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The Top 10 Wedding Guests Who You Don’t Have to Invite


Planning your wedding guest list is no easy fete. With family members you haven’t seen in years to inviting co-workers, it can seem daunting to know where to make the cut.

Whether some people simply slip your mind or your venue space is limited, there are inevitably certain folks who always end up left off your wedding invitation mailing list.

If you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of trimming down the number of people on your list, we have you covered. First thing’s first, you need to think about the long run—people who have been a part of your life individually and as a couple. Secondly, keeping your budget on point is essential; think about it—if a family has over six people in it, inviting just the parents might be the best option. And lastly, think about who you’ll really want to share the day with.

Once you go through that checklist, creating your guest list should be a cinch. If not we've got the go-to list of no-no's when it comes to invitees.

Cross These Questionable Guests Off of Your List:

Children: When your budget is tight and seats are limited, many couples opt to leave kids off the guest list and send out their save the dates and invitations to adults only.

Extended Family: Elderly extended family members might not be able to travel long distances for your ceremony, but this group is more likely to be offended if they don't receive a wedding invitation, so make sure you discuss this with other family members and weigh your decision carefully.

Childhood friends: Even if you used to be BFF’s with certain people in high school, that doesn’t always mean they need to attend your big day. Unless they are still a major part of your life, feel free to leave them off your guest list.

Neighbors: Unless you are close friends with your neighbors, they shouldn’t be expecting an invite.

Coworkers: You should never feel obligated to invite people to your wedding. However, out of all of the recipients who you might feel some sort of pressure to invite, inviting co-workers can be tricky. If you do choose to invite those who you are close with, make sure to be extremely sensitive and discreet in not discussing wedding plans in front of those who weren’t invited.

See Who Else Isn't Making the Cut After the Jump!


Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints

Your wedding is about you and your fiancé getting married and sharing your love and commitment with those around you. However, I personally feel that my guests' enjoyment is paramount to that experience. That's why it's important to me to thank them for their support and ensure that I do everything in my power to make sure they have a fabulous time. With that in mind, here are the most common gripes I've heard throughout the years (and how to pre-empt them).

Photo Credit: Casey Fatchett Photography

1. An inconvenient date.

Think it over before asking guests to forfeit spending Christmas or the Super Bowl with their loved ones to celebrate with you. Hosting during a holiday may disrupt traditions they'd prefer not to miss, and in the case of a sporting event, you may find that guests are MIA because they're sneaking off to catch the score or watch it on a nearby TV.

How to deal: If you're considering wedding at a potentially sticky time of year, check in with your closest loved ones to see if they already have set plans or would be open to attending. Some events may be easier to pull off than others (e.g. I'm getting married on Labor Day). In some cases, like Halloween, there is no other option if you're planning on throwing a full-out themed bash, so just shrug off the complainers! Also, guests may be more inclined to consider attending if they knew about the date for months in advance, so the sooner you send out that save-the-date, the better. It's also a good idea to check your local events calendar to ensure your big day doesn't compete with a parade or other large-scale community event (meet this couple who got an impromptu visit from Mr. Obama).

2. Invitation confusion.

There is nothing more frustrating than when a guest assumes they're receiving a plus-one you had no intention of inviting (we meet again, random bar hookup #22). This can happen even if you address wedding invitations using proper etiquette.

How to deal: Don't dodge the question—it will only make things more awkward. I'd recommend addressing the miscommunication kindly. Please don't tell someone who thought their children could come that you "can't have them there because weddings with kids are tacky" (true story). Avoid confusion by writing the names of the guests you want to invite on the response card and having them check off a "will attend" or "will not attend" box.

3. Seating snafus.

After the victory of compiling (and finalizing) your guest list comes the challenge of seating arrangements. It's part art, part science: Who will combust next to whom or become fast friends?

How to deal: If your guests' elbows touch and they can't easily move in between tables, you've probably crammed too many of them in one spot. Also keep centerpieces at a conversation-friendly height (no one wants to stare into an orchid all night). If you're having a hard time divvying a group of friends or family members equally, try to seat guests within the same vicinity so that they can lean over and "awww" together during the first dance instead of texting across the room.

