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The Event Planner

Things Your Guests Will Likely Hate

Ok, maybe hate is a strong about have a strong dislike ?

Ultimately, yes, the day is about you and your honey getting married. But if you’re including guests in your celebration, you will also want to consider things that will make their experience memorable. So if you want to be gracious hosts for your wedding guests, you may want to steer clear of the following faux pas, in no particular order…

An inconvenient date.

Before you choose a date close to a major holiday or a day in the middle of the week, double check with your mandatory guests. Nothing is worse for a guest than having to take extra days off work, or having to miss out on their traditional plans during their favorite holidays to come your wedding. Also check in to local area event calendars, so it doesn't become impossible for your guests to get a hotel room or complicate your wedding by adding extra local event hustle and bustle to everyone’s schedules.

No Table Assignments.

Groups are like sheep. They need direction. Your planner can certainly help with day-of herding, but it will make your guests experience more enjoyable if you give them clear direction. Nothing is worse than all your guests standing at your reception entrance with a blank stares not knowing where to go or what to do. By creating a seating chart, you’ll 1) fill your tables to capacity and avoid the added expense of extra tables and 2) make your guests feel welcome and comfortable knowing you have reserved a place for them. Remember to make sure over filling your tables… you want to prevent elbow knocking and uncomfortable closeness between your guests. A 60" table should have no more than 8 people, while a 72" table should have no more than 10.

Bad food and/or not enough food.

One of the things that most guests remember from a wedding- the food. And remember that one bad food experience you had that just made the evening awful? We’ve all had one. When you’re working with your caterer, please, oh please trust them when developing your menu by considering options that hold up well for transport, in chaffing dishes, or need to be served on time if you chose a plated option. Caterers know what they’re talking about based on their vast experience and it’s a simple fact that some foods just don’t hold up well in all serving situations. The WORST food option you could do would be the "drop off" caterer - this is never ever ever right for weddings! The second part of this equation, is to make sure that there will be enough food to sufficiently feed your guests. No one wants waste, and that includes your caterer, so listening to their suggestion on the quantity to order would probably be your safest bet.

Cash Bars.

Yes, open bars are expensive. So if you’re working with a limited budget, it’s completely ok to sponsor just beer and wine. This is what many couples do to manage costs. You could also set a dollar or quantity limit on an open bar and switch to cash after reaching that limit if you don’t want to limit your guests choices. But requiring your guests to have to pull out their wallet for every drink is just a party hosting foul! 

Speeches and photo montages.

Avoid them - please! We have seen annoyed eye rolling and poorly disguised yawns from guests at so many weddings because speeches are one of guests least favorite parts of going to someone's wedding. If given the choice, they would not choose to sit through prolonged stories & anecdotes from your wedding party and family. Your guests want to have a good time dancing and celebrating with you but speeches can quickly put a damper on the celebratory mood. If there are important people that would like to make a speech, ask them to do that during rehearsal dinner instead.

Photo montages - not a thing since the late 90's but still popular for funerals! Now don’t get us wrong here, photo montages can be great. Just not when your guests are required to sit through 20 minutes of photos of you and your sweetie. Instead, show it during cocktail hour on loop so your guests can watch it at their leisure and depart when they’ve had enough.


Children are indeed a blessing but let's face it - they aren't good wedding guests and while you'd like to think that parents watch their kids - trust us, they don't! Interruptions during the ceremony by a cranky baby or another little one having a total meltdown are bad enough, just wait until the reception starts! Kids can ruin your guests experience and ensure that your night will end super early. When they aren't playing hide an seek under the cake table, they are turning the dance floor into their own private playground - making your guests prefer to stay at their table instead of having fun dancing. When there is alcohol being served, guests often feel like they can't relax and let their hair down. Not to mention, babies and kids at weddings where the cocktails are flowing often brings to mind the quote in the bar scene from the movie Sweet Home Alabama..."You have a a bar!". It's ok to choose to have your wedding be an adults only evening and you don't have to apologize for it. And while you may not be at all bothered by kids at weddings - it's best not to assume that others feel the same way,

Disorganization and Lulls.

Some of the biggest complaints come when there are extended lulls in between events and your guests have to wait for time to pass. We all know you’ll be busy with pictures and other bride and groom duties, but your guests will get incredibly bored, tired, and cranky with nothing to do while they’re waiting for you. This rings true if you have an elongated break of multiple hours between your ceremony and reception. Limit sunset photos to 15-20 minutes while guests are eating dinner. The fact is, if the couple is not not present for a long period of time, guests often take that as an opportunity to leave.

Disorganization equals confusion and disjointed events. Hire a planner. We are specifically experienced with organizing (and managing) big events, it’s our professional career. And chances are that you have not planned a wedding before, so quite simply, you couldn’t possibly know all that is encompassed in executing a wedding.

Inconvenient Location.

