3 Things Wedding Guests Remember (And Love) About Weddings

Who doesn’t love a good wedding? They’re exciting events with plenty of opportunities to meet new people. Of course, you often bump into a few people you already know! When it’s your own wedding, much of the planning you do is to make sure the day is perfect just for you and your spouse-to-be.

But what parts of your big day are the wedding guests going to love the most? What will they remember about the day the two of you got married?

The Photo Opportunity
We all love the chance to pose for a professional photo! After all, the pros manage to capture the our best sides and make us look extra glam. Plus, we’ve just bought this amazing outfit, and the photo will be a perfect reminder of the day we looked this good! Wedding guests love the chance to be in a photo with the bride and groom. When you choose a photographer, make sure you give them your “can’t miss” shots including the groups and people that you absolutely have to get a photo with.

Why not book a photo booth too? Photo booths offer another opportunity for fun photos of your guests as they’re enjoying themselves at your wedding reception.

3 Things Your Guests Will Love And Remember About Your Wedding - choose a professional wedding photographer Choose a pro for your wedding photos. Picture credit: pexels

Congratulating and Toasting The Happy Couple
We all love the chance to sip bubbly! But it is perhaps the chance to honor and toast something that is good and personal to us that is most important on this day. Whether by a simple “Congratulations! We’re so happy for you!” said directly to the couple, or by a wedding toast for the entire room to enjoy, every sentiment is special for every person in the room. After all, everybody knows the happy couple, and they want to celebrate their love. Of course, free champagne always does taste pretty good.

3 Things Your Guests Will Love And Remember About Your Wedding - Congratulating and Toasting The Happy CoupleToast of bubbles. Picture credit: pexels

The Food
Who doesn’t love a big wedding feast! Chances are the venue you’re booking has their own catering staff and banquet menu. In fact, the food might be the reason you’ve chosen this place! Or you may have a fabulous caterer in mind, and need a venue that will let you provide the food.

Either way, if you’re having a wedding banquet, (regardless of the formality) then you need to plan the menu in advance, from the appetizers to the entrees. Choose foods that are familiar to your guests (you don’t want them wondering what’s on their plate!), but fancy enough for your wedding celebration.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Traveling Guests – Convenient Tips For Wedding Guests Coming From Afar

Traveling Guests - Convenient Tips For Wedding Guests Coming From AfarImage source: Pexels.com

You might be getting married in your hometown, but that doesn’t mean that things will be quite so convenient for some of your guests. That’s especially the case for your traveling guests, especially those who are coming from another state or, in some cases, another country.

Any guests who are traveling to your wedding might be worried about a whole host of reasons. For example, they might be anxious that travel delays could make them late for your ceremony, or they might be concerned about jet lag.

Want to help all of your traveling guests? Read on to find out how!

Think Of The Time Of Your Ceremony

If some of your guests are traveling from another time zone, they might not have gotten over their jet lag before your wedding day. So, think about scheduling your ceremony for the afternoon. That way, they can catch up on their sleep and be ready and alert for your wedding.

Offer Transportation From Airports And Stations

Guests from out of town probably aren’t familiar with your town’s public transport system. So, it’s always a nice idea to provide some transportation for them so that they can easily get from the train or bus station or airport. For a super classy touch, take a look at transportation companies such as http://www.bergenlimo.com/services/ewr-newark-airport-limo-service/ that offer a range of sophisticated limos. Imagine how excited your guests will be when they see a limo waiting to whisk them away!

Traveling Guests - Convenient Tips For Wedding Guests Coming From Afar
Image source: Pexels.com

Provide Information on Hotels

Seeing as your traveling guests won’t be familiar with the surrounding area, they might not be too sure which hotels are worth booking. So do some research on their behalf. That way, you will be able to offer them some tips. You might want to take a look at sites like https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/book-a-hotel.html (if you’re in the UK) to find out which are the best-priced hotels close to your wedding venue. Also, if your venue offers accommodations, ask if there are any rooms available for guests on your wedding night.

Surprise Them With Gifts

Your guests might be very tired by the time they arrive at their hotel room after all of their traveling, so why not surprise them with a little gift in their room? For instance, some sophisticated toiletries or a box of chocolates will go over really well! If they have traveled really far, from another country for example, you might want to put together a small welcome pack for them. This could include local produce and specialties.

