Three Pre-Ceremony ‘To Haves’ That You’ll Thank Me For
Pretty much the moment you get engaged the people around you in your life feel the need to impart on you their opinions & wisdom about what to do and what not to do at your wedding. Some of it will be common sense (you’d think), some things will be beyond your control, some completely outlandish & while others will indeed be geniune pearls that really ought to be listened to. An important thing to realize when people are throwing these gems your way, is the reason they feel a certain way is because of the experiences they themselves have had in the past, meaning, someone did or didnt, get it quite right. Think about it. You yourself have attended a wedding or two and I am sure there are things that left an impact on your, good or bad. Things to learn from.
Whilst creating killer decor elements, picking out just the right floral arrangements, choosing the perfect cake design and so on might feel like the most important things to you, there is something more important to concern yourself with, I feel. There is a sense of entitlement that surrounds the couple that I vehemently disagree with. Yes, the day in about you, your love & yes you want to be a pretty princess BUT take out the marriage part, and what are you left with? A party, an affair, an event. Something that to truly pull off with success requires forethought beyond that of yourself and what makes you happy. To throw a truly great event there are things that need to be considered and executed to ensure that your guest, who possibly travel from a far, taken time out of their lives, and so on, to celebrate you, actually have the best time that they can. It IS important, please understand that. There are some small things that can be done to ensure the best time for everyone, not just the bride & groom. Let’s have a look.
Sounds simple enough right? Sure my dear caterer, please throw a few carafes of water on a table before the ceremony incase anyone by chance wants some. Hum, wrong, trust me they will. Sorry to be the one to tell you, and your caterer should know better, but unless your having a very small wedding, that simply wont cut it. Straight out, it wont be enough. I can not tell you the number of weddings I have been to with exactly this set up. The water goes in about 5 mins and unless the staff around is superb, most often it is NOT refilled well enough. *Summer time weddings, this is exponentially more important!
Having beverages upon your guests arrival is crucial. I can not begin to express this enough. Think about it, when someone comes to visit at your house, what is one of the first things you do? Offer them a beverage. Same good hostess rules apply here, not just in being a good host, but in keeping your guest hydrated & happy. Believe me, liquids equal happy, sounds silly, but its very true. I suggest, and I myself used, beverage dispensers. It not only do they provide you with a large enough amount of liquids to keep your guests happy, its another area you get to play with decor! Double win!
With the exception of my own wedding, I have yet to be to a wedding that has given me anything to even nibble on, until long after I have arrived prior to the ceremony, stood around until the ceremony happened, sat through the ceremony, waited for the couple and bridal party to head out, and then waited around for the caterering staff to work through the now truly starved entire guest list. Unless your that crafty lady that sits in the back, throws elbows to get in line first, OR stands right where the passed orderves are coming out, you can factor more time into the food in belly equation. Its unfortunate but true, but guests do not arrive with full bellies, it simply doesnt work that way & as such, people get hungry, fast! Eating is also an activity, something moves the event along. Putting guest in a situation where they become famished for food is not a good experience and something that is easily avoidable.
For our own wedding, we decided to impart our love of popcorn on everyone. Before our guest even arrived, a vintage popcorn machine was filled to the brim with freshly popped popcorn complete with adorable paper bags for our guests to fill. There isnt a need to go over board, but having something, even a small nibble for your guests, keeps the hungry at bay, & in their minds, they arent racing through the wedding to the parts where they get feed. The pace slows down for them and they are more apt to be a happier part of your day, enjoying each step right there along with you. Not instead stalking a server for the 5th time to figure out when on earth they will see the first signs of food.
Heat Me, Cool Me
No matter the time of year that your having your wedding, something else to consider is the general comfort of your guests at all phases of your day. If your wedding is during a particularly hot time of year, consider the shade factor, possibly adding some fans, giving your guests areas of relief. Umbrella tables are a wonderful source of additional shade as well as some super creative ideas I have seen on Pinterest with floating fabric lifted up by balloons…looove these! *Make sure these shaded areas are proportionate to number of guest you will be having. One umbrella table probably isnt going to cut it, if you get my drift. Something else to play with are your ceremony programs. Most people are likely going to use them as ways to fan themselves off anyway, so why not make them into actual fans! PS- Hot also equals thirsty guests, so this reinforces the importance of what I was saying above!
Likewise, having a wedding in a cooler time of year? Make sure that your guests will be warm enough. I love when I see weddings with baskets of wraps for the ladies. I mean, lets be honest, it is the ladies that are always chilly right?! But in all seriousness, this is an extra step that your guests will really appreciate & remember. Worried about the additional cost of wraps? There are plenty of places online, as well as all kinds of discount shops around that one can truly find the right ones, at the right price. Remember, its a one night covering, it doesnt need to be cashmere ladies!
I hope these simple 3 things help you create the most perfect wedding day…for everyone. It really is important to consider simple things like having plenty of beverages handy, food to nibble on, and ensure your guests temperature, to make sure that things go as beautifully as you deserve. I really hope you heed my word on the food & drink pre-ceremony especially. I can not stress enough how big of a game changer this will be to your guests. Practically every one of our guests made a point to thank us (some repeatedly) for considering those simple things for them & how much it enhanced their enjoyment of the day. Take this as a gentle lesson in how to make your day….awesome! I also really hope to hear from you guys about your thoughts on these 3 things as well as some possible other terrific things to do. Throw some love this way! Can’t wait to hear what you guys think! Xo-Jess