More and more couples are opting for their guests to eat first at Wedding Receptions. Why?? Most couples of course are putting themselves in the seats of their guests and their past experiences where they had to wait a long time before eating something. They left the ceremony to go to the reception only to wait about another hour before eating dinner, watching their watch and becoming impatient.
Did you know that most guests feel out of place when they eat before the couple? They feel that they shouldn’t deserve to eat before the bride and groom; after all they don’t know that you’ve already arranged to have a plate set aside, they are concerned that the food will be gone before you and the bridal party arrives – especially for buffet settings.
The problem comes into place or the thought to consider this option is poor timeline planning. There are other ways to cut time out and/or create experiences to fill the gap in between the time of the ceremony ending and the dinner course of the reception. Let’s explore a few…
- If choosing to host your ceremony and reception at two separate locations; make sure that you are able to coincide the timelines together. Never book a venue that you have to wait a couple of hours to have your reception to follow from the end of your ceremony. This is a guest waiting disaster. The only time this is okay is when you’ve done a destination wedding ceremony and you are coming back to celebrate with family and friends with a full reception.
- If you know that you want a lot of photos; take some prior to the actual start of the wedding ceremony. The groom/groomsmen can take shots and the bride/bridesmaids can take shots; still keeping the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other prior to the ceremony. If you’re not concerned with tradition take couple shots prior to the ceremony. I personally feel that this is probably one of the most romantic moments, can you imagine you spending moments with your soon to be bride/groom taking photos – the smiles will be so genuine as you are both thinking “I’m about to marry you” also I’m sure this will rid you of all the butterfly feelings in your gut. By doing this you are cutting down on the time you need to have allotted for photos after the ceremony service itself.
- Serve appetizers and beverages during that hour of wait; if you don’t drink alcoholic beverages have a mock’tail bar (where it’s fun creative non-alcoholic beverages served). This is a perfect time to introduce a “signature cocktail” it could even be named after the couple. By serving appetizers and beverages it allows guests to mix and mingle with other guests, creates a relaxed environment.
- To add to the environment include some entertainment; don’t forgo having a DJ or Band play background music during this time – you will ruin the mood. Incorporate a Photo Booth where guests can have fun, jump in and take a picture; these favor memories will last a life time. Take this time to share with your guest youth and engagement photos on a screen slide show. Incorporate fun activities such as corn hole if it’s an outdoor cocktail. Create a lounge sitting environment if you can adding to a relaxed environment.
By doing one of these 4 things your guests won’t keep looking at their watch and becoming impatient; in fact the time wait will go by so fast. Then you can keep the proper order of dinner course where the bride and groom are served first!!!!
PS: Still not convinced?? Just think if your guests are finished eating; who are they bothering when they are done… YOU; so will you actually even get to eat???