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  • Derek Lawrence

What wedding guest really care about.

You don’t need me to tell you that weddings are expensive. Plus they are complicated. Of course, learning about every little detail that needs to be considered, and hearing how your guests will riot if you get something wrong, probably has you close to a panic over which font looks better in your pre-invitation invitation.

As you can imagine, I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and I can tell you that not every decision you make is life or death when it comes to your ceremony and reception. Your guests are there to celebrate you, and the time spent with friends and family is more important than what color your napkins are.

So here’s a list of the top things your guests probably don’t care about, along with a few things that really do matter. When planning your wedding in Portland Oregon.

The Invitations

No one is saying no to your wedding because the invitations weren’t fancy enough. This future recycling item just needs to let your guests know they’ve been invited and convey all the important details. Some couples are even electing to go the full digital route, ditching paper invitations all together. While you may not elect to go to that extreme, you also don’t need to blow your budget on something that can easily be accomplished with a cheaper yet still elegant option through Etsy, Shutterfly, or another online vendor.

The Envelopes

Along those same lines, a lot of couples are electing to hire calligraphers to hand address their envelopes that they mail the invitations in. This is an extravagance that most of your guests won’t even notice. One alternative is to create a hand-lettered sign that you’ll display at your wedding and which you’ll be able to keep afterwards.


There are so many options for your table decorations it will make your head spin. And the truth is the only time people notice them is when they get in the way. Large flower bouquets or elaborate arrangements may seem nice in an empty room, but when you’re trying to have a meal and hold a conversation with the person across the table, they just end up getting in the way. Go with something simple, and you’re guests will thank you.


While we’d never suggest you do away with tablecloths and napkins all together, there’s no need to splurge on them either. Picking out the less expensive, and less pretentious, option will not impair anyone’s enjoyment.


Speaking of tables, when people sit down at your reception, there is one thing that will matter to them, and matter to them a lot. That’s the food. One recent survey indicated that 77% of wedding guests cited food as the most important factor that affected their enjoyment. That doesn’t mean it needs to be fancy, but it needs to be tasty. And it’s also important to take special dietary restrictions into account.

How the food is served

All that being said, how the food is served matters far less. If your meal is delicious, it won’t matter too much whether it’s plated, a buffet, or family style. Also important is having plenty of appetizers and snacks around the reception area to keep people tided over before the official meal begins.

Out of date traditions

There are a lot of wedding traditions that we’ve all grown up with that are falling out of fashion. This includes the throwing of the wedding bouquet and garter belt, which most people won’t even miss if they don’t happen. Other moments that may be unnecessary are the cutting of the wedding cake, and a choreographed first date. I recommend when planning your reception you focus on what’s most meaningful to you, such as your toasts. If your family has certain traditions that mean a lot, by all means embrace them. But don’t feel pressure to do something just because.

Wedding Favors

Unless you’re giving away iPods, wedding favors may be more trouble than they are worth. Don’t burden your guests with mementos they don’t really want. Spending that money on a photo booth instead will allow your guests to create their own memories.

And finally, two more items that really do matter:


There’s an argument to be made that the only thing guests care about as much as food is alcohol. While an open bar might be expensive, forcing your guests to pay for everything is also a bad idea. One happy medium is when you provide wine and beer, while offering a cash bar for cocktails and mixed drinks.


Whether it’s a live band or an experienced DJ, your musical selection will be one of the most memorable aspects of your wedding. Don’t rely on your cousin’s iPod shuffle to keep your guests happy. Check out our preferred vendor, DJ Cutt Entetrainment

If there’s one area we can help, it’s with music. If you’re interested in learning more about our DJ packages, contact us today for a free quote.

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