From seating charts and timings, to keeping your guests fed and entertained, here are the things that people care about the most

Photo: Shutterstock

As you start to bring together your big day, you’ll realise it’s not just the where, when and what to wear, as you’ll also be thinking about seating charts, decor, entertainment, canapés and the list goes on…

But to help you figure out what to prioritise, wedding expert Queensmith has collaborated with Zoe Burke, leading wedding expert and editor of, to determine what wedding guests actually care about.

Based on thousands of comments on Reddit, they compiled a list that gives an indication of what a lot of people really think about weddings. From timings to treats, here’s how these wedding guests ranked the most important parts of the day.

1. Have an open bar

Although 2024 is set to see an uptake in sober weddings, it appears that if you are going to serve alcohol, people expect an open bar. If it’s feasible for you to work into your budget consider putting some money behind the bar or giving everyone a couple of drinks tokens.

2. Create a seating chart

Arguably one of the most stressful parts of planning your day is the seating chart. You’re going to need to figure out how all of your guests can be grouped, and it’s unlikely that everyone you know will fit neatly into set table sizes.

Make sure you put thought into how you put the tables together and consider who might have met before or who might have things in common. Ensure that each guest has at least one other person they know well sitting next to them.

3. Offer midnight snacks

It’s not just your wedding breakfast you have to plan for. Your wedding will likely last for several hours after the main meal, so you’ll need to keep your guests (and yourself) topped up with food to fuel an evening of dancing.

Lots of people opt for a late evening buffet and you can choose to serve anything you want, but fast food or something that’s easy to eat without cutlery always goes down well.

4. Make sure you have fun

Although you’re trying your best to keep your guests happy, you need to remember to enjoy the day too! Many guests agree with this, saying that seeing the couple having fun and enjoying the day is a main factor in them enjoying the wedding.

“Over 200 people said how important it is for the couple to have fun, dance and be amongst all the guests, setting the tone for the day. Embrace every moment ahead of the next chapter of your life,” Laura Suttie from Queensmith says.

So make sure you take the time to enjoy all of your hard work and planning!

5. Provide good music

It’s no surprise that people want to hear good music at a wedding, and there are plenty of opportunities. Show your personality and set the tone with a soundtrack that covers walking down the aisle, making your entrance as a married couple. cutting the cake and of course, dancing the night away.

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Make the logistics and transport arrangements clear

If you’ve got a different venue for your ceremony and reception (and it isn’t walking distance), many couples will put on some kind of transport for their guests to get from A to B.

This isn’t a requirement, but you’ll need to let guests know what the plan is so they know whether to bring their car or arrange their own travel.

To help your wedding run smoothly, Zoe Burke advises: “Simple planning choices can alleviate the stress on the day ensuring both you and your guests have the best time. Ask a few questions for your guests to answer in the RSVP such as dietary details, information regarding any accessibility or sensory issues and whether transport will need to be arranged ahead of time, to accommodate all.”

7. Have social spaces

When bringing so many of your friends and family together, make sure there’s space and time for them to mingle and relax throughout the day.

Make the most of the spaces available in the venue to take some time to be alone as a couple and to make memories with your guests.

8. Get pictures with all of your guests

Of course it’s up to you how you want your photographer to spend their time at your wedding. Many people get posed photos with the wedding party, and as a couple, but leave the photographer to capture candid moments throughout the day so the rest of their guests will still be in photos.

However, if you want to have photos with all of your guests, then make sure you build this into the day. A fun way to do this is to have the newlyweds go around all of the tables for a photo during the reception, or to set up a space for the bride and groom to wait while each table is called up.

Laura Suttie comments: “Weddings are a great way to celebrate your love for each other, but also an amazing opportunity to bring all of your loved ones together. Thoughtful attention to the needs and desires of your guests will make them feel special, appreciated and welcome.”

Why not ask your photographer to get a big group shot to make sure everyone is included?

There was room for all the guests on the Dougarie Boathouse steps at this gorgeous wedding. (Photo: Susie Olzen Photography)

9. Keep the party going late

Getting married is cause for celebration, so you may as well party hard. There are quite a lot of things to fit into the day, but once all of that is over, it’s nice to have time to dance, mingle, get a drink or take photos. Factor in some time for this and give people enough time to wrap up the night.

Having a mix of a band, DJ or your own playlist will make sure the tunes and partying continues all the way until the end of the night.

10. Have a timeline to follow

Having a planned out running order of the day will keep everyone relaxed, as you, the venue, your wedding party and guests all know what is happening and when, and where they need to be.

Zoe Burke adds: “Giving guests a clear timeline of the order of events is also essential as it gives an idea of when they need to present, and when they can go off and do their own thing. Whether that’s to explore the venue, mingle with other guests, or pop to their car or accommodation for a moment to themselves, knowing when they need to be back allows them the space to decompress, take a minute, or even just go for a wee knowing they won’t miss an important moment!

“This can be as simple as having a running order printed on each table or place setting, or having the timings visible at the entrance to the venue where they can be clearly viewed as guests head into the event.”

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