Roll up your pant legs, folks, because we’re about to get pretty deep into the dark and scary world of wedding planning.
As you decide on the timeline of your wedding day, there are a few crucial points you need to keep in mind. In order to keep the guests happy, there are some [stupid] traditions you need to let go. Let’s take a look at these bad boys, shall we?
1. Dismiss By Row: Cut it out. Stop it. Nope. Dismissing by row is tedious for everyone, bride and groom included. Just imagine cousin-Joe’s-girlfriend-Selena. She doesn’t know a soul, and now she has to hug you. And creepy Uncle Bill? He gets to hug you too. Not only does the breach in personal space distress most of your guests, but so does the waiting. Those suckers in the back row have to wait upwards of fifteen minutes just to be able to leave to church. People get impatient. It’s time to throw this tradition in the trash.
2. Receiving Lines: Oh my gosh, it never ends. Receiving lines are just as bad as dismissing by row, except now people have to stand on their heels for fifteen minutes instead of sitting on a hard pew. Guests don’t like receiving lines because they’re stuffy and uncomfortable. Stop including them in your wedding timeline ASAP.
Solution to items #1 and #2: Go around and greet your guests at the reception. Guests who you are close to will approach you on their own without the awkwardness, and guests you don’t know [plus ones] can quietly slip under the radar. Win-win. This solution creates a care-free atmosphere that will make your guests more comfortable.
3. Don’t Make Guests Wait Forever To Eat: Part of the draw to a wedding is the promise of a free meal. So when you take over an hour to have pictures taken all over kingdom come and your guests are left waiting at the reception, people start to get grumpy.
Solution to item #3: Take your photos before the wedding ceremony, or plan ahead with your photographer so your post-ceremony session will be quick and efficient.
4. Don’t Make Guests Drive Over 30 Minutes: “Hey guys, feel free to head to the reception site. The directions are in the back of the church. It’s about 45 minutes south of here…” People’s eyes are going to bug out of their heads if they have to drive farther than 30 minutes away to get to the reception after the ceremony. It’s inconvenient, and a little inconsiderate on the bride and groom’s side as well, especially if the guests have to drive and then wait even longer to eat.
5. Outdated dance floor music: I suspect this point might be controversial, because for some reason the Cha-Cha Slide has a huge following that I’ll never be able to understand. Every wedding for the past 10 years has played the same music, so why not switch it up? People will remember your wedding better if your tunes are unique, but still popular. No more “Butterfly Kisses,” please.
6. Your Ceremony is Like a Sauna: If you’re getting married in the dead of summer in an un-airconditioned church, you should think about the comfort of your guests. Guests with swamp butt and legs sticking to the church pew are more likely to be grumpy than those sitting comfortably. A hot church is an unhappy church.
Solution to Item #6: Provide fans, air-conditioning units, or fans in each corner of the church. The hum of a fan is worth a little comfort.
7. Sitting Next to Strangers: It’s inevitable if you have assigned seating at your wedding. However, a good tactic to take when creating your seating chart is to ask your guests in person who they would like to sit next to. Obviously you won’t be able to speak with everyone, but knowing that Julie and Brandon want to sit next to each other will make their experience much more enjoyable and you’ll have less quiet tables.
I’ll assume that if you’re reading this, you’ve been a guest at a wedding before. What would you add to the list?