Top 10 Guest Complaints at Your Wedding

A newlywed couple stand at the altar before their guests

While it’s true you can’t please everybody, when it comes to friends and new family, you want to try. The hardest part about making sure all your wedding guests enjoy themselves is that they all have different expectations and needs for the event. Your Grandma Mildred may be freezing at 70 degrees, while your Uncle Fred is sweating through his suit. Your mother-in-law loves the long and thoughtful ceremony, while your other guests get restless. It can be tough to navigate the traditional wedding pitfalls no matter what you do. The best way to plan a fun wedding for your guests is to understand what guests most unanimously dislike.

Here is the list of the top ten guest complaints to consider so that you can have a fun and memorable wedding for you and your guests!

1. The Ceremony is too Long!

Try not to have an overindulgent wedding ceremony. Although your guests love you, most people start to get anxious after thirty minutes. If the ceremony lasts over an hour, you’ll really see some of your guests squirming. This is a big factor if the setting is uncomfortable or if your guests aren’t seated. Be merciful and understand that not everyone can sit or stand for long periods of time. After an hour, a lot of guests will lose interest. Children may have trouble sitting still. Don’t have a ceremony that is too long that causes your guests to be uncomfortable or bored.

The bride and groom say their wedding vows in front of their guests

2. The Temperature is Uncomfortable

None of your guests want to be uncomfortable with the temperature in the venue. It interferes with their ability to “ooh” and “ahh” at true love. It’s just as bad to be too hot and sweating in your wedding clothes as it is to be too cold and wish your clothes had a fur lining. Remember, no one wants to cry tears of joy if their tears are going to freeze to their face. Be aware that your elderly guests and children in attendance are sensitive to the temperature being too hot or too cold.

3. Long Waiting Times

It’s hard to stick to a schedule. Your photographer just told you about this really cool photo op that you and your spouse just have to check out. Meanwhile your guests are slowly getting bored at your cocktail hour, which has turned into a three-hour affair. Guests don’t like it. It makes them feel like their time is being wasted, and they are not being entertained.

4. Long Drive to Reception

It’s kind of frustrating when the venues for the ceremony and reception aren’t close together. Depending on people’s schedules and driving situations, a long drive to the reception can be a real pain in the neck. Ceremonies are wonderful expressions of love, but they have another mystical power—making people hungry! If there is a long distance in between the ceremony and reception, your guests are going to get a bit cranky.

A single car drives on the road under the trees

5. Waiting for Food

Speaking of being hangry, put yourself in a guest’s shoes. You’ve just driven an unnecessarily long way to the reception venue, but there’s no food ready there. You’re then told you have to wait a few hours for the bride and groom to arrive before any food enters your mouth. Are your guests going to be happy? Your guests love you, but don’t push them too far.

6. Cash Bar

The cash bar can forever haunt the minds and hearts of innocent wedding guests. Having a cash bar isn’t great. Try not to have one if you can. It’s the biggest way to show your guests you don’t want to provide them with all the comforts. These are guests who have just spent a lot of money on gifts for you and taken the time out to join in your special day. A cash bar makes guests feel a bit underappreciated.

7. The Food is Not Good

You’ve waited for what feels like forever. You see plates exiting the kitchens, and you are ready to eat some good chicken or nicely steamed veggies. But instead, the food doesn’t taste all that great. Nothing is more disappointing to a guest than bland, cold, tasteless wedding food. Wedding ceremonies make people hungry. By the time your guests get to the reception, they want their taste buds to be satisfied in a big way.

8. The DJ is Bad

Be careful not to hire a bad DJ. Some DJs can cause more damage than just bad music selections. I’ve heard some awful DJ stories about DJs overstepping boundaries and saying inappropriate things. There are also some DJs who are rude to guests, or they’ll offer requests but never play anything requested. Think of your DJ as the center of the party. If the center of your party is terrible, your party will suffer, and so will your guests.

A wedding DJ plays music for an after party

9. Only One Thing to Eat

This complaint I think is a bit more current. With all the food allergies and diet restrictions out there, you can’t assume everyone wants to eat a chicken dish. If that’s all you offer, guests who can’t eat chicken or prefer a meat-free option can feel a bit disappointed.

10. Claustrophobic Venues

It’s hard to get funky on the dance floor if there’s no room or if there is no dedicated dance floor area. If you try to squeeze your guests into too small a space, you’re going to have some unhappy people. First of all, a room that’s packed with guests is bound to get overheated. Secondly, a small space will likely keep everyone at their tables for the evening, which can create a boring environment.

Now that you know what the top guest complaints are, you can try to avoid them. Try to stay on schedule to avoid long wait times and never let guests go without food. Get good vendors including a well-rated DJ and an open bar. Pick the right venues and times. Create a good atmosphere and your guests are sure to have no complaints.

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