It’s true that your wedding day should be focused on you and your new spouse — this is a celebration of your love and commitment to one another, after all! But a few small steps taken to consider your guests’ comfort can go a long way. Make your wedding day one they’ll remember fondly with these five little things you can do to increase guest comfort during your wedding ceremony and reception:
- Welcome Beverages
- Comfy Seating
- Guest Comfort Stations
- Thoughtfully-Planned Tables
- Keep All Ages in Mind
Who doesn’t love being greeted by a refreshing beverage? Offering a complimentary welcome beverage is a great way to instantly put guests at ease and in the mood to relax and enjoy your big day.
Consider a cocktail that means something special to you and your significant other — perhaps you shared a warm apple cider on your first date, or love to mix up tiki drinks at home. When guests enter your ceremony venue or space, have wait staff circulating with trays of your welcome beverage. Don’t forget to offer a non-alcoholic version or option in addition to your signature cocktail for those in your group who may not be partaking! It’s the thoughtful thing to do.
Speaking of comfort: Nobody wants to sit through an entire ceremony and reception on hard, uncomfortable chairs! If your budget allows for it, spring for the slightly more expensive (but infinitely more comfortable) seating — especially for your reception, as your guests will eventually need a respite from all that dancing!
Beyond seat cushions, it’s equally important to ensure you have enough seating for all your guests to be seated at the same time, and that the seating will be comfortable for your elderly and very young guests alike.
Guest Comfort Stations
Make it easy for your guests to access comfort must-haves with convenient comfort stations! These stations can include anything you think your guests might want or need during your ceremony and reception, from sunscreen to warm blankets to snacks. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:
- Sunglasses (feat. your wedding hashtag, perhaps?)
- Paper fans
- Cold water bottles
- Umbrellas or parasols
- Warm blankets
- Pre-packaged snacks
- Flip-flops for dancing
- Hand sanitizer
- Face masks
- Over-the-counter pain-killers, allergy medicine, etc.
- Bug spray
You could also include some of these items in a guest welcome bag upon their arrival in town or at your venue. Welcome bags often include fun little items (think area tourism guides, locally-made chocolates, or personalized notes) in addition to helpful, easily-forgotten essentials like tissues and sanitizer.
However you choose to distribute creature comforts to your guests, rest assured they’ll be grateful you did! It’s just another way to show that you and your new spouse genuinely care about your guests’ enjoyment of your big day.
A thoughtfully-planned table can make all the difference in guest enjoyment of your reception, but it comes down to more than just who’s sitting next to chatty Aunt Karen. Of course, it’s important to keep personalities and relationships in mind when creating your seating plan. Be mindful about your tables and be sure to seat guests next to someone they know or someone with whom they will have something in common, like a hobby, job or mutual friend.
But the table design itself can invite or inhibit great conversations and mingling, too. A round table ensures all guests can see each other during the meal, for example, but a too-tall floral arrangement smack-dab in the middle will nip that in the bud. During your planning process with your venue, experiment with different table sizes, shapes and configurations to see what works best for your number of guests and desired atmosphere. Talk with your florist or decorator about table decor that will enhance guest experience without blocking half the table from chatting with the rest. It would be a shame if your guests couldn’t see your romantic first dance or your bouquet toss!
Keep All Ages in Mind
Weddings bring together families and friends in celebration of your union, but that doesn’t mean all your guests will be unified in their needs! When considering the age spread of your guests, be sure to factor in special accommodations for children and the elderly as needed.
You may consider planning your toasts, cake-cutting and first dance earlier in your reception, so elderly guests may leave at a reasonable hour without feeling as if they’d missed out on the big moments. Additionally, consider asking your photographer to prioritize photos with and of your treasured elderly guests earlier in the evening to ensure you get all the shots on your list.
If someone in your group will require disability accommodations, your venue contact should be able to point out accessible entrances, elevators, etc. in advance of your event. You may also want to deputize a family member to help the guest in question get from Point A to Point B safely and comfortably.
If children will be welcome at your wedding, consider planning some kid-friendly activities like coloring stations or games to keep them busy. Alert the DJ that you’d like radio-friendly versions of songs to be played throughout your reception, or give them a time at which they can switch over to tunes with more adult language. Finally, if you’ll be hosting guests with very little ones in tow, be sure to designate one or more quiet, private spaces with comfortable seating for them to take a break, breastfeed or settle in for a quick nap.
Earle Brown: We’ve got all the little details covered!
When you’re ready to plan your wedding at a venue that can handle details large and small, we hope you’ll consider Earle Brown Heritage Center! Our expert planners have decades of experience helping couples like you create a truly extraordinary wedding day. Contact us today to learn more about hosting your wedding at Earle Brown, and visit us online to explore our historic venue and beautiful, comfortable spaces. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!