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What Do Wedding Guests Care About?

What Do Wedding Guests Care About

By Jeffrey House Photography



What do wedding guests care about? 

Your wedding day is your day.  But your wedding is just as much an experience for your guests as it is you.  Many brides have probably heard this sentiment before, but why does it matter?  Because you can use this information to help plan certain aspects of your wedding to ensure a great guest experience.  

Wedding planning is difficult, mostly because it is the first time you have ever don it.  It's easy to be sidetracked and lose sight of your vision.  For instance, flowers may not be a priority to you, but after seeing all the beautiful options available, you've spent $5,000 before you even realize it. You envision how beautiful everything will look have exotic blooms everywhere and how impressed your guests will be.  

In this article, we are going to share what your wedding guests do and do not care about when it comes to your wedding.  

What DON'T Your Guests Care About?


Your invitations are regarded as the first experience your guests will have with your wedding.  Unfortunately, it will find it's way into the garbage faster than it took you to put a stamp on it.  All the time, energy, and money you spent picking out the perfect card stock, color, design, and font is gone in a blink of an eye.  

When choosing your invitations, don't worry about creating something extravagant and grand.  Your efforts will sadly be wasted.  Select an invitation that's simple, clean, and supports the overall vision you have for your wedding.  This will be a great way to contain cost while maintaining the elegance of your wedding.

The Program

Couples often spend countless hours crafting the perfect program for their wedding, but again, it's one of those details your guests don't care about.  You can save yourself a lot of time and money by eliminating the program.  If you absolutely insist on having one, keep it simple.  You may even consider other alternatives for the program.  For instance, place something at the ceremony that guests can see as they arrive.

Guest Book

The guest book has long been a tradition at weddings.  Many couples now use an alternative to the original guestbook.  They use a picture frame featuring one of their engagement or wedding photos, and guests sign the border.  While some guests embrace this tradition and try to write something unique, most guests view it as a chore.  Many couples don't end up displaying it because the ink gets smudged and it starts to look messy.  If you want to save yourself a little time and money, scrap this tradition.  Your guests certainly won't mind.  


As you browse the linen options with your wedding venue, you begin envisioning how beautiful your table settings will look.  You see several beautiful linens that are sure to make your tables sing!  You may even spend some extra money to upgrade your linens so you can create the perfect color scheme.  

Your thought process makes perfect sense, but all your guests really care about is a clean table setting to eat their dinner.  Your attention to detail, while admirable, won't get their attention.  


A sweet chocolate treat, personalized stemless wineglasses, wine bottle stopper, etc.  There are literally thousands of options when it comes to choosing your wedding favors.  Taking the time to create a unique favor for your wedding guests is great, but 90% of them are going to find the trash faster than you can say "we're married!"  

But there's a great alternative to the traditional favors.  Take the money allocated for favors and donate it to your favorite charity.  Place a simple note on each table letting your guests know that you made the donation in lieu of favors.  They will definitely appreciate your thoughtfulness!  

The Décor

Wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes and range from basic to extravagant.  Many couples spend countless hours researching and creating personalized touches to add to the existing décor.  Unless your wedding venue is bare and plain, it's very likely your efforts will go unnoticed.  This is just another details guests to pay attention to.  Save yourself the headache and money, and use it for other details that will make a difference.  


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your guests are not that interested in your blooms!  Many couples find this surprising.  This isn't to say that you shouldn't have flowers, but do you want to make a huge investment on something that barely gets any attention?  The cost of flowers can add up quickly, especially if you're using calla lilies or some other exotic flower.  

A good florist can help you choose flowers are that in-season, look beautiful, and won't break the bank.  And don't forget to "re-purpose" your blooms.  For example, the arrangements used during your ceremony can also be used at your reception.  This will eliminate the need to create unique arrangements for each.  

Many couples are tempted to create elaborate centerpieces.  But, you have to be cautious with these too.  Many guests are annoyed when couples have extravagant centerpieces because many times they are large and prevent guests from being able to converse with one another.  When it comes to your centerpieces, and flowers as a whole, the expression "less is more" is the perfect advice!

