1. An inconvenient date.
Sure, it's cute and romantic to get married during the most wonderful time of the year. But be cautious and courteous to your guests. There are many traditions that your guests might have holiday traditions or travel plans they prefer not to miss out on. If you're considering getting married during the holidays or another potentially awkward time of the year... check in with your closest guests! If you are going to go forth with getting married during a sticky time, just give your guests enough heads up to plan their own schedules.
2. Cash bars.
We get it... weddings are expensive. You want to save as much money as you can on your dream day. However, one thing that is high on the complaint list is guests having to pay for their own alcohol. If you absolutely have to have a cash bar at your wedding, so be it! It is your special day and you have to make sure you're staying within your budget. If you want to limit the open bar, we suggests doing a limited beer and wine selection instead. But if you can figure out how to cut costs in another area so that the open bar option stays for you guests... do it!
3. Confusing invitations.
Make sure you are clear on your invitations who you expect at your wedding and if they are allowed to have a plus one or not. There is nothing wrong with not allowing a plus one or making your wedding children free as long as you communicate that well with your guests. There's nothing more awkward than Aunt Maggie showing up with her seven children without knowing it was just her and her spouse who were invited. If you want to avoid any confusion, write out each guests name on the invite and have a checkbox of who will attend. If you are allowing a plus one, leave a line blank so they can fill in a name themselves.
Acknowledge the maximum capacity seating chart at your venue and stick to it. Some of you may want to invite everyone and their mom to your wedding to share the celebration with everyone you know. But cramming extra tables so you can fit 120 guests in a maximum 100 guests capacity can make it space uncomfortable. Guests should be able to get up and move freely about your reception throughout the night. Give them enough room so their elbows aren't touching and they aren't eating back to back with the table behind them. Also, be mindful of your centerpiece height. Allow your guests to see and talk with each other at each table.
5. Disgusting food (or lack thereof).
Carefully plan your wedding meal and go on as many food tastings as you can before you decide. No one wants to give their guests a stomachache... or worse an empty stomach to accompany the alcohol they consume at the bar. Go ahead and ask for food allergies and dietary requirements in your invitations so you have an idea of who you need to take care of individually. It is so important that you don't run out of food at the cocktail hour... especially if anyone is running behind. Keep your guests happy by making sure everyone gets a few pieces of what they want. If you are just having dessert at your reception or small plates... warn your guests! Tell them you are not providing them a full dinner so they can eat before or make a quick run between your ceremony and reception.
6. Toasts that are too long.
Let your toasters know in advance so you don't have to worry about getting novels and rambling, embarrassing life stories. Tell them to make it short and sweet. You can even have your DJ cue soft music when it is time for them to wrap up their speech just to keep your wedding day timeline on track. If you are going to give a toast, go ahead and practice it before your big day. With your nerves and emotions running wild, you don't want to be the longest or most boring speech of the night!
Having a day of coordinator can be a life saver on your wedding day. You and your wedding party will be caught up in the motions of the big day and can easily get off track. If you didn't want to hire one... appoint one of your guests to be in charge of keeping everything on track. If you are unable to have the ceremony and reception within two hours of each other... make accommodations to keep your guests busy. Serve light snacks and refreshments early and once your cocktail hour starts, bring on heartier food until dinner. Keep all guests in mind when you have a gap between parts of your wedding so that Grandma Jane isn't sitting out in the blistering sun for two hours while you newlyweds take an absurd amount of photos post-ceremony.
9. Glorified jukebox.
There is nothing more awkward than being at a wedding with a huge dance floor with no one on it. Not only does your wedding look like a drag your DJ is probably feeling bored and unappreciated. People of all ages will be at your wedding so create a playlist that can appeal to everyone. During cocktail hour, play quieter music so your guests can still talk amongst each other. Then turn up the volume once the time is right. If you have older guests, maybe don't sit them next to the speaker. Yes, dances like the Cha-Cha slide and electric slide seem like cliche wedding songs... but there is something about group led dancing that gets everyone in the party mood. Once your guests see your grandma's best rendition of Oppan Gangnam style, everyone will want to get on the dance floor!