14 Ways To Make Your Wedding Guests Happy

Wanna make your guests feel like they just attended the wedding of the year? Here are 14 things guests secretly want from a wedding.

Wedding guests partying with champagne and confetti

Tara McMullen Photography | Jesi Haack Design

1. A Short & Sweet Ceremony

Yes, guests love seeing a couple exchange vows…but let's be real: They're really there for the reception. Keep the ceremony short and sweet, and they'll bounce right out of their seats, ready to get the party started.

2. An Event That Flows

Have you ever been to a reception that dragged on and on? Where people got hungry waiting too long for the food to be served? Where everyone was already tired of sitting, but the toasts hadn't even started yet? If you want to avoid grumpy guests, work with your wedding vendors to ensure a seamless timeline and flow of events from ceremony, to cocktail hour, to reception.

3. Direction

Speaking of flow, guests secretly want to be told what to do. No one enjoys standing around like a deer in headlights wondering where they're supposed to go next. Whether it's wooden signs pointing to the ceremony location, or a seating chart that shows guests where they can hang their jackets, they'll appreciate knowing where they're supposed to be—and when. Just be nice and try to seat everyone next to people they actually like.

Pop on Over balloons as wedding escort cards

Tara McMullen Photography | Jesi Haack Design

4. Good Food

And lots of it! Bonus points if you offer late-night snacks or a dessert table, obviously.

5. The Right Music Mix

For the most part, grandmas aren't fans of gangsta rap. You'll want to stock your playlist with timeless beats that get everyone dancing—young and old alike. The music is what will ultimately create that party atmosphere, so pick tunes that span the generations and appeal to every taste.

6. Comfort

Comfort applies to many aspects of a wedding: the temperature of the venue (indoors and out), the amount of personal space guests have, and opportunities for them to relax during the festivities. Your invitation or wedding website should indicate what dress code will best suit the occasion. Ceremony on a hot beach? Advise shades, sunscreen and sandals, and pick a reception venue that's air-conditioned. Winter wedding? Offer guests a cozy reception room and hot cocoa bar. Be sure your venue (and its restrooms) is wheelchair accessible if necessary. Just remember, comfortable guests are happy guests.

7. Options

Your friends love to drink and dance. Your grandparents would rather treat your wedding like a family reunion and catch up with relatives. The kiddos want to play outside. Keep your diverse groups of guests in mind when planning your reception. Seat your college friends by the bar. Create a quiet lounge area on the opposite side of the room for elderly family members. Make sure there's entertainment for the kids. Win-win-win.

8. An Open Bar

Weddings are about love...and cocktails. And no, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to host a full open bar for the entire night. Guests will absolutely appreciate hosted beer and wine. Because, free booze.

Pink wedding champagne poured from the bottle

A Savvy Event | Weddings by Scott and Dana

9. An Alternative To Dancing

Some people can't dance. And they really don't want to look like fools trying. So offer an alternative form of entertainment such as a photo booth, some lawn games, a pool table, etc. Your dance-averse friends will thank you.

10. Childcare

If you choose to include children on the guest list, all the parents will be delighted if there's a designated kid's room, an area with crafts, or some other form of entertainment for the little ones. Hire a reputable wedding childcare company, or a beloved nanny and some of her friends to chaperone, and the parents can enjoy a date night courtesy of your wedding.

11. A Few Good Speeches

Try to stick to two or three speeches by people you've chosen. It's nice to want to open up the floor to anyone who'd like to express their well wishes, but you'll soon regret that decision if your drunk and long-winded yet well-meaning uncle gets a hold of that microphone.

12. Useful Wedding Favors

When in doubt, go the edible route.

Kalm Kitchen | Marianne Taylor Photography

13. A Visit (and Photo Op!) with YOU, The Newlyweds

Because let's face it—beyond the free food and drinks, everyone is actually attending your wedding to support YOU. So greet your guests and snap some photos. Make them feel appreciated and show them you're glad they came.

14. A Designated Driver

You don't want your guests to drink and drive, so offer some type of post-wedding transportation. You can rent a shuttle to take guests back to their hotel rooms, pre-purchase some ride credits for them with a service like Lyft Events, or simply set up some strategic carpools. That way, everyone will get home safe—and happy!—at the end of the night.

Anything else you decide upon, whether it's glittering table linens or incredible lighting, will just be icing on the {wedding} cake.

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