No one says you shouldn't have the venue of your dreams but the location of your venue to the nearest "metropolitan" area or city and hotels should be a considered factor when choosing your venue. This is even more important when you have a large number of out of town guests.  In general, it can be frustrating for your guests to have to drive an hour to your ceremony/reception venue that's in another city or out in the middle of nowhere! Who wants to make that kind of drive late at night or in an area they are unfamiliar with?

Really Long Processionals.

Ever been to a wedding where the processional is longer than the actual ceremony or the bridal party is entering from a football field away and it takes 3 songs just for them to get there? If you have, you know that is NOT very enjoyable and takes away from the moment. Consider an outdoor draped entrance that you can "hide" behind before you are revealed at your big moment or not having your entire family walk down the aisle...just your wedding party.

Long Drawn Out Cocktail Hour or Reception.

Those cocktail hours that feel like they should be renamed Cocktail HOURS because the couple didn't do a First Look or family photos earlier in the day or the reception that feels like it's becoming an all-nighter - will kill the vibe really quick and you will lose guests well before your big send off! Consider doing a first look with your fiancé so you can knock out your romantic photos and formal family photos earlier in the day, so you can join your guests much sooner for your reception. Also plan your reception events earlier in the night so that guests who don't want to stay until the end don't feel obligated to do so in order to be part of it.

Outdoor Ceremonies/Receptions In Hot or Cold Months.

Living in the wacky weather south, we know HOT & HUMID...and we know FRIGID temps too! If your guests are uncomfortable, they aren't going to enjoy your wedding. Who wants to have wet sweat tracks down the back of their dress or the sounds of teeth chattering drowning out your wedding vows? And have you ever tried to eat a hot meal outside in 30 degree temps? And don't, PLEASE don't book a venue or invite so many people that there isn't enough room for everyone to sit inside sit inside! If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, choose months with the mildest temps. March, April, and May are among the most amazing times of year in the south. It's not cold and it's not hot. It's juuuust right! Likewise, early October is extremely pleasant weather wise and the leaves on the trees are beginning to change which makes for stunning scenery! With that said, these are the reasons these months are the most popular wedding months in the south and why you should book your venue and vendors fast! 

Room Flips.

If your venue doesn't have another room or space large enough to accommodate your guests, don't even consider trying to flip your ceremony space into your reception.  Having guests standing around a room while people are scrambling to put up tables, move chairs and decorate is a big no-no. It may sound crude...but it also makes you look cheap, like you didn't want to spend the money on a venue that could accommodate both your ceremony and reception without having to do all that. The Reality is, a room flip will cost you more money because you are going to have to hire people to do the flip, pay your vendors to bring extra staff to set up in a shorter than normal period of time, pay your florist to stay to place centerpieces and pay your decorator and a larger than normal staff to stay and set up your décor. Don't mistakenly assume that this is something your wedding planner will do because that is almost never going to be the case!


Useless Favors.

A fancy soap might seem like an excellent idea for the beautiful soaping-loving couple, but for most of your guests, it’s the adult equivalent of getting raisins on Halloween. One in 50 will love it; the other 49 will dump them on your lawn. Guests aren't interested in the monogrammed trinkets, cups, sunglasses, key chains, coozies or jars of your grandma's apple butter. Be honest, do you have coasters or candles on your coffee table with your friend Jenny's wedding monogram and wedding date on them? If you said yes, you're one in a million. Guests don't care about favors for the most part. If you want to give favors, make it something that your guests will actually want like a late night snack of cookies/popcorn/donuts in a cute little box...this will give you your favor-fix by adding a monogrammed label to seal the box. Mini bottles of champagne or wine for the after party are also a hit! In short, don't waste valuable wedding budget funds on useless favors that will either be left behind for you to store in the hall closet at home or will just end up in your guests junk drawer behind the assortment of pens, batteries and expired coupons.


Bad Music

Yes, we know! You and your sweetie have a list of your favorite songs on your Spotify playlist that you want the DJ to play all night. That's great, for you...but what about your guests? If you have an off-beat music taste, that may not be conducive to a celebratory vibe that will get your guests having fun on the dance floor. Take advantage of your DJ's experience and let them have a little freedom with the playlist for the night. You can still have your special songs for those key moments like your first dance but your DJ has likely worked about 100 weddings and knows how to read the crowd and adjust the music accordingly. Tell them the kinds of music you DON'T want played, like songs with curse words or generally inappropriate language. 

Overly Intoxicated Guests/Wedding Party

We all have that one friend or two (or ten!) that can't seem to hold their liquor. The guy that is becoming belligerent or the bridesmaid who is in humping the dance floor (or your cousin) with her dress hiked up for all the world to see - including grandma! Eeeek! All the while, your families and maybe even your boss are sitting there in shock saying..."These are their friends?!" Keep this from becoming a problem by limiting the amount of alcohol served at your wedding or reminding your wedding party that this is YOUR day and not their opportunity to draw attention to themselves. Your goal should be for everyone to have a good time, not to get wasted. Save that for an after party at a local bar or club.


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