Common Wedding Guest Complaints

Common Wedding Guest Complaints

How To Consider Your Wedding Guests

I have heard several wedding guest complaints over the years.  When planning a wedding we are always told it is about the Bride and Groom, but what about your guests?  Just because it is your big day does not mean you should ignore your guests needs or accommodations.  The people we invite to our wedding all have a special place in our hearts and we should be considerate of them when we are making arrangements for the big day.  Here are some things to take into consideration regarding your guests at your wedding.  

  1. YOUR WEDDING DATE
    • Sometimes venues and vendors offer a discount on a holiday weekend, however your guests may have regular standing plans with family or friends on those dates that put them in a hard place when sending in their RSVP.  Many people travel on holiday weekends to visit family and when you put a wedding in the middle of that then it can get tricky for everyone.
  2. HOTEL RATES
    • It is a good idea to choose a few options for guest accommodations as not everyone can afford the high-end resort.  Having choices in different price ranges for your guests to choose from may make it easier for them to say yes if they have to travel and need to keep expenses down.  I have seen it happen many times that guests do not come to the wedding because they cannot afford the traveling costs.
  3. CEREMONY + RECEPTION START TIME 
    • If you have a 2:00pm ceremony and your reception does not start until 6:00pm there is a lot of down time for the guests with nothing to do.  If this is something you cannot control I recommend giving guests options of places to visit or even a local bar/restaurant for them to stop at.  An added bonus would be to offer drinks and appetizers for those people while they wait. 
  4. CENTERPIECES
    • A common complaint we hear from guests is that when they are sitting at the reception table they cannot see or talk to the guest sitting on the other side of the table.  If you choose to have tall centerpieces they should be at least 24″ above the table.  Another good way to test this is to sit at a table with one of your centerpieces or containers and see how it looks and where the arrangement would begin.
  5. THE COCKTAIL HOUR
    • It is very frustrating when you go to a wedding and during the cocktail hour you get a drink and also want to eat, but there is nowhere to set your drink or food down.  Try eating a plate of food while holding a glass, you are most likely going to drop one of them.  Make sure to have some form of seating or pub tables around the room for guests to utilize.  

Now, that being said, it is YOUR wedding and you can do what you wish, but your guests will enjoy their time more if you take these complaints into consideration.  Please feel free to leave your comments below.  I would love to hear if you have any other ideas or stories to share about guest complaints.

Photo Credit: Valen Studios

Starline Factory | Chicago, IL | Rustic Wedding

Starline Factory | Chicago, IL | Rustic Wedding

Jenna and Brett started dating in the 8th grade.  College came and Jenna went off to UOI and Brett went off to Marquette.  The distance did not put a hurdle in their relationship.  After returning from college Brett knew the time had come to ask Jenna the question.  He proposed to her at Veteran’s Acres in Crystal Lake, IL and the planning began.  The chose a very rustic industrial venue on Harvard, IL known as The Starline Factory.  Take a look at how their romantic and rustic wedding day turned out.

 

Vendors Involved:

Starline Factory

Palette of Light

Libido Funk Circus

Trellis

The Sugar Circle

Bella Bridal

Elite Mini Bus

Creatively Yours Wedding & Event Planning

20 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue

20 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue

(Photo taken by Bonphotage Photography)

 

After the engagement, you first need to determine your budget and guest list.  This will help you with the next step….

 

Choosing a wedding venue.  Determining your guest list will show you how big of a space you will need and outlining your budget will help you choose a venue that stays with in your price range.

 

When searching for a wedding venue you will want to ask the right questions to help make your decision and know what each place has to offer.  Here is a list of 2o questions to ask a wedding venue before choosing your location.

