You may be planning your own wedding, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be the ones at the altar. When that time comes, it’ll be good to know how to not just be a good host, but a good guest. On the podcast this week, we covered punctuality, phone and technology etiquette, music requests, and much more!
Sounds easy enough right?
We are here to tell you that at the majority of our weddings, someone shows up late, whether it’s from traffic, poor planning, or trying to get multiple kids out of the house, it happens.
Out of respect for the bride and groom, please do not “sneak in” and find your seat in the middle of the wedding party or the bride walking down the aisle. Wait 5 minutes, and take your seat quickly once everyone is down the aisle. It may seem like you can just scoot into a chair, but the truth is you are likely causing a distraction and maybe even getting in the way of photos!
For those planning their wedding, we do get asked if you should put a different time on your invites than the actual ceremony to avoid people being late, and honestly, it’s still going to happen. Plus, it can feel disrespectful to those who got there on time and are now thinking the wedding is running behind.
Everyone wants to capture the best photo and/or showcase the beautiful wedding they are attending that day, but this is another distraction! You may be unaware, but you are likely blocking the professional photographer from getting their shot (trust us, the last thing the wedding couple wants is to get a photo back with someone in the middle of the aisle with their cell phone).
Be aware of what the couple is requesting. Look for signs as you are walking into the ceremony to see if there is any indication of what the couple wants. If they do not want photos taken, there will be a sign out that says “unplugged” or “do not take pictures”. This means they do not want you to take pictures. It doesn’t matter how good of a photographer you are, or how great your angle is, keep your phone/camera in your pocket.
There are times when couples will have a “social media minute” or “social media moment”. This is a great time for people to take out their phones or cameras to snap a couple of photos, and then put the camera away. Many times now we see couples that have their hashtag for you to list on social media when you share photos, which is encouraging photos to be taken, but be respectful about when you snap your photos.
And lastly, put your phone on silent!
We know this one is not new information, however, it never fails that we see someone in a white dress at a wedding. There are so many other color options, please please don’t match the bride!
Read the wedding invitation and base your outfit decisions on that. If you are questioning what you are wearing, go with your gut and choose something else! Check out our Guide to Wedding Attire for more information!
Some receptions have open seating, while others have assigned seating and reserved tables. Keep your eyes open for a sign, there is typically one out front no matter what type of wedding it is.
If it is assigned seating or there are reserved tables, be respectful and follow the plan, and sit where you are supposed to. It takes so much effort and thoughtfulness to create those seating charts, so even though you may want to sit by someone else, enjoy your meal at your table. Typically it’s just for dinner, so once the meal is complete, you can generally move around and sit where you’d like (or better yet get out on that dance floor!).
Whew, this is such a pet peeve of ours! We have seen it countless times where people are getting up to get food before being excused, or better yet complaining about the food options.
Please, be patient and wait to be released. Don’t just get up and get in line, there is a reason that you are being excused by table. It makes it more efficient for the vendor staff and limits a giant line weaving throughout the reception area. Rest assured you’ll get to eat, chat with the other people at your table, and head up when your table is called.
When it comes to food complaints, keep them to yourselves. The wedding couple has spent a lot of money, time, energy, and emotions planning their wedding day. They’ve done their best with the budget they have (plus they like the food!), so don’t be picky. Take what you’d like, leave the rest, and if you can’t find anything there to eat, hit up a restaurant or drive-thru on your way home.
Save your chatting and catching up with family and friends for the times in between big moments. These big moments include toasts, the first dance, special dances (mother-son dance, father-daughter dance, etc), cake cutting, etc. Give the wedding couple or those giving speeches your full attention. Again, these moments aren’t that long, so your conversation can surely pause.
We also tend to get guests who come up to the wedding planner or DJ requesting that we move the night along faster, or asking when things are happening. There is a planned flow to everything within the evening, so again, find patience, relax, and enjoy! All the things will happen at their scheduled time.
Although we don’t see this much with cakes/cupcakes, we do see it a lot with desserts such as donut walls or candy tables…wait to get dessert until it has been called.
We’ve seen it many times, especially with donut walls, where people just can’t seem to contain themselves. They want one of those delicious treats and can’t keep their hands off them. Understand that there is a possibility that the photographer hasn’t snapped a photo of the desserts. Once someone has grabbed a dessert, it’s all lost, tons of people will head for the sugary treat!
Advice for wedding couples: place a sign in front of the dessert table letting people know that it is not a free-for-all!
Dance, Dance, Dance!
Go on the dance floor and share one or two dances with the couples. They love to share those moments with you, laughing and having a great time. It’s a time when they can let loose and just truly enjoy the evening, so don’t leave the dance floor deserted! We recommend this, even for those of you who don’t like dancing, just get out there for one song (who knows you may actually enjoy it, and we promise, no one is watching!).
As a DJ, we also recommend being respectful when requesting songs. Understand that sometimes the couple has decided they don’t want song requests or they have specific songs they don’t want. This happens with songs like Cupid Shuffle where guests will come up and request the song, but if the couple has been specific about no line dancing, then we will not be playing the song.
Another thing we see often is people who come up and request their first dance song, in a way to relive their wedding day. While the idea is super sweet and touching, this isn’t the right place. Typically we try to keep the music vibe up and it’s actually pretty rare that we will play slow dances aside from the big-moment dances.
Remember that when you are going to a wedding, it is not your responsibility or choice to dictate the schedule, decide when you can walk into the room, or complain about what is missing. The wedding couple put so much effort into their big day, let them enjoy it and be as present as possible. This is their one big day, and as you know if you’ve had yours already or are planning one currently, there is a lot that goes into it.
If you are interested in a virtual consultation, please reach out on our website! We have a lot of great resources, blogs, and valuable information there! Also, follow us on Instagram and TikTok where we go live weekly to answer your questions.
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