Everyone knows wedding planning is stressful! With the endless list of things to do, from the décor, to dress shopping, to the catering, and everything in between, the stress can pile on. Before you know it, you've fallen down the Pinterest hole, scrolling between 19 slightly different shades of pink petals while stress-eating wedding cake samples. That said, there are more than a few items on your wedding checklist that guests pay far less attention to than you think.
Keep from driving yourself crazy and save yourself the headache by knowing what matters to your guests, and more importantly, what doesn't. Read on for our handy list of wedding details that guests don't really care about – plus a few that they do!
Things Wedding Guests Don't Care About
Hate to break it to you, but invites end up in the garbage or recycling bin faster than you can say, "I do." Sure, it's the very first thing people see about your wedding, but an invitation is an invitation. No one is judging your choice of paper stock, ornamentation, or font (trust us on this one).
The average couple spends around $445 on their wedding invites, which is a lot! Try not to stress about your invites, but instead, find an affordable option that fits your budget. There are so many retailers that would surprise you with their collections of wedding invitations, such as Costco, Target, Walmart, Shutterfly, or Etsy. On Etsy, you can even pay a flat rate for an instant download and then print as many as you need yourself.
This is a similar explanation as to the invitations but with even a shorter life span...
Programs are super cute, but if you want to skip them and save the money, your guests won’t care. Instead, create a few DIY chalkboards or wooden signs that have your schedule or other necessary details listed on them. Have a few of these around the ceremony and reception site, and your guests will get a general idea.
Guest books can be expensive, and the cost can skyrocket once you start to add more to the guest books. Please do yourself a favor, keep it simple. Your guests won’t miss it, and in the age of digital photography, you’ll have tons of tons of snaps of your family and friends sharing your special day. If that doesn’t beat a scrawled name on a page (or a smudgy thumbprint), then we don’t know what else to tell you!
If you decide to go with a guestbook, create something simple. You can create a cute DIY board like the one pictured below that is so charming, cheap, and something you can display even after the wedding. Your guests won’t care that you made it yourself. Some people have one of their engagement photos framed and then removed the glass so the paper could be signed. It was super simple!
We agree with most people that floral arrangements are almost always a welcome addition to your chosen venue. It can inject the space with a bit of your style. But, while no one will argue that golden dip-dyed roses aren’t gorgeous, they’re also a total waste of time and money.
No one will notice the lack of designer blooms and your artfully arranged farmer’s market flowers will be just as striking – at a fraction of the price. Guests will appreciate the thoughtful, fragrant flourishes, regardless of whether you’ve chosen exotic blooms from far-flung corners of the world or locally grown greenery or even fake flowers!
Instead of spending a fortune on flowers, visit your local farmer’s market or florist. Your guests will have no idea where your flowers came from, so why waste all the extra money? Many people even get faux flowers that last a lifetime!
Don't pay much mind to your tablecloths. As long people don't have to eat off of a burlap sack, it will be just fine. Specialty linens can get costly, so save yourself the buck and choose something simple and functional that blends seamlessly with your décor.
Save the money and choose something simple. End of story.
For sure, a controversial topic, but blowing your bridal budget on a fancy-schmancy gown to wear it once and never again, is less than practical. It’s not what you wear but how you wear it. As long as you’re comfortable and feel your best and most beautiful, that should be good enough. That’s not to say that guests won’t remember an outlandish or ill-fitting dress, but if the bride is rocking a beautifully tailored gown that makes her look and feel like the goddess, the guests won’t bat an eyelash at the lack of designer label.
Before you panic, your guests do care about your dress! What they won’t think twice about is the price and the designer of your dress. There is no need to take out a small loan to buy a dress. Instead, find a dress that fits you and your personality well. You could even wear a second-hand wedding dress, and no one would know the difference. Be sure to check out our bridal selection!
Instead of the weeks of rehearsal required to try and fix your two left feet, it's more important just to be yourself and enjoy the moment. You don't want your guests to remember a nervous, shaky, overly choreographed routine.