 

20 Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue

  1. What is the rental fee?  What does this include and exclude?
  2. What is the deposit and cancelation policy?
  3. How many can the room accommodate for a seated dinner, buffet dinner, cocktail reception?
  4. Is the space shared with another event?  How is privacy ensured?
  5. How many hours are included in the rental rate?  What is the cost of overtime?
  6. Are there any restrictions on the type of music, number of musicians or time played?
  7. Are there any rules on decorations, flowers or photography?
  8. Is there heating and air conditioning?
  9. Do they have an in house caterer or preferred list?  Can you bring in your own caterer?
  10. Can you do a food tasting before choosing the menu?
  11. Do they provide bar service?
  12. Do they have liability insurance?
  13. Do they require vendors to have any insurance?
  14. Is there a location for a ceremony?
  15. Is there parking for guests?  Are there any parking fees?
  16. Do they have a bridal suite?
  17. Do they provide tables, chairs and linens?
  18. Is the venue handicap accessible?
  19. If you are using the outside, what is the backup plan for rain?
  20. What time can vendors start setting up?

 

I hope you found this article helpful.  Please feel free to print this out and take it with you to your venue meetings.  If you have anything to add, please comment below.

 

Winter Wonderland Wedding in Chicago

Winter Wonderland Wedding in Chicago

As the snow is lightly falling outside I thought today would be the perfect day to show off Asha and David’s winter wonderland wedding in Chicago.  Snow and winter scares a lot of us when it comes to planning a wedding, but that didn’t stop Asha from her dream wedding.  We had a snow storm that day which made for some pretty awesome photos!

Let’s hear it for the vendors who made this day happen:

Ceremony: Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest

Reception: Tuscany Falls

Photography: Jolie Images

Music: DJUj Mobile Lights and Entertainment

Flowers: ZuZu’s Petals

Transportation: Chi Town Party Bus

Band: Lynne Jordan and the Shivers

Wedding Planner: Creatively Yours

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

As a wedding planner, when I speak to couples, I often hear “I don’t need a wedding planner, my venue has a coordinator”.  At this moment I cringe because I don’t think most couples know the difference between a venue coordinator and wedding planner.  I spoke with a local venue coordinator recently who told me about an experience she had with a couple who thought that since she was the coordinator for the venue, she would help with the timeline throughout the day and inform people of when they are needed for events.  Clearly they didn’t understand what the venue offers and what more we bring to the table, so now it is my job to explain to these couples how little the venue partakes in the entire planning of the day and all the details we help with.  Let me break it down for you…

What Can You Expect From Your Venue Coordinator

  • They are a salesperson and liaison for the venue
  • They are solely responsible for wedding details that concern the venue such as the banquet event order, menu tasting and the room setup.
  • They are responsible for making sure all vendors abide by all venue rules and regulations.
  • Their job concludes once the dinner and cake has been served, whereas a wedding planner will be by your side the entire night.
  • The venue coordinator that you start working with may or may not be the onsite contact for your wedding day.
  • They will provide a list of preferred vendors but that is the extent of their interaction with those vendors.
  • They will provide a timeline that is solely for the catering staff, that focuses on when the food will be prepared and served.
  • You will be sharing your venue coordinator with about 100 other Brides.  This could mean delayed responses and working around their business hours.

What Can you Expect From a Wedding Planner

  • A wedding planner acts as a liaison between you and your vendors and attends all meetings.
  • A wedding planner will customize a timeline for all the vendors arrivals and pickup times also including details of the day from when you wake up in the morning to when the doors close.
  • When your ceremony is in a different location, a wedding planner will be with you at your ceremony location and reception venue to ensure all details are taken care of.
  • A wedding planner will assist in etiquette, family matters and decor ideas just to name a few.
  • A wedding planner is the stage manager for all parties involved including the bridal party, family, vendors and guests.
  • A wedding planner takes responsibility for setting up all of your personal items and collecting them along with your gifts at the end of the event.
  • A wedding planner will oversee time management including ceremony processions and recessional, cocktail hour transition, entrances, cake cutting, toasts, dances, prompting vendors and troubleshooting.
  • A wedding planner ensures all vendors setup and strike correctly.
  • A wedding planner is there until all vendors and guests have left.
  • A wedding planner is available almost 24/7.  If you are having an emergency you can pick up your phone and text your wedding planner.  Your venue coordinator will not give you their personal cell number.

The biggest difference: A venue coordinator works for the needs of the venue and a wedding planner works for you, ensuring every details is flawless and your day is orchestrated just as you planned.