Couples spend a lot of time, energy, and money planning their wedding day, and they want to make sure everyone in attendance has a great time. But it’s not always an easy feat given that there are guests of different age ranges sharing this special day with the couple. So how can you make sure everyone—from older relatives to friends and kids—is happy from beginning to end? Take a look at these planning tips from AP pros!
Comfort is Key
Keep Your Guests Informed
One of the easiest ways to make family and friends happy is by simply letting them know what to expect from the big day. Be sure to include the logistics of the day on the wedding website, including info on accommodations, weather, attire, parking, transportation, property information, etc. “The more the guests know beforehand, the easier it is for them to plan accordingly—and the less likely they'll get cranky!” says Carissa Corsi of Carissa Corsi Events.
Meet Basic Needs
Yes, you absolutely should have great food and music at the wedding, but none of those things will matter much if you don’t cover the basics, explains Mariah McKechnie of Northland Special Events. “No amount and food and beverage can make a guest content if there is nowhere to sit, it's uncomfortably hot, there is no background music, or they never lay their eyes on the married couple,” she says. “All of the elements need to work in harmony!”
Provide the Supplies
Make sure guests have the things they need to take certain precautions, such as having a drink station with chilled non-alcoholic beverages, sunscreen/bug spray, extra umbrellas for shade or in case of rain, fans available in case of hot weather, flip flops for dancing, etc. “Of course, there are different things to think about per location, but overall, if you keep guests comfy, they're usually pretty darn happy!” says Corsi.
Music to Their Ears
Hire the Right Entertainment
McKechnie suggests hiring a DJ / Band that knows how to play to the crowd and will adjust the playlist based on the crowd's reactions to keep the energy high and the atmosphere on point.
Embrace Every Music Genre
Couples shouldn’t limit their playlist to just their favorite genre of music, says Corsi. If you’re working with a DJ or band, don't hesitate to ask them for suggestions outside the couple's style.
Ask for Suggestions
Don’t hesitate to ask guests to share their music preferences during pre-wedding celebrations (engagement parties, family gatherings, etc.), says Kathryne Carter of Grace and Virtue Events.
Food for Thought
Schedule Refreshments Accordingly
You don’t want to have long stretches during the wedding day where people are not receiving food and drinks. “I am constantly advising couples not to skip food during the cocktail hour and to plan for something more than just a light snack, especially if the timeline is for more than 60 minutes between ceremony and dinner,” explains McKechnie “The sooner you get a drink in your guests’ hands, the happier they will be!”
Give Guests Options
Couples should consider adding variety so that everyone has something to choose from the wedding menu and rely on their caterer to inform them of allergy-friendly options, notes Corsi.
If it's a fancy ballroom wedding, but the couple has dreamt of a pizza truck at the wedding, do both, recommends Corsi. You can ask your caterer to get creative and make it fit the venue, such as serving the pizza as a passed app during the cocktail hour.
Hero photo courtesy of Loveridge Photo & Film