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Be Guest-Sensitive

Every bride wants her wedding to be the wedding. The one that her friends and family will talk about for years to come. Unless you are the most prima of donnas, you realize that your wedding isn't really just about you. You deserve your spotlight, but you also should show your guests a great time. Who wouldn't want to hear: "I've been to a lot of weddings but yours was the best!"

So treat your guests as more than a headcount, more than a mute pack of witnesses. These are the people who matter most in your life so take their comfort into account while planning your wedding. (Disclaimer: If you have your heart set on certain venue or detail, you absolutely should insist on it!) But if you are on the fence about anything, err on the side of pleasing your guests as well. Keep the following details in mind:

  • Lights, Camera, Ugh - Most guests understand that you'll want as many photos and videos of this special day as possible. But try not to make the photos more important than the occasion itself.

    I recently attended an evening wedding reception where the guests were made to wait almost 2 hours while the couple had their photos taken. Much to the bride's embarrassment - dinner wasn't served until 10:30pm. Another reception featured a videographer roaming the dance floor, complete with blinding spotlight. Many people expressed a desire to dance, but the well-meaning "paparazzi" made them shy. Instruct your photographers to get that great shot and then get out of the party's way!

  • Day Tripper - You needn't book your rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception in the same building. But try to stay in the same area code. A cousin of mine once held her rehearsal dinner in one state, the ceremony in yet another and the reception another hour away from that! She didn't realize that some poor guests had to drive for 5 hours. So before you make your final venue decision, look locally. Leave no stone unturned…there are many gorgeous and meaningful venues closer than you think! Sure, it'd be dreamy to have your rehearsal dinner in a faraway castle. But the hours guests spend driving from one event to the next would be better spent having fun altogether!

  • A Question of Taste – Being funky and being fun aren't necessarily the same thing. I'm sure you and your fiancée have fond memories of your first sushi date. But does that mean your wedding dinner should be 100% raw fish? Or maybe you bonded at Nine Inch Nails concert and are considering playing the latest album at your reception. Incorporating offbeat touches in your wedding reception is a great idea - as long as you always make traditional options available as well. You never know who's allergic to seafood …or scream-rock.

Happy Planning!