Having “A Guest Focused Wedding” is like an oxymoron to most today. We love to challenge people with this concept because we believe in it. We had a different way of looking at our own wedding day and it challenged us in all of the wedding planning details. What if instead of looking at your wedding day as your ONLY big day and being all about the two of you.. instead you looked at it as the FIRST time as Mr. and Mrs. that you get to host all the people you love. What if you look at it as the first time you two get to throw a party as husband and wife and show them what hospitality is going to look like in your marriage? What if you look at it as the only time those exact people will all be in a room together celebrating the two of you so you SERVE them the best way you know how?
Here are some questions we encourage couples to ask themselves:
- How will my guests feel? – Lets be honest. Having a black tie wedding when you haven’t had a black tie life or have anyone in our family who is comfortable in black tie, might not be the best idea. Not only thinking about how YOU feel on your wedding day but considering your guests and what they enjoy is important. You want your guests to have a good time too and if they are happy YOU will be happy as well!
- What will my guests be doing? – We laugh a lot because couples often worry about the guests while we are out taking pictures. The truth is though WE- the ones out taking pictures- are the uncomfortable ones and the ones sacrificing. Your guests have cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth, pictures to look at, a guest book to sign, and that is usually just the beginning now thanks to Pinterest. Make sure you have plenty to keep them busy while you are out focusing on your photos and getting all the things you have to get done. As long as they are busy and fed, they are happy!
- How can we let them know we are thankful they are there?– Everyone rushes to get to the bride and groom for that thirty second conversation or hug. They just want to say hi and also they want to feel important on their day. We know that receiving lines and some of the traditional ways to acknowledge your guests has faded. We like to encourage people to find a way to make a personal touch with your guests no matter what. One of the things Andrew and I did at our wedding was serve the cake. We skipped the receiving line and instead went around with a cart and talked to every person there and SERVED them cake. It was amazing. Maybe thats not your style. Consider writing handwritten thank you notes for their table setting (that is right before you ever receive a gift, you are just thankful they came). Find a way to make it special and save time where you need to.
This is just the start of thinking about your guests! A big tip we always give people is to have all your reception events as quickly as you can. People with children and the older folks are looking forward to getting home as early as possible but they don’t want to miss you dancing or cutting the cake. Keep those people in mind as you plan your reception and they will so appreciate it. Don’t let things drag out. We know you want to party but those that CAN will stay and dance the night away!
Sharing, serving and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy