Tag Archives: reception tips

Lessons as a wedding guest

A nod to A Practical Wedding and Elizabeth Clayton for this blog post on how to have a fun wedding.Ms. Clayton boils down her advice to these tips:

  1. Make sure people know what to expect.
  2. Feed people. Feed them on time.
  3. Get people emotionally invested

While it this may all seem pretty obvious, most weddings I’ve been to recently have violated at least one of these tips, and in each case it definitely was a bit… irksome to me as a guest.

I’ll leave it to you to read the original blog for the full set of advice on each (I highly recommend), but adding my two cents to each:

  1. With wedding websites so easy to make, this really shouldn’t be that hard. Remember, just because most venues are Google-able doesn’t mean your guests are going to be able to figure out the ins and outs of the place like you will know. I, for one, particularly appreciate recommendations on appropriate footwear for a venue. Lord knows I ruin enough of my heels through my uncanny ability to find every crack and grate in the sidewalks I navigate each day. If you can spare me one more pair by recommending that flats may be a good option because by rustic wedding, you truly mean rustic, my heels and I appreciate being spared the mud and dirt.
  2. I learned this is especially important when you have a buffet, as it’s easy to identify the first few tables to head on down, but after that people get so caught up in chatter or, ya know, become mildly delusional with hunger that they forget to pay attention to when their table is called…if, their table gets called. PLEASE make sure your MC does remember to call ALL the tables. (Yes, experience has told me that apparently I do need to remind people of this). Also make sure that there is some clarity that guests should refrain from going to get seconds until all the tables have been called, lest you run out of food from people getting seconds before some have even gotten the opportunity to eat.
  3. Unless you’re planning a fairly small and intimate event, it’s likely you have multiple people from multiple circles of your life present at the wedding: family you actually talk you, family you really don’t but invited because they are family, college friends, work friends, friends you knew since you were five, friends you didn’t start bonding with until last year and their significant others they live with but you barely know…. Point being, it’s easy to get caught up in the now and what make you happy now and that you want to have fun NOW, but there is probably a long journey that brought you as a person and the two of you as a couple to where you are today, and the people in the room with you represent those various touch points. Try and find ways to honor your entire journey and thus the whole of people in the room. This can be as simple as having your receiving line or going around from table to table during your reception to try and make sure you “touch” everyone, somehow acknowledge their presence and thank them for being a part of what brought you to where you are today.