You don’t have to get elaborate, but a little goody bag/gift for your guests will certainly make them feel very welcome once they arrive in town for your very special day.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding ceremony

I love an outdoor ceremony.

Lush green settings, fragrant flowers, the sounds of birds chirping. And considering the popularity of outdoor wedding venues, it’s obvious that many brides and grooms do too.

But not every outdoor location was designed with the needs of a wedding ceremony in mind, which causes it’s own set of issues that have to be planned for to ensure the enjoyment, ease, and comfort of everyone involved.

Make sure everyone has the best experience by checking out these 9 tips for a joyous outside wedding celebration.

1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (But Not When It’s In My Eyes).

sunset wedding

There’s nothing like sitting outdoors, the sun beautifully shining, witnessing a loved ones wedding vows.

Unless the sun is shining directly into your guests’ eyes, making them squint, or having to close their eyes. You know they won’t be thinking happy thoughts for you and your fiancé while their eyes are closed and watering.

Also, you don’t want the sun to be in your or your fiance’s eyes either. How can you exchange vows and say “I do,” if you can’t clearly and comfortably see your fiancé (or have him/her see you)?

How to avoid this? Easy.

Go out to your ceremony site at a similar time of day as well as time of year to see where the sun will be at in the sky. That way you can decide what will be the best placement and orientation for seating.

Sometimes changing the angle that the seats will be facing isn’t a good option. If that’s the case consider providing programs or hand-held fans that guests can also use to shield their eyes, provide inexpensive sunglasses, or getting a tent.

2. “I Think Truth Has No Temperature.” (quote by Cameron Diaz)

blue fans for guests to use at a wedding ceremony on a hot day
Photo credit: joshuaraineyphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Truth may not have a temperature, but your outdoor ceremony will. The question is, how comfortable will that temperature be?

Ok. You’re probably not planning on an outdoor ceremony in December. But considering the potential temperature (and humidity) is important to everyone’s comfort.

June is often comfortable, but it can be humid. October is often warm enough for short sleeves or a light sweater, but is can turn cold.

Doesn’t mean you can’t have your ceremony outside. Just be sure to provide means to provide comfort for your guests. Maybe a fan or an outdoor heater. Bottled water on hot, humid days, and hot chocolate for when it’s cold. Cheap, pashmina wraps for the ladies (Google “cheap pashmina wraps” and you will find lots of sources).

3. “Love Is Like The Wind. You Can’t See It But You Can Feel It.” (Quote by Nicholas Sparks).

The temperature isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your wedding. Even though you may not be able to see the wind, everyone can see the problems it can cause.

Altar arrangements get blown about. Unity candles won’t stay lit. Aisle runners won’t stay in place. Your beautiful up-do can come undone in the wind. Candelabras can topple over.

Some easy remedies include:

  • Securing the base of tall candelabras or other tall decorative pieces.
  • Incorporating a sand ceremony or other unity candle alternative.
  • Placing décor such as pretty containers of flowers along edge of an aisle runner to keep it from blowing up (and becoming a walking hazard).

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Mosquito

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. Especially if you’re in a wooded area or near standing water. They’re also attracted to perfumes with a floral or fruity fragrance.

There may be just a few pesky bugs, or there may be a lot. But they will be there. And they will be distracting and unpleasant for everyone – your guests and you.

Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos.”

Set off bug bombs. Burn citronella candles. Spray for bugs beforehand.

Provide insect repellant (Burt’s Bees makes a nice herbal based repellant). Have a basket with individual insect repellant wipes on hand for your guests. (Google “individual bug repellent wipes in bulk”).

Decorate with flowers and other florals that are a natural insect repellant, such as sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme.

Sunshine, Rain, and Your Wedding Day

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

Your guests want to hear your vows. I mean, how can you expect them to be engaged and enjoy being there for you if they’re struggling to hear what’s going on?

If they can’t hear, they’re going to be thinking (or worse, whispering) “what’d she say?” “What part are they up to?” “How much longer?” “I can’t hear a thing!”, instead of “Oh, I’m so happy for them,” and “Their vows are so beautiful,” while dabbing tears from the corners of their eyes.