Tackle a few moves that you feel 100% comfortable performing or just simple dance moves. No matter how simple and watch the pressure melt away. Great for you, great for your guests, and great for your wedding photos.
Have fun! If you don’t feel confident in your dancing skills, be able to laugh at yourself because your guests will appreciate that way more than being nervous. This is a moment for you and your partner to take it all in!
Towering layers, handcrafted sugar paste designs, pretty designs - the painstakingly detailed wedding cake is undoubtedly gorgeous. Still, guests won’t miss those details if you opt for an elegantly simple confection instead. As long as it tastes delicious, you’ve got a guaranteed crowd-pleaser (and let’s be honest, it will, because of CAKE).
Speaking of tasty treats, a dessert bar is a great option as well. Swap the cake for an array of equally delicious (and comparatively affordable) cupcakes, macarons, or ice cream sundaes, and guests will be just as pleased.
Order a custom cake topper, which is a great way to personalize your wedding and add to the theme of the wedding!
This tradition has become somewhat archaic in recent years, with many brides opting to skip it altogether. It all depends on your vision, but rest assured that if you opt-out on the toss, it’s likely that no one will miss it. Besides, less time assembling the masses for the ceremonial pitch means more time on the dance floor!
Do it or don't, but have fun and don't stress about it. Also, don't feel like you have to use real flowers for the toss!
An edible sweet treat that guests can enjoy in the afterglow of the wedding – well, we can’t argue with you there. But engraved champagne flutes, customized candles, and other novelty items are forgettable for guests and an added expense for the bride and groom. Not worth it!
A fancy soap might seem like an excellent idea for the beautiful soaping-loving couple, but for most of your guests, it’s the adult equivalent of getting raisins on Halloween. One in 50 will love it; the other 49 will dump them on your lawn. Think about something sweet - pun intended!
Take the money you had set aside for favors and donate those dollars to your charity of choice. A sweet note will let guests know that a donation has been made instead of those takeaway gifts, a gesture that any wedding guest would be thrilled to support. If you still want to give out favors: pick something sweet and simple.
Things Wedding Guests Do Care About
Guests will be overjoyed to watch the happy couple proclaim their love and witness wedded bliss I mean, it’s the whole point, but the crowd may start to get restless during a long, drawn-out ceremony.
One of the most frequent guest complaints is having to sit through a too-long production, so keep it short and sweet (roughly 30 minutes or less) for a happy clan.
Enjoying a decadent meal with loved ones is a treat for guests, so make sure your food choices are crowd-pleasers. A fantastic meal will keep those good vibes going, but a bad one could bring down the mood. Also, be sure to offer options for vegetarians or those with common allergies, like gluten and nuts.
Weddings and drinks go together like peanut butter and jelly. Make sure to keep the drinks flowing, because there’s nothing that wedding guests hate more than the liquor running dry. Forgoing the fully stocked bar is fine; an edited menu of Champagne, wine, beer, and one or two specialty cocktails will keep guests in high spirits all night long.
Music will be going strong from the first arrivals through the last dance, so make sure your music list is on point, especially once guests start hitting the dance floor. Skip the chicken dance and opt for something fun. Add contemporary tunes that everyone is sure to know and love. Unite the crowd and get people moving.
Skip the outdoor venue during the hottest, most humid days of summer, and choose an indoor spot during the fall and winter months when temps may be chilly. Also, a unique venue is something your guests will care about is the journey to your wedding is a trek for some of your far-flung guests. A seriously cool spot is much more of a draw than, say, Hotel Ballroom #3.
Hopefully, this guide was able to put wedding planning details into perspective. Knowing wedding planning can be so stressful - probably, you can brush aside some of those worries. Sometimes it's easy to forget that your wedding day is... your wedding!
Don't stress about what you think your guests want, do what you and the love of your life want. Remember, your wedding day is, above all else, is about you, your spouse, and the love you share, so take a deep breath and think about what is essential.