Table numbers with fun facts about the couple serve as a great conversation-starter.

Photo Credit: Ashfall Mixed Media, Inc.

4. Pulling out the wallet.

How much do guests dislike cash bars? Just watch wedding planner David Tutera's reaction when we asked him about them and see for yourself.

How to deal: All the pros are in agreement that cash bars are a major no-no. You'd never ask a guest to pay for a drink in your own home, so why should the wedding be any different? However, that doesn't mean you have to fork over the cash for an open bar if you can't afford it. Tutera recommends serving a limited selection of wine, beer and champagne or a couple of signature drinks.

5. Climate crisis.

Every frequent wedding-goer has experienced an event that was either scorching or freezing cold. Subjecting guests to extreme weather conditions will severely cramp their style.

How to deal: You can't help it if a weather emergency happens on your wedding day. However, there are small, fun measures you can take to ensure that guests are comfortable, beyond the obvious (plenty of shade and heat). Some ideas I love: double-duty fans that serve as programs for summer weddings and gifting your bridesmaids a shawl or faux fur wrap for winter weddings.

Faux fur shrugs add a seasonal element to your wedding photos and keep guests warm (see how happy they look?).

Photo Credit: Zenobia Studios

6. Inedible food (or lack thereof).

When I was no older than eight or nine, I went to a family party that I'll never forget. But it wasn't the bride's poufy princess dress or the heartfelt recitation of vows that I remember most. It was the McDonald's my cousin Vinny and I were allowed to eat afterwards, gleefully dipping fries into ketchup in the back of the car (because the food at the reception was so terrible).

How to deal: No bride wants to give her guests a stomachache—arrange for a food tasting before you carefully plan your menu. Not even spectacular décor can compensate for rubbery chicken or blink-and-you'll-miss-it shrimp. Ask about food allergies or dietary requirements ahead of time. It's also important to make sure they don't run out of food at the cocktail hour. If you're only having dessert or some light nibbles, that's fine, but please mention it to your guests (especially if you're having the party during mealtime).

7. Never-ending toasts or photo montages.

I wanted to sink into the floor at one wedding I attended where the Best Man's speech was so long-winded that the chorus of "boos" was deafening. Add a couple of glasses of champagne to the mix and you've got a recipe for disaster.

How to deal: Let the toastees know in advance that you don't want them to stress about writing a novel of a speech, so the cheat sheet version will do just fine. Your DJ can signal a musical cue if it's time to wrap things up, just like the Oscars. If you're the one giving the toast, follow these easy speech pointers.

Toasting gaffes are forgivable when you're this cute.


Photo Credit: Darko Sikman Photography

8. DJ, please stop the music.

I've heard complaints about weddings where the thump-thumping of techno music began the second that the couple walked through the door and didn't end until the cake-cutting. (Grandma was afraid to step foot on the dance floor, lest she get clocked in the head by a stray fist pump.) At another wedding, the music was so loud that my mom escaped to the bathroom to rest her pounding head, only to find a group of other guests camped out there for the same reason.

How to deal: During your cocktail hour and dinner, play music that's low enough so that guests can hear each other without having to scream. Pump up the volume when it's appropriate, and don't seat any elderly guests right next to the speakers. Conversely, nothing is more awkward than being at a wedding where no one wants to get up and dance. If a song or genre just isn't working, ask your band or DJ to switch gears. Have fun with it: Once guests see your best "Gangnam Style" impression, they'll want to join in, too.

9. Disorganization to the max.

I once attended a wedding where the cocktail hour became two-and-a-half hours long because the bride and groom wanted more photos in the moonlight. Imagine the look on guests' faces when we finally sat down to our seats and waited another hour and a half before dinner was served.

How to deal: If you're unable to hold the ceremony and reception within two hours of each other (guilty as charged), make other accomodations for your guests. For example, my reception site has a waiting area where drinks and light refreshments will be served for early birds. If your reception/ceremony space is sprawled out, consider using sign posts to direct guests to necessary landmarks, like the dance floor and bathroom.