Many indoor ceremony venues have a sound/PA system. Others venues were built with beautiful acoustics.

However, that’s not the case outside.

Unless the size of your guest list is relatively small, consider renting a microphone and speaker.

6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (But How Far Is That Walk?)

walking to remote outdoor wedding ceremony location
Photo credit: arinahabich / 123RF Stock Photo

Chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

This may sound romantic, and is probably part of the charm that made you choose that site. But it may prove tricky for some to actually get to. Or awkward for those ladies wearing heels. (Help avoid this by clearly indicating on your invitations of the outdoor nuances of your ceremony so your guests can choose proper footwear).

Think about how far is the distance between parking and the actual site? Are there long meandering paths? Uneven terrain? Trails through tall grass? Rocky walkways?

If that’s the case, it is likely that it will take more effort on everyone’s part to actually get to the ceremony site.

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

If possible, arrange to have golf carts or a shuttle available to help get guests as close as possible. Designate a few hearty bodied gentlemen to help those who may need assistance.

For the ladies in heels, provide plastic heel protectors, such as The Solemates, Heels Above. or Grass Walkers. They keep high heels from sinking into the ground. Makes it easier for them, and protects their shows at the same time.

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car (But Where Will It Be Parked?)

Again, chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

So, where will your guests have to park?

Is there a nearby parking lot? A parking lot that’s a 5 minute walk from your ceremony site? Or is parking more scattered?

You will need to be more creative with the parking situation if yours is not a traditional ceremony site. Parking may be off the street, in a field, or down a gravel lane. Will it be easy for your guests to see their way to find their cars at the end of your event?

8. It’s All About Location, Location, Location. Unless It Isn’t Easy To Find Your Ceremony Site.

 wooden sign pointing towards an outdoor wedding ceremony Photo credit: chrishumphreys / 123RF Stock Photo

I don’t mean finding the address, that’s the easy part (especially the help of a GPS). I’m talking about them finding your ceremony site once they get out of their car.

It may be obvious to you as to how to get to your ceremony site, but if there are other paths that lead elsewhere, your guests can become confused or lost.

Reaching some remote outdoor ceremony sites isn’t always obvious. Do we take that close by path on the right, or do we have to walk down that lane?

Make it foolproof with some simple signage. Providing a sign that states, “Ceremony this way” with an arrow pointing the way works wonders.

9. Extra! Extra! (Fees, That Is).

Perhaps the cost to use your outdoor wedding ceremony location is minimal (particularly so for private homes or sites that are open to the public, like parks or arboretums).

However, with some non-typical ceremony sites come additional planning and fees.

  • If it’s harder for your vendors to access, will extra delivery fees be incurred?
  • Outdoor sites may not have restrooms nearby. For the comfort of your guests, will you need to provide port-a-potties?
  • Will you need valet parking if the nearest parking area is a good distance away?
  • The outdoors doesn’t come with electrical outlets. Will you need to provide generators?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas or assistance with your wedding plans? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

Happy Wedding Guests

happy guests with bride & groom

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Photo credit: Jack Hoying

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

happy guests at wedding reception

Photo by Jack Hoying

Your wedding guests have taken the time to come to your wedding to witness your wedding vows, and many have probably travelled great distances. They want to enjoy themselves, have a good time, and celebrate your first day as newlyweds .

To make sure you have happy wedding guests, make their experience more pleasant and memorable (for the right reasons!) with the following list of the top 5 things wedding guests hate.

1. A long gap between the ceremony and the reception
Try to have the reception start as close to the end of the ceremony as possible. If the ceremony and reception are at the same location this is super easy. If at different locations just figure out the end time of the ceremony and the drive time from there to the reception.

If a long gap between ceremony and reception can’t be avoided, provide something for your guests to do. A list of local sights to see, area shopping, A hospitality room at the hotel where your guests are staying is a simple, yet inexpensive touch. Light snacks (chips and soda) are all that’s needed. Maybe a friend or family member who lives nearby can invite guests over for cookies and light beverages.

2. A ceremony that doesn’t start on time

outdoor rustic wedding ceremony Photo by Zac Fisher

A delay of a minute or two is fine. Making them wait 20 minutes or more is not.

