Today we’re talking about things guests love at weddings! Make yours stand out with these twenty-six ideas from A to Z. Be sure to subscribe to our feed for the latest to your inbox!
You may have read articles about what guests hate at weddings, but that’s such a negative spin, we say! The truth is guests won’t hate anything at your wedding, especially because they love you and want to share in your celebration. But there are some things that guests do hope to see at weddings — perhaps even make their experience more enjoyable — and we’re here to share them with you. To help you plan accordingly, we’ve identified the top twenty-six things guests love at weddings. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do every single thing on this list. By crossing off even a few of these things, your guests will have an awesome time. The fact that you’re reading this article shows how much thought you’ve put into your wedding day — and with your guests in mind! On to the list!
Things Guests Love at Weddings – A to Z
Awesome DJ or music
Not everyone will dance, but everyone will be listening to music. Make sure you hire the best DJ or band you can find. Keep in mind the DJ or emcee will make announcements and keep the day flowing, so it is essential to have one. (Read: How to Select a Wedding DJ)
Bags to welcome them
This welcome bag is from Weddings By Jamie:
Be sure to include a heartfelt note with your welcome bag. This one is from Minty Paperie Shop:
Have cocktail hour for guests to enjoy while waiting to be seated for dinner.
People will expect a dance floor, so make sure you have one!
Easy to follow map
Include a map with directions with your invitations if the ceremony and reception take place in separate locations. Guests will appreciate having everything close at hand without relying on GPS to get them there.
Favors they’ll enjoy
Some guests don’t care much about favors. But since you’re going to need favors regardless, you might as well pick something awesome they’ll talk about and enjoy. Some of our favorites? These edible favors, these cute his and hers favors, these “for richer or poorer” favors, these incredible coffee favors, 50 Most Creative Bridal Shower Favors (that also apply to weddings), these DIY wedding favors you can make, candle favors, honey jars, salted caramels, love is sweet wedding favors, macaron wedding favors, and these drink koozies, just to name a few!
Great seating chart
Guests love when you put extra thought into your seating chart. Sit people together that you know will enjoy the company and have things in common.
Another G worth noting: a gift sign that’s easy to find. Guests will want to find the card box right away to drop theirs off!
Hashtag for easy-to-find photos
Guests love to find photos of the wedding the next day! Have a wedding hashtag sign established for guests to easily share (and find) photos after the big day.
Invitations sent well in advance
Give guests a heads up by sending wedding invitations 8 weeks before the big day.
Also, make sure your RSVP cards are pre-stamped and easy to fill out. This will make it easy for guests to send their response (which means you’ll have all of your RSVPs back in time.)
These mad-lib RSVP cards are more fun to fill out! By Different Designs.
Just a few toasts
By the time toasts roll around, guests are HUNGRY. And since dinner isn’t served until after the toasts are completed, make sure you keep them to a minimum. Traditionally, the Best Man and Maid of Honor give speeches. Sometimes, a parent or grandparent might offer a toast. Once those are completed, get dinner underway. Guests will be so ready to eat.
Keep everyone comfortable
The key to keeping guests happy? Make sure they’re comfortable! Offer a few planned-ahead fixes or niceties for guests. For instance, if it’s raining during your outdoor ceremony, have an alternate indoor location. If you have an outdoor wedding, make sure your bathroom has this. Keep sunscreen, bug spray, and citronella candles at the ready for outdoor weddings in the woods. Want to keep guests dancing all night long? Offer a soft pair of shoes for the ladies, like these cute roll-up wedding flats (from Cinderollies):
Cool outside? Offer pashminas for guests to grab and warm up!
You get the idea!
Limit number of photos before dinner
If possible, have most of your photos taken in the morning before the ceremony begins. This means you won’t have to keep guests waiting for hours between the ceremony and reception. A little wait is fine and totally understandable, but extremely long wait times before dinner are one of guests’ top gripes.
Allow song requests. In fact, encourage it! Guests love to hear their favorite song. (Don’t worry, you can always have total approval by adding a few “do not play” songs on a list for your DJ if this concerns you.)
Keep things moving by hiring a wedding planner to coordinate the flow of the evening. He or she will ensure the cake is cut, toasts begin, food is served, dance floor is opened, and guests start dancing right on time. This means one less thing for you to worry about, and no lull in time for guests! Double win.
Make sure the bar is open and stocked, along with bartenders on hand. Don’t just focus on alcohol either; make sure there’s plenty of water, pop / soda or non-alcoholic punch, and hot coffee or tea available for guests.
Guests love to strike a pose and take a photo strip home! Stock your photo booth with props, a cute backdrop, and plenty of extra film. (Read: How to Make a Polaroid Guest Book.)
These backdrops make for the most memorable wedding photo booth pics! By DAPPSY.
Quality time with them
Guests want to see YOU. Go table to table and make an effort to speak to every guest in attendance.
Keep a basket of amenities (like these) in the bathroom for guests. (Read: 5 Wedding Bathroom Ideas for a Lovelier ‘Loo (+ FREE Printable!))
Another R to note: reserved sign so guests know which seats are already taken at the ceremony.
Wedding signage is helpful to have so guests know they’re in the right place (especially if your wedding is on the beach, in the woods, in the mountains, or on a farm). (See also: 21 Most Beautiful Welcome Signs for Weddings.)
This beautiful sign is perfect! We spotted it at Art and Soul Shoppe.
Arrange transportation for guests to and from the ceremony and reception from a hotel. A limousine bus works great in this instance. This is especially helpful if you have many out of town guests.
Another important “T”: thank you cards. Be sure to send them no later than one year after the wedding. The sooner, the better — guests like to know you received the gift and enjoyed it. (See also: 7 Ways to Thank Guests at Your Wedding.)
Ushers are helpful to have: they will escort guests to their seats, roll out an aisle runner if you have one, and be a general guest guide. We recommend ushers because guests have someone to ask questions, if needed, without having to ask the couple or the parents.
Variety of food
Guests look forward to and hope for a delicious dinner. Make sure yours offers variety for differing tastes including both meat and vegetarian entrees, as well as plenty of sides.
A wedding website is an absolute must these days! Guests rely on it as a source for upcoming wedding events, locations, dates, times, etc. You can make a FREE wedding website here that looks beautiful and coordinates with your invites.
eXtra snacks at night
Guests get hungry dancing all night! Offer a midnight snack like pizza or milk and cookies or donuts. Many venues now offer a snack option you can add to your food menu and will facilitate everything for you, so be sure to ask! Or keep things simple with a pre-packed snack bag, like these pretzels — LOVE this idea! By Mavora Art & Design.
Yard games, if outdoors
Yard games are a great way to pass the time at cocktail hour, especially for outdoor weddings! A crowd favorite: wedding cornhole / corn toss! (Read: Life Size Jenga, Corn Toss, and How to Entertain Guests at a Wedding, as well as 10 Effortless Ways to Entertain Kids at Weddings.)
You can have custom boards made for your wedding to enjoy for years to come! This one is by Stars Stripes Sawdust:
Zero time in between ceremony and reception
Like I said, people don’t like to wait! If possible, have your reception immediately following the ceremony (even if that means cocktail hour for a bit while you snap some photos).
In conclusion, the things guests love at weddings are sweet little details that show you appreciate them. Most of all, guests love to see the couple having fun at the wedding!
♥ – ♥ – ♥
What would YOU add to the list? Comment below!