I have been to a lot of weddings. I mean, a lot. For most of my childhood and teenage years I had 3/4 every year and this rate has continued well into my 20's - it stems from having very popular parents! All of my wedding guest experience means I know weddings like the back of my hand, I know the tricks of the trade, I can tell when somethings going wrong and I can give a good estimate of budget.
Having helped planned many, been a bridesmaid in some and attended even more now when I go to a wedding it's hard to rid myself of the internal do's and don'ts list i've made. Anyway, I decided to share the burden! Obviously these are all totally determined on your family, religious preference, budget etc, but from an experienced guest here are some things wedding attendees love and hate:
- Sign the register on the day, if you must then please provide better entertainment than an iPhoto slide show your mum made.
- Make us wait for 3 hours while you drive to the nearest beach to have photos done. At least put us inside, with some alcohol and a lot of food
- Give us a smidgen of wine with dinner and then not have a bar available. Slightly tipsy guests then being told there's no bar is not a good thing.
- Have the bride walk in before the bridesmaids. I know it's traditional but you loose the momentum and any sense of climax, leading to... an anticlimax.
- Have a "funny" victor/minister/person.
- Assume you have to get married in a church. All the best weddings I've been to were not in churches. Don't worry, if you're worried about the religious aspect God is notoriously omnipresent and often says how the church is the people not the building, problem solved!
- Provide ample food and drink, ample!
- Have music on all day, whether it's a string quartet, tasteful DJ, live band or a Spotify play list you don't want a room with no atmosphere.
- Consider cutting back on the "essentials" do you really need a cake/flowers/photo booth?
- Remember, your guests will remember the dress, the food and the music. And that's it.
- Take it slowly, stop, and try and absorb what's going on. Everyday single bride and groom I know regret rushing through the day.
- Practice putting rings on each other, otherwise you might look silly.
- Give the best man some rules, a bad best mans speech where he just laments the loss of his single friend can ruin a whole wedding.
- Find a way to help your guests mix, whether it's slightly cringey place cards or other ice breakers, they will hate it for 10 minutes but they'll thank you later.
So there we have it, wedding do's and don'ts for all you in love couples happily planning your approaching nuptials. At the end of the day though, ignore everyones advice - yes even mine - and just do whatever you want. It's your day, your money, your celebration. Don't let tradition or your mother in law dictate what's yours.
You may now kiss the bride....