3. Slow dinner service
Your guests have already sat through your ceremony, and although you may have provided some yummy appetizers and cocktails, by the time dinner is served they will be hungry. And when your tummy is on the verge of growling, nothing is worse than long buffet lines that take forever, or seeing another table get their dinners served but having to wait for what can seem like an eternity for them to get around to your table.

This can be avoided by having enough wait staff. Rule of thumb is 1 to 2 wait staff per 10 to 12 guests for a served dinner, and 1 wait staff per 25 guests for a buffet. Another easy buffet trick is to have the buffet table(s) double sided instead of having it pushed up against a wall (this gets people through the line twice as quickly).

How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

4. Long lines for the bar or restrooms
bar - champagne pyramid Photo by kadmy / 123RF Stock Photo

You can’t celebrate when you’re stuck in a line. For bartenders, figure on having 1 bartender per 50 to 75 guests. For restrooms, 1 potty per 35 to 50 guests (with a minimum of 2 – 1 for the men and 1 for the ladies).

5. Sitting in the hot sun for an outdoor ceremony

violet outdoor ceremony

Photo by 279photo / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, I’m a fan of readings and music during the ceremony, and love the symbolism of the unity candle. But these things take time.

If your wedding ceremony will take place outdoors on a hot, humid day with little or no shade, use the KISS method (keep it short and sweet). Provide hand fans (they are inexpensive, and will help make the heat more tolerable).

Consider providing something to drink before the ceremony. Bottled water or urns with iced water is inexpensive, yet refreshing. Having pre-poured beverages looks nice, will quickly attract little bugs.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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How to Have Happy Guests at Your Wedding

wedding guests entrance signYes, it’s true – there wouldn’t be a wedding without you, the bride and groom. And while I believe that you should make choices based on what you like (it is YOUR wedding after all), it’s also important to make choices that will appeal to your guests. It’s important to have happy wedding guests. If they’re comfortable and taken care of, they’ll have a more fun and memorable time.

You and your groom are the reason, the guests of honor, for your reception. However, you are also the hosts (and this has nothing to do with who’s paying). As the hosts, you have the responsibility to give a party your guests will remember fondly.

Over the years we have incorporated different ideas to help our brides and grooms plan weddings with their guests in mind. I’m delighted to share some of these ideas.

• When creating your gift registry, include items that fit into everyone’s budget. Choose some lower priced as well as some bigger ticket items. Some guests may go in together to purchase a higher priced item.

• Make it easy for guests to get to your wedding — you don’t want anyone getting lost. If possible, make transportation arrangements for guests who can’t or don’t want to drive. If that doesn’t fit your budget, designate a cousin to drive grandma and grandpa. At the very least, include a detailed set of directions and map.

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

• You want a yummy reception menu, and by all means, pick selections that you like. But remember that many foods are universally disliked — like hot chili peppers, liver, and Brussels sprouts. They may be your personal favorites, but you’ll most likely have a lot left over – meaning you’ve paid for food that was uneaten, and your guests will have hungry tummies.

• Guests should be able to comfortably converse with each other at their tables. While you want centerpieces that are lovely and unique and representative of you, they shouldn’t be so big that your guests can’t see across the table.

• Your guests should feel appreciated for coming to your wedding. The easiest way to do this is to personally greet every guest. Here are some ways to do this. Receiving lines guarantee face-to-face time with every guest, but are time consuming (and awkward as guests feel they have to make small-talk with everyone in your bridal party). Releasing your own guests after the ceremony recessional also guarantees face-to-face time, and is quicker than a receiving line. You can also mingle with guests at your reception. Whatever method you choose make an effort to say “hello, thanks for coming, I hope you have a good time.”

• Play a wide range of music. Mix your favorite Top 40 or club music with some “golden oldies” for your parents and their friends. Even if you want a particular music genre, you can still mix it up by playing some slower songs along with some faster ones.

• Seat your single friends with people (other singles AND couples) who share the same interests. A table of all singles just because they’re singles isn’t the best arrangement.

These tips are easy to do, take very little time, and doesn’t cost you any more. But it will mean a lot to your guests.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more tips and ideas to personalize your day and make it uniquely yours, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: Ricky Corey | Dreamstime