Do you want to avoid the most common wedding mistakes? Read more..
Everyone knows that a wedding is a bride and groom’s special day. Friends and family come together and celebrate a newly married couple, and the entire event is dedicated entirely to them. Amongst all of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, however, it is imperative to keep one certain aspect in mind – a wedding is still a party, and you are the host to your guests.
As with any party, your duty is to ensure that your guests are well catered to and that they are made to feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. All of the basic rules of entertaining still apply when you are hosting a wedding, as well as a couple additional ones. Here are some wedding faux pas that are commonly made and how you can avoid making them yourself.
Due to time restrictions with certain venues, especially for church ceremonies, there will sometimes be a break for several hours between the ceremony and reception. This can be incredibly inconvenient for some guests, especially if they are traveling in and have no place to go while they are waiting for the reception to start. Consider your wedding’s itinerary, and time each section of the event so that one flows smoothly on to the next. Your guests should not have to be standing around for an extended period of time. If a significant gap between your ceremony and reception is inevitable, make sure that you provide your guests with the proper accommodations such as hotel rooms, where they can relax until the next part of the festivities starts. The upside of having a destination wedding is that your guests will already have hotel rooms – so a cocktail hour would be a fantastic way to bridge any time gaps.
For the destination weddings that we shoot here, we strongly suggest that wedding ceremonies end one to one-and-a-half hours before sunset, leading to a sunset reception. This time of day is beautiful in terms of photography, and we only need about 30-45 minutes with a bride and groom in order to capture a portfolio of amazing photographs. At Dean Sanderson Weddings, we have shot enough events to know exactly how to perfectly time your wedding. Call or email us with any questions you may have.
If you were hosting a fancy dinner party, you wouldn’t ask your guests to pay for alcohol to go with dinner. Weddings should be no exception. As the host, you want to ensure that your guests have a fun and hassle-free experience instead of worrying if they remembered to bring enough cash or credit cards. Understandably, most couples will take their budget into consideration and opt to have a cash bar, or only beer and wine offered complimentary. The food and drinks at a wedding, however, are one of the most important elements of the entire event; so it’s best that you factor in a full open bar when you’re planning out your budget, rather than skimping. Fortunately, most of the venues here in Mexico are all-inclusive resorts, so an open bar is a given – but stepping up your game and upgrading your guests to top shelf liquors is a nice touch as well. With all-inclusive resorts, going above and beyond by providing premium drinks gives your overall wedding an extra special quality.
Being TOO “DIY”
Nowadays, it’s pretty standard to hire a wedding planner, even if it’s just for the week of your actual wedding rather than the whole of your planning process. Still, there are many brides who insist on taking care of every detail themselves – or even worse, asking friends and family to do the brunt of the work. Having your bridesmaids help with wedding favors or sealing wedding invitation envelopes is perfectly fine. There are some cases, however, where brides ask their bridal party to help with the actual setup and teardown of the reception.
When the wedding party is too busy helping with the wedding itself, it can actually cut into photography time and they will be too wrapped up to be able to take as many pictures as you may have wanted. Also, after a long night of partying, the last thing your friends and family should have to do is wake up early the next morning to clean the venue; so make sure that your wedding is properly staffed and that the logistics are sorted out well before your wedding day.
No Wedding Favors
Your guests are spending the time and money to attend your wedding (more so if it’s a destination wedding) – so you owe it to them to provide a nice token of appreciation. A current trend has been to hire a photo booth and simply have guests go home with whatever pictures they take. While photo booths are always a fun addition, they should not be considered as your actual wedding favors. Instead, choose something more personal for your guests; and for destination weddings especially, choose favors that are light and easy for everyone to carry back home with them.
There’s still a huge debate going on as to whether or not e-invitations are a faux pas. Traditionalists and most etiquette specialists will insist on sending out invitations in paper form. Not only is it a tasteful way to kick off the excitement of your wedding, but it is also more convenient for older wedding guests who may not be technologically savvy or have regular access to a computer. On the other hand, electronic invitations are more eco-friendly and affordable. Regardless of which option you choose, one rule remains the same for both – you must send out your invitations with enough time for your guests to plan.
For local weddings, the general rule of thumb is to send out invitations six to eight weeks before the big day. For destination weddings, however, invitations must be sent out at least three to six months in advance. This, of course, does not refer to a “save the date” card, which can be sent out up to a year in advance, when the couple first starts planning their wedding. Your guests will need to take time off from work, figure out their budget, book plane tickets, and arrange their accommodations; so ample notification time is an absolute necessity.
Not Enough Room
One of the worst things you can do to your guests is cram them into a venue that is too small. You want everyone to be comfortable and have enough room to move around, rather than having to squeeze and maneuver between tightly-spaced tables and chairs. Also, leave enough room between your headcount and venue capacity to allow for any unexpected plus ones. This is the perfect reason to consider a beach reception. If more people show up last-minute, you simply take up more of the beach rather than being crowded into a closed event space. We want everyone at your wedding to have as much fun as possible, and would love for you to join us.