We’ve all been there – the wedding where we spoke only a couple of words to the happy couple – the outdoor ceremony that put our foundation to the test – the seating arrangement that was a TOTAL nightmare. Sure, it was their special day, but you want yours to be different – to be enjoyed by all with many little touches that make your guests feel truly loved.
Introduce your guests to each other – Break the ice
Your guest list will probably include colleagues next to cousins, fathers next to friends. Many of your guests won’t know who everyone else is – which can lead to stilted conversations and awkwardness around the table.
Breaking the ice between your guests can be as simple as making introductions, designing a cutesy leaflet, or creating a Facebook group for people to chat in the lead up to the day.
What’s happening? When? (And have I got time to go to the toilet?!)
From the ceremony to the champagne reception, onto dinner, the speeches and evening buffet – every wedding is a whirlwind of mini-moments which can leave your guests reeling and wondering whether they have time to pop to the loo.
The simple solution? Create a program to let everyone know what’s going on throughout the day, and when – include meals and activities, and tell them when and where the group photos will take place.
Provide creature comforts
Midsummer’s matrimony? White winter wedding? Whatever the time of the year, the chances are that your guests will be too hot at points, and too chilly at others. So think about heaters or blankets as the temperature cools, or fans and readily available buckets of water bottles if the mercury rises. And, no matter the forecast, put together a basket of brollies just in case – no matter the time of year!
Make them feel like Beyoncé
Create the red carpet-effect, by providing your guests with plenty of photo ops. Think booths, props, and oversized picture frames. You could even team your guestbook with a polaroid camera – so that your guests can stick a photo alongside their kind hearted and carefully selected words. After all, they don’t get dressed up every day.
A swift exit?
It’s going to be a beautiful, but long, day – plan ahead for those who will want (or should) leave earlier. This includes those in their later years who might otherwise feel awkward stepping away, as well as children who could turn your disco into a mass-tantrum come 10pm.
Bring your maps, guys – GPS doesn’t exist here!
You’ve chosen a stunning remote location for your nuptials – amongst nature and unspoilt views. The only trouble is, it’s in the middle of nowhere – and the route from ceremony to evening reception is GPS-free. If this sounds a little like your chosen locations, think about providing free transport from ceremony to evening event.
“Where did they go!?”
Your photo shoot – it’s one of the most important elements of the day – the part where memories are captured for that lifetime ahead. How long should you allot to this time of the day? 1 hour, 2, 3, 4?! While your photoshoot should be fun, and memorable in itself (with the right photographer, at least), remember that this time is being taken away from being spent with your guests.
Rather than committing a huge chunk of your day to a never-ending photoshoot, consider a first-look and select a photographer whose talents lie in documenting the day as it unfolds – rather than merely the private photoshoot – after all, that’s where the real story lies. You may also want to sneak away for a short shoot as the sun sets (honestly, this is my favourite time of the day to photograph – the soft, romantic light and low level sun fuel my creativity).