Today on Beauty for Brides, we have the lovely and very talented Phoebe Lo from Phoebe Lo Events sharing her wedding planner expertise with us all. Phoebe has seen it all! I know this for a fact! Phoebe and I have worked together in the past a few times now and I’ve seen her in action. Let me just say this…if you ever thought that hiring a good wedding planner was not a necessity, consider what might happen if you don’t invest in their expertise. I can tell you without a doubt that a good wedding planner is worth their weight in gold. So keeping this in mind, Phoebe shares her extensive knowledge and gives us the scoop on the top 5 things every wedding guest hopes for.
Good hospitality literally means good food and good drinks. An open bar will allow for wedding guests to enjoy their time at your event comfortably.
Think about this: if you are inviting your friends over for a dinner party, you wouldn’t expect for them to pay you for their alcohol or beverages, so what difference does that make at your wedding?
If the cost of an open bar may be an issue, opt for a consumption bar, which the catering department of your venue charges for the actual alcohol and beverage consumption of the event. This is often a popular choice for couples who have a larger portion of their wedding guests that do not consume alcohol. This way, you will not be exerting a portion of your budget on an alcohol package that may not be utilized by your guests.
Where there is good hospitality, there is always good food. The rule of thumb is quantity and quality. Hot and flavorful dishes served in appropriate portions. These details should be established by the couple upon the tasting meeting with the caterers or venue.
Small enhancements could allow for an added level of comfort enjoyed by your wedding guests. For example, keep your guest tables at the proper capacity to allow for enough elbow room. Incorporate centerpieces that will not obstruct the flow of conversations at each table. Create menus to communicate the culinary selections for the evening’s celebrations. This will allow for the guests to understand what they are being served.
Minimal Wait Times:
Anybody would be annoyed by a lengthy wait between your ceremony and reception. Therefore, close those gap times between your wedding elements. The wait between your ceremony and reception should not exceed one and a half hour, in which this timeframe should be filled with activities that will keep your wedding guests occupied. The standard time fillers are cocktail hour and guestbook signing. One could also consider interactive ideas, such as lawn games or photo booths.
One more note about time. Try to cut out the lengthy speeches by allowing only your closest and dearest to take the podium. Each speech can be given a suggested time frame so speakers can estimate an appropriate amount of content to present. Short and sweet really comes in handy!
This is a biggie for all events. Enlist all important details on your wedding stationery, including a clear description of the names of the hosts, venue locations, timing of events, RSVP requirements and special details. If your wedding ceremony will be taking place outdoors, it would be beneficial to let guests know, as they can be prepared with sunglasses and handkerchiefs etc.
A wedding website is a great tool, too. Wedding websites can act as a digital forum for your fellow wedding guests to connect and immerse in a number of visual mediums that you may choose to present. These are particularly fun with engagement stories, and introductions of the bridal party.
The element of expectations seem to be missed out by many in terms of wedding etiquette. Although it is culturally conventional for wedding guests to give a gift of sorts, it should not be expected by any host. Therefore, avoid having your registration attendant request if the guest has any gifts that he/she would like to drop off. Also, instead of using phrases, such as “gift table” or “envelope box”, simply place a sign at the registration that indicates “thank you”, and guests who come bearing gifts will get the hint that the designated is intended for one to drop off gifts.
Pictures and greetings mean the world to your guests. Be sure to take the time to greet your guests individually. You can also make use of this greeting time to take a few pictures with your guests. In fact, one could incorporate family and friend pictures upon the completion of your ceremony. The estimated time for each family/friend grouping is 1 minute per picture. You should create a group listing prior to the wedding, and allow your wedding planner and photography team to coordinate the group photo session at the specified time frame. Your planner will likely allocate a bit more buffer time for small touch ups here and there. Make use of this photo session to say a hello and thank you to your wedding guests.
Guest poster Phoebe Lo from Phoebe Lo Events offers first class event planning for your wedding or corporate events through the Toronto and GTA area. Please feel free to connect with Phoebe for lots of beautiful bridal inspiration on all her social media links.