Weddingfin / Ideas & Tips  / TOP 7 WEDDING GUEST PET PEEVES


Most of us have attended weddings, where we can recall certain details that made the day beautifully memorable, and other aspects that left the guests feeling like an after thought.

In reality the day is all about you and celebrating your love for one another, however it wouldn’t be a wedding without the guests, so here are seven things you should avoid to ensure that your wedding day is memorable for all the right reasons

L O N G   W E D D I N G   C E R E M O N I E S

Longer wedding ceremonies are usually, well, longer, because of long-winded officiants. Unless you are abiding by a particular religious tradition that involves an unavoidably long ceremony, it is best to aim to keep the actual ceremony no more than 20 minutes. That is about how long your guests will stay engaged and interested. And if you have opted for an outdoor wedding, that’s how long they will be sitting in the sunshine. Longer than 20 minutes and chances are they will start feeling hot and bothered, which will leave them a tad annoyed and a little grumpy.

N O T   E N O U G H   S E A T I N G

It is important to make sure that there is enough seating for the ceremony. You might say ‘Our ceremony is only going to be fifteen minutes – it’s not long for people to stand’, however when you consider that some guests arrive half an hour or more before the ceremony, you might run a few minutes behind schedule and it could be a hot summers day, fifteen minutes easily becomes an hour standing in the blazing sun – Not fun!


The time between the ceremony and the reception, while the couple slip away to have their photos taken, can be absolute torture for wedding guests – where do they go, what do they do, is there anything to eat, where is the bubbly?!?

It is important to ensure that your guests have an assortment of eats and refreshing drinks to keep them hydrated and in a cheery mood, as well as some form of entertainment such as lawn games and live musicians, to ensure that the mood remains festive and cheerful.

T H O U G H T L E S S   C A T E R I N G

Weddings are not cheap, and there are always certain areas where you can save if you plan carefully, however, catering is not one of them. Foregoing canapes during the cocktail hour in order so save money, is probably one of the worst mistakes a couple can make.  After a ceremony your guests will most likely be feeling rather peckish, and considering that they will very likely be enjoying a few drinks while they wait for you to return from your photo session, it would be wise to have a few hearty snacks available for them to enjoy. If you have to save on a course, rather have canapes and forego the starters, than the other way around.

And don’t forget about the vegans! Have an option available for those that are not a fan of meat or have food allergies. A vegan option will invariably tick all the right boxes as it is usually not only vegan, but also vegetarian, dairy and gluten free. That little extra planning will be very much appreciated and remembered.

N O   S E A T I N G   PLAN

Nothing is worse than showing up to a wedding reception a bit late and there is no seating plan. Having to walk into a room full of people and awkwardly meander your way around to find some empty seats is not only unpleasant but can be extremely embarrassing. Or perhaps there is a group of ten friends and the tables only have eight seats. Now there is one couple sitting at a table with your rowdy cousins, when you could have easily split up the group so that everyone is sitting at a table with people they know. It only takes a bit of effort to create your seating plan and your guests will really appreciate it. 

L O N G   A N D   B O R I N G   S P E E C H E S

Although it can be immensely entertaining to hear a few funny stories about the newlyweds, it is not fun to have to listen to someone ramble on for 30 minutes about your every mood and mishap since  pre-school to wedding day. Ensure a maximum 5 minute time limit , and enlist someone at your table to be your time keeper to give a discreet signal when they are approaching the five minute mark.

D J   D I S A S T E R S

So you thought you would save a few rands by using your cousin’s boyfriends best friend who happens to be an aspiring DJ, only to have him drink out your bar tab, have faulty equipment and play death metal throughout the entire evening with the base not only rattling the window panes, but also grandads false teeth.

The bottom line and the single most determining factor when selecting a DJ for your big day, should be experience, experience, experience.

Next to the wedding ceremony, your wedding reception is the biggest part of your wedding, and is vital in creating the right mood and ambience for your special day. There is nothing more frustrating than a DJ playing a song that gets everybody up and jiving, only to change gears and play a song in a completely different pace, tempo and genre which completely kills the mood.

A professional DJ has the ability to read the crowd to determine what songs are going over well and to keep the guests successfully entertained.

Now that you have a few tips on what to consider from your guests perspective, it is important to remember that despite all your best efforts and careful planning, you’re never going to be able to please everyone. It’s your special day, so surround yourselves with the people you love, let go, have fun, and enjoy every memorable moment of the celebrations.