the wedding festivities, people often enjoy a cup of tea mid afternoon or a soft drink. So make sure these are offered too.
- If you're marrying in a church in town and the reception is a few miles away, consider offering a coach to ferry your guests from the reception venue to the ceremony and back again so they don't have to worry about finding city centre parking.
- Whilst themed weddings are fun, if you're considering asking guests to wear fancy dress or themed clothes consider who you are inviting. If you have couples with young children it can be quite a burden and time-consuming to find something to wear. Have a theme by all means - but maybe just ask people to wear an item of clothing in a certain colour.
- I'm quite a fan of a receiving line at the wedding reception. It may seem old-fashioned but it really is an easy way to make sure you say hello to every guest, rather than trying to make your way around all the tables.
Anything else to add?
Image via Owl & The Pussycat Photography