"Just how long are you going to make us wait?"

Photo Credit: Ashfall Mixed Media, Inc.

10. Ungracious hosts.

"We only saw the bride when she walked down the aisle!" or "It's been a year and I still haven't received a thank-you card!"

How to deal: Sound familiar? You don't have to hold up the wedding by having a receiving line. I love it when brides go from table to table to thank each person. It doesn't have to take long—even just a quick "hi and bye" makes me feel happy and appreciated.

No matter how tempting it is to scrap the thank-you cards (who has the hand stamina for that?) guests will notice if you don't send one. Split the duties with your husband and break it up into manageable chunks so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore. (Note to self: Heed own advice next year at around this time.)


You won&apost have to number each invitation in case someone forgets to fill in the names, scrutinize hard-to-read notes about food preferences, or risk guests adding a plus-one who wasn&apost invited. "You can make the RSVP process foolproof," says Culver, "by having each guest answer all the questions, such as meal choice, correctly. This can save time so you don&apost have to decipher misplaced check marks or illegible handwriting or track down blank RSVP cards."

Choosing an online RSVP program that syncs with the rest of your wedding planning software makes the process of assigning table assignments much faster, too. "Many RSVP sites allow your guest response to be automatically imported to your seating chart software making that one less step for you," says Culver.


Top Wedding Guest Complaints & Ways To Solve Them

An Inconvenient Date

When thinking of how to start planning a wedding, the first thing to do is picking a convenient date. Guests will complain if you inconvenience dates like Halloween, Christmas, Hanukah, birthdays, etc.

How to deal
The best bet to avoid this hassle is to pick event-free days. If you have no choice but to have your wedding on a holiday, consult your guests. This is where prioritization comes in. Check with family and friends who you cannot do without and confirm that they&rsquore okay to attend. Also, send out your date&rsquos way in advance so that minds will be made up for compromise.

Invitation without enough information

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Situations like not specifying who is invited in clear terms, accurate address, or ceremony time could cause confusion. See how to deal with it below.

How to deal
Some couples indicate one family title on an invite and expect the guests to understand. Then these guests want to bring their partners, children, colleagues, or friends along and get turned down. Sometimes, the address and the time for a wedding is vague, causing avoidable confusion. To eliminate this complaint, always name every single person to be covered by a card. If you are inviting four guests from one family, list their names on the card. Also, give them a place to tick off to confirm availability or not. Lastly, include a very precise address and time on the card. You can even throw in a map on the back cover.

A Long Wait Between Ceremony and Reception

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There could be a long wait between ceremony and reception if the couple needs time to freshen up. It could also be logistics or the distance from ceremony to reception.

How to deal
To avoid complaints from guests concerning this issue, try to keep your venues very close to each other. If this isn&rsquot possible, arrange transportation that is available at the shortest notice. In a situation where your venue is in one place but has to be rearranged, cordon off a section where preparation will be ongoing as the ceremony takes place. Also, for the need to freshen up, book a makeup artist for the day or have your maid-of-honor ready. While all this is going on, keep your guests entertained with edible treats and music while they wait.

Unassigned Seats at Dinner

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Having guests roam around or unable to sit with familiar faces may cause complaints. Here&rsquos how to deal with this situation.

How to deal
After compiling your guest list, this is the next tough job. Leaving the guests unassigned places to sit can leave the ice unbroken and cause complaints. More so, they will roam around, making the venue rowdy, which you don&rsquot want. Place families and friends together or within reach of each other if the space is not big enough. This will allow them to communicate and keep themselves company. Avoid placing sworn enemies together unless you want your wedding to end on a bad note.

Too Many Speeches

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Some people love to talk and it bores others to death. Here&rsquos how to deal with endless speeches at your wedding.

