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10 Ways to Be a Good Wedding Host

First and foremost, your wedding day is about you and your partner! However, you’re still essentially hosting a party and you want your guests to enjoy it!  Some people may have traveled long distances, took time off work, arranged childcare, spent money on flights & hotel stays, and got you a wedding gift on top of all that!  Thinking about etiquette and a good guest experience is a great way to show your gratitude and make them glad they came. Follow these 10 tips to make your wedding guests feel comfortable and appreciated! 

1. Accommodate reasonable dietary needs​​​​​

 

2. Be aware of accessibility issues

 

3. Greet and thank each guest

 

4. Be mindful of music selections

Even if the two of you prefer the explicit version to the censored version of your favorite party songs, remember that your grandma, straight-laced aunt, or the parents of your flower girl may feel differently. Unless you know for sure that your crowd can handle it, maybe keep any explicit lyrics to at least the late-night hours and keep it a little cleaner (like timeless classic dance hits) for the first part of the evening. Make sure you have a chat with your DJ (BEFORE the wedding day!) to discuss what their standard practice is and what you prefer. 

 

5. Don’t make guests wait for you

Try to keep the day on schedule - if you have a coordinator, they'll be a huge help with this! If the ceremony is scheduled to start at 4:00, guests will start getting antsy if it's delayed by more than a few minutes. When scheduling photography time, consider doing a First Look with your partner so you don't have to do ALL your photos during cocktail hour. And definitely make sure guests have something to eat and drink while they wait for you to join the reception!

6. Keep speeches short & sweet

Long speeches can kill the vibe at a reception. The best time for toasts is towards the end of dinner, when people are fed and happy. It's perfectly acceptable to (nicely) instruct anyone making a speech to keep it under a certain time limit (under 5 minutes is best, and definitely no longer than 10 minutes for any one person!) and have this conversation well before the wedding day! If anyone, including you or your partner, wants to make a lengthy speech, the better time for this is at the rehearsal dinner. 

7. Consider guests’ comfort

Are you squeezing too many seats at a table?  (See my Table Size Guide here)

Will people have to stand for a long time during cocktail hour? (If so, consider having some seating available, especially for older guests)

If any part of the wedding is outdoors, are heaters or fans needed? Will guests have to sit in the sun for a half hour before the ceremony? (See more tips for outdoor events here)

8. Assign tables

Especially if you have a lot of people that won’t know each other, you can strategize who will be a good fit together! Plus it gives people direction and avoids splitting up groups

 

9. Provide hotel & transportation

10. Keep kids in mind

If you’re inviting children, provide activities for them - this is not required, because parents should be responsible for their children (and know to leave them with a babysitter if needed) but it’s a nice touch that parents will appreciate

Supervised childcare

Activity bags, notepad & crayons, etc

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