Recently I invited members of the Bridechilla Community to share what has inspired or aspects that they have found a turn off, attending other people's weddings.
If you haven't heard (and read) Part 1, jump back and check it out.
There are so many great suggestions that will guarantee to delight and inspire you!
Listen to episode 296 of Bridechilla
I've been to quite a few weddings (maybe 15? 18?) and been a bridesmaid in 7!
Positive things that stand out are
1. The wedding where they passed out sorbet pops on the dance floor! We were all so hot and sweaty from dancing and they were amazing.
2. The couple that had the dance instructor they learned their first dance with come and give a dance lesson to everyone! It was group dancing (think lined up like electric slide) so no one without a date felt left out. It was really fun and people who may not have danced otherwise participated.
3. Every wedding that's had beautiful outdoor space to walk around has been lovely 🙂 and there's somewhere to escape to if you're more of an introverted wedding guest.
"I've been to weddings where the band was so loud I could hardly stand to be in the room."
1. DEAFENING music. It's frustrating, painful, and disappointing if you're trying to socialize at all! I've been to weddings where the band was SO loud I could hardly stand to be in the room. My cousins had a great idea of having their friends in a band play a mini concert at their wedding- which would have been great but they weren't prepared for such a small venue and the almost blew the roof off- not to mention all the older family members left immediately.
2. Make sure you have a sense of how much food will be on the plate. My friends and I went to a friend's wedding and the main course came out and it was SO tiny we couldn't believe it! Like 3 potatoes the size of your thumbnail, a carrot, and a small piece of chicken. I've never been hungry after a wedding before- also this was the same wedding where there was one bottle of water on the table for 12 people, no water in the glasses, and no water was EVER served. Everyone was dying of thirst! We all had to keep going to the very frustrated bartender to get water refills.
3. The wedding where the photographer chewed gum obnoxiously during the whole ceremony and every time he took a photo a very loud click happened! Was super disruptive.
4. A wedding I was in had large flower arrangements lining the aisle and they were knocked over repeatedly as people seated themselves.
Photo by Skye Studios
"Play the music you and your friends like"
Four weddings in Four years...what Bridechilla Lindsay learned
I've been to a wedding every year for the past 4 years.
The first was for a friend and definitely the most fun. Her dress was $35 from a goodwill so when it started to get muddy (farm wedding) she didn't care and kept dancing. Their attitude set the tone for the day, so all 200 people had an incredible time.
The next wedding was a family friend, they served "lazy man" lobsters and burgers. Lobsters are messy to eat in formal wear, I would advise against.
Next my FMIL got remarried. Great wedding. They only did appetizers and wine/beer. It was perfect. Also they played lots of show tunes because that's what they like. Play the music you and your friends like!
Lastly my cousins' wedding. Definitely the most formal. Kind of felt the whole time like people were playing a part. It was tense until after dinner. Everything was beautiful but I think a couple deep breaths would have been helpful.
Think like a Girl Guide...Be Prepared
I actually have a list in the wedding binder titled "Things Learned from A&T" after being in a friend's wedding this summer! My main point - THE "OH Shit" KIT! As a bridesmaid, I thought my supplies on hand would be extras, not really realizing that this was everyone else's first wedding... I kept a small sewing kit, hot glue gun, phone charger, bra tape, nail polish, etc. That kit saved LIVES, including pulling together a blown -out zipper during pictures...
Also, FEED YOUR WEDDING PARTY! Again, assuming everyone else had a plan, I left my house at 8 with a bag of snacks for myself, because we didn't have lunch in the schedule, and dinner was at 6. I turn up - NO ONE (including the diabetic groom) had any food for themselves. We now have a groomsman assigned to making sure everyone eats on the day!
"If it's something important, it needs to be coordinated!"
Make sure your DJ knows your order of events - the last wedding I went to, the DJ hadn't checked in with the bride and groom ahead of time, and didn't have names for announcements, didn't know when to announce cake cutting (and didn't, so we all missed it), and forgot to do the bouquet toss. The bride turned to me at the end of the night and goes 'I never threw my bouquet!'... and everyone was gone, so she couldn't do it anymore.
If it's something important, it needs to be coordinated!
I attended a wedding that had no seating plan for the reception and it seems like the extra time of making a plan is worth it. People crowded the door to the room to make sure they got a table with their friends/family. I lucked out hanging back and was one of the only tables sitting with strangers so I got to meet new people.
A second one was my brother and his bride did a polaroid picture guest book and I was helping getting guests to take a picture as they entered and it was hard- not many of them actually wanted to do it which was a bummer.
Photo by Nick Karvounis
To Favor or to not Favor?
I was a stand in-amateur wedding planner for my friend’s wedding: it was winter themed with her colors as red and white. EVERYONE kept telling her she HAD to give guest favors or it would be tacky and unthoughtful. So trying to be creative and thoughtful she thought it would be cute to make homemade coasters on tiles we found at a ReStore. One of the bridesmaids cut out red snowflakes to glue on, I glued little felt feet to the bottoms, and the bride sealed all of it together for a grand total of 140 coasters.
Do you know how many coasters she has now? She took home 90 coasters from her wedding.
"Favors-no one usually takes them unless it is food"
Wedding vendor here-here is what I notice:
Favors-no one usually takes them unless it is food! Cake/dessert-so much of it is wasted! Can't tell you how many times I've seen entire boxes of cake and cupcakes thrown out! Don't waste money on a big fancy wedding cake, buy a small one to cut and get cupcakes or some other smaller dessert that guests usually grab on their way out.
I think I'm ditching favors, too. I can't remember a SINGLE FAVOR from any of the weddings I've gone to. I suspect at least half of the weddings I attended didn't even HAVE favors at the table, and I didn't feel like anything was missing. It's just not necessary to enhance the overall experience.
Photo by Annie Gray
Keeping your wedding guest informed
Keep your info on your website up to date. It is okay to have something missing, but if you are going to put something in about transportation at the time guests are booking their rooms, make sure that it is correct in the end or notify your guests before they show up at your wedding...
"Make sure you take the time to eat and enjoy the moment!"
Alchohol/open bar-I'm a wedding bartender. People really appreciate an open bar, even if it's limited to a certain amount of time or just beer/wine. That being said, there will be people who take advantage of it!
First dance/music-try to venture out from the "wedding songs of the year". Bride/groom drinking-it's okay to have fun and let loose, but try and keep it together! It's not fun when you have to cut off a groom because he's dirty dancing with a woman other than his bride. Nor is it good to see a bride slumped over and needing to be escorted out because she doesn't feel good. EAT!
Make sure you take the time to eat and enjoy the moment! Wedding locations-make sure you pay attention to the knitty gritty details. One of the event centers I work at has a "party over by 10pm rule and all decorations down by 11:00pm rule". It can be a real bummer.
The worst thing I experienced this year was a wedding that did open seating, but didn't have enough seats for everyone. It was AWFUL. If you didn't rush to the 3 open tables and grab a spot, you were out of luck for the entire night. Girls started taking off their heels to dance, but the venue made them put them back on because glasses kept being dropped on the floor. I saw a ton of girls just sitting against the walls on the floor in their nice dresses because they had nowhere else to go. It was TERRIBLE. Everyone I talked to complained about how badly their feet hurt.
Header image by averie woodard