The Cake

Wedding cakes are exquisitely detailed works of art.  They are amazing handcrafted designs that are simply breathtaking.  While your guests may appreciate your cake design, it's short lived.  All guests really care about is how good it tastes.  Even the most elaborate cake design will be an epic fail if tastes like a rice cake.  But give your guests something that blows their taste buds away and you can give them something that looks like it was made in your kitchen.  

The Photos

Most couples request we capture as many "guest" photos as possible as these photos often have sentimental value. Unfortunately, your guests hate this part of the day.  

Typically, the only time everyone is sitting at the table together us during dinner.  Experienced wedding photographers know that you never take pictures of the guests while they're eating dinner.  Most people don't like having their picture taken, but this is especially true while you're trying to eat.  Taking guest pictures during dinner is sure way to make enemies and ruin their experience.  We certainly don't want to put them in a bad mood by infringing on their space.

But aside from dinner, your guests are still unlikely to be happy about having their picture taken.  Most just want to sit, relax, and enjoy the day.  We aren't suggesting you eliminate guest photos, but it's worth asking yourself how important they are to you.

The Wedding Dress

Many brides simply can't fathom why guests don't care about the wedding dress, but it's true.  Don't get me wrong, if you choose something outrageous or it doesn't fit properly, you will create plenty of judgmental whispers.  Otherwise, everyone is going to think you look amazing!

The best part about wedding dresses is the abundance of affordable options.  It may take several dress shopping excursions to find it, but it's out there.  And, you won't have to spend $10,000 to get it!  Many brides have found their dream dress for under a $1,000.  While you may not share this fame fortune, it's highly likely you can find your dream dress for less than $2,000.  


What Do Your Guests Care About?

Okay, we now know what your guests don't care about.  Now it's time to discover what they do care about!  

The Wedding Venue

Every guest that comes to your wedding is looking forward to great food and an open bar.  Before deciding on a wedding venue, schedule a taste testing to make sure you're happy with the quality of their cuisine.  You may find they do something great and other things are just okay.  This will help you in creating a menu that is sure to please everyone!

What about the open bar?  Having an open bar with top-shelf booze can get expensive.  Speak with your wedding venue about the different options they offer.  Many allow you to offer top-shelf liquor for an hour or two and then limit it to beer and wine.  A popular option among many couples is to offer beer, wine, and a signature drink of their choice.  There are a lot of options to consider, but food and drinks is very important to your guests!

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Friendly Wedding Vendors

It's likely you've been to a wedding, or know someone that's been to a wedding, where a wedding vendor was a jerk!  

A good DJ is obviously important to your wedding guests because they want to listen to good music and have a great time dancing!  They definitely don't want some DJ that plays bad music, says inappropriate comments on the mic, and doesn't engage the crowd.  DJ's are essential to ensuring a great party and great DJ's know how to read crowds.  This is critical when it comes to their song selections.  

Ever heard a guest complain about the annoying wedding photographer?  The wedding photographer that's rude or always in your face with a camera?  No matter where you go, the photographer always seems to be in your way!  Your guests hate photographers like this and it's a quick way to ruin their day!  

The Ceremony

It's no surprise that guests like the ceremony.  It's the most heartfelt part of the day.  Wedding ceremonies remind everyone what love is really all about.  

Most ceremonies last between 15-20 minutes.  This is something your guests certainly appreciate and a ceremony of this length allows you to have a memorable and meaningful experience, but your guests aren't losing interest.  


The minute your guests get to the reception they're hunting down their place card.  They want to know where they're sitting and with whom they will be sitting with.  A lot of your guests are probably hoping you didn't seat them with "Bob" or "Sally" because they are really annoying.  

It may seem a little silly, but seating is a huge issue for guests.  While it's impossible to make everyone happy, try your best to create a seating plan that works for everyone.  


Guests enjoy the wedding toasts, especially when they are kept to a minimum and don't go on for what feels like hours.  Guests usually know the couple getting married on an intimate level.  But the speeches shared by siblings or close friends often share stories guests have never heard before.  They might include stories from childhood, high school or college and these stories are funny, inspiring, genuine, and heartfelt.  

Your guests appreciate learning more about you and your entertaining stories.


What was your experience like as a wedding guest?  We'd love to hear from you!