How to have a fun wedding!
What makes a wedding memorable, enjoyable and fun? If you are dreaming of the perfect wedding, whatever that may mean to you, here’s a suggestion: turn your thinking upside down. Try thinking like a guest, instead of as bride or groom, to look at it from a different perspective. You will discover many important things.
First, and perhaps most important, is an emotional connection. Your guests need to feel connected to you in small and big ways.
Number two – your guests need to be comfortable. Indoors or outdoors, they should know what to expect, especially in terms of what to wear.
Food is the third element, because a hungry guest waiting for the food is not a happy camper.
Back to number one. How do you make that connection with your guests? As a celebrant I believe a meaningful ceremony, one that tells your story and shares how you feel about your marriage and your family and friends, is extremely important. But even if you cannot have a personalized ceremony, you can still connect to your guests in other ways. Make good use of a program booklet, signage, readings, and especially with great toasts by people you know, love and trust to impart more meaning. Remember, this isn’t just any old party, it’s a celebration of this big commitment, so any way you can express that will help your guests feel that.
Comfort. It’s a little awkward to show up to a fancy wedding in jeans, and no one wants to spend a half an hour freezing during an outdoor ceremony because they didn’t know they’d need their coat. Be clear about the details of your venue and if you are having an outdoor ceremony make specific suggestions such as: ‘Bring comfortable shoes along’, or ‘Be sure to bring a light coat or jacket’.
Food: Please say what you are serving and when. If someone thinks they are going to be fed dinner, and when they show up it’s only Hors d’oeuvres, that’s a problem, so, again, be specific. For example: ‘Please join us for cocktails and appetizers from 4 – 6 pm’ is very clear. Instead of using just the word ‘reception’ say ‘join us for dinner at our reception,’ if dinner’s being served.
Another detail worth mentioning is the timing between the ceremony and reception. If you are getting married at a location other than your reception venue – try to minimize the ‘down time’ for your guests. When a ceremony is at 1pm and a reception at 5pm it’s especially difficult for out-of-towners. What does one do in between the ceremony and reception anyway? Even when the ceremony and reception are at the same location, try to get things rolling quickly after the ceremony. Don’t take too long away from your guests for photos. Many photos can be taken ahead of time and a good photographer knows how to get through formal shots quickly, so you can get to your other guests and to the party. People are there to celebrate you – be there!
Here’s another little detail in consideration of your guests: keep the music volume down during dinner, and seat older folks furthest from the DJ or band.
With a little thoughtful planning your guests will leave your wedding thinking how happy they were to celebrate with you!
Be sure your guests understand what is being served.