How to deal
We know the headache that comes with sitting through lengthy speeches. Many guests wouldn&rsquot have it either. Narrow the speech givers to only the very important people in your lives. This includes parents on both sides, someone from the wedding party, and maybe someone from the audience. Let them know to give only short wedding speeches within a specific time frame.

Cash Bar

Guests will complain if you asked them to pay for food or drinks at your wedding. Here&rsquos how to navigate this tricky part.

How to deal
How awkward will it be to ask guests to pay for their entertainment? That&rsquos an unexpected expense and some of them would have rather stayed home. The point is that you don&rsquot have to do anything that you can&rsquot afford. If your budget cannot cover an open bar, then skip it. A perfect alternative is serving beers, wines, and signature recipes. You don&rsquot have to go bankrupt or act out of character over your wedding.

Not Good Food

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One of the joys of attending a wedding is eating great food according to some. When it&rsquos bad, expect a lot of complaints.

How to deal
A stunning bride, breathtaking décor, or monumental cakes cannot take the place of food at a wedding. Many guests&rsquo look forward to it, so don&rsquot blow it. As you prepare for your wedding, attend food testing with your vendor. Vet every single dish that will be served at your wedding. Also, enquire from guests if they have any dietary preference or food allergy. This will save you from having any kind of food-related accident at the wedding. Inform guests of what you&rsquoll be serving, whether full course meals or dessert if you&rsquoll wed at mealtime.

Climate crisis

You can&rsquot predict the elements, but you can control how it affects your guests. Whether through winter, autumn or summer, here are some measures to help you.

How to deal
Your guests will hate your wedding if they have to contend with sticky skin or parched lips due to the weather. Get creative in a way that will both secure your guests and complement your wedding. For instance, you could create double duty programs in form of hand fans. If it&rsquos a vintage theme wedding, you could offer parasols to the ladies and hats to the men for the sun. Shawls are also beautiful and creative items to protect your guests from the cold.

Never-ending toasts or photomontages

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Couples and guests want to give a lengthy unending toast and take pictures forever. Deal with it this way.

How to deal
Let your toasters know upfront to keep it brief and punchy. Tell them how much time they have beforehand, so that can compress their toasts. Also, insist that they aren&rsquot tipsy or drunk before the toast, especially if they&rsquore an important part of your day. Lastly, inform the DJ to cut lengthy toasts with a song once their time is up. As for the photos, keep a programmed list of photo orders. It has to happen when every other person takes photos so that you can continue with the wedding.

Loud and not good music for dancing

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It will be disheartening if guests are so uncomfortable at your wedding that they refuse to dance. Here&rsquos a smooth way to avoid it.

How to deal
You have a mixed crowd, so curate a playlist that is all-inclusive. Study the environment and play songs that fit the mood, like cocktail hour, couple entrance, boogie time, etc. Don&rsquot sit elderly anywhere around the speakers or close to the DJ. Hire a DJ that can read the room and knows when a genre isn&rsquot working.

Wedding guest complaints are a dime a dozen because everyone wants comfort. However, you mustn&rsquot give credence to every complaint. Prioritize yourself and have all the fun, but include your guests. To ensure their happiness at your wedding, see our list of the top complaints that guests make.


5. We're having an adults-only wedding (no kids). How can we make sure this is clear to our guests?

Address your invitations correctly—to each guest by name, not "and guest"—and guests should understand that the invite is meant for only those mentioned. If you find that some reply with their children's names added, give them a call and explain you're having an adults-only wedding and you hope they can still attend. If there are a lot of kids in your family, you may want to consider hiring or arranging for a babysitter. It's definitely not required, but it's a nice gesture. Just be sure to include this information on the wedding website.


8 Wedding Website Etiquette Rules That You Need to Know

W hat did we ever do without wedding websites? That’s a serious question from your friendly neighborhood wedding planner who knows just how many guests will misplace their invites (hint: a lot). Did folks just spend boatloads on invitation enclosures? (I think yes). Or hope that our parents/spouses/friends knew where the couple was registered? (I think your mom had to tell everyone for you.) In any case, I’m glad we have them now, because there’s a solid chance there will be 5-10% of your guests who need to look up the ceremony location while driving to the ceremony.

But wedding websites are relatively new in the scheme of things. Heck, your grandma doesn’t even have an opinion on how they should be done (cherish that, run with it). So how do you know what’s appropriate to include and what’s not? What is the proper etiquette for your wedding website? Today we’ve partnered up with Squarespace, our go-to provider of modern, fresh, easy-to-customize wedding websites (and all the websites), to answer just that.

1. your website is primarily functional

Here’s the deal: If you, in your heart of hearts, really want to make the world’s most beautiful wedding website, the kind that goes viral and inspires couples everywhere, then go for it (and send us a link so we can ogle). But you don’t have to. Because your wedding website is, first and foremost, functional. It is there to convey information to your guests, and thus it should be easy to read, easy to navigate, and easy to find. So steer clear of any templates that remind you of an old-school Myspace page (remember coding it play music and show a dancing monkey when someone visited?)—we don’t want it to be hard for your guests to figure out. Pro-tip: Squarespace’s wedding templates are already super minimal and easy to navigate, so that’s an easy place to start.

2. It’s 2020 (and beyond), be extra thorough

With all that the last year has brought us, all the changed wedding plans and health concerns… now is not the time to be coy. No matter if you’ve already sent out invites and had to change plans, or are looking forward to planning your 2021/22 wedding, use your website to help keep your guests (or non-guests) informed. Things like downsizing a guest list, changing a venue, or moving your wedding date should all be displayed on your wedding website… and proudly. Don’t make folks wonder if they’ve made the new cut for your new date, let them know that you’ve sent new save the dates, or reached out personally to the 10 people that are now invited. And, as Meg not-so-gently reminded me recently, definitely have a registry because the folks who now won’t be able to celebrate in person will definitely want to send something nice (refer to number six for tips).

3. Talking about yourself can be a good thing

I used to think it was self-serving to include a paragraph about yourself, your partner, and how you met on your wedding website. Isn’t that common knowledge? Then I went to a wedding where I’d only met the groom once in passing, and as all the casual references to his relationship with my friend and their history together went flying right over my head, I suddenly wished I knew more about him. So if you’re inviting anyone who only knows half the couple, or has only met either of you a handful of times, add in a little personal history to help your guests prepare themselves for the wedding. It’s actually very considerate to let them brush up on their knowledge, so no one feels like they’re losing at Couple Trivia when they mingle with other guests.

4. Be informative but don’t dictate

You want your guests to walk away from your wedding website feeling like they have all the information they need to not screw up (e.g., to not be late, at the wrong place, wearing a tuxedo when they should be wearing shorts). But there’s a fine line between “I got this!” and “They want me to do what?!” For example, if you’re having a casual outdoor wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to let your guests know that it’s a casual dress code, and that the ground will be soft. You can even make suggestions for what kind of attire will best survive the elements. But you can’t tell people what to wear. For example:

DO: We’re getting married on a working farm, so the ground will be soft and maybe a little muddy. Formal attire is not required! Feel free to dress in whatever makes you comfortable. For example, a dress shirt and khakis, or a spring skirt and sweater would be lovely. The night does tend to get a bit cold, so you might want to bring something to throw on when the sun goes down!

Don’t: Our wedding colors are blush and mint, so we’re asking all guests to wear something in one of those shades. Also, since our wedding is outside, don’t wear heels or dressy shoes, as they will probably sink in the grass and get muddied up. And we don’t want anyone dressing too formal, so leave your suits at home.

Basically, you want to inform your guests and let them make their own decisions, rather than instructing them on how to be. Because some of your guests have been going to weddings longer than you’ve been alive. Let them live. Plus, everyone needs a little extra joy these days, and if that includes wearing heels or a formal suit to your wedding, they absolutely should.

5 . Avoid the high school cafeteria vibe

It’s tempting to want to highlight the most special people in your lives, but weddings already have a bit of a built-in hierarchy. If you’re having one, wedding parties get treated like VIPs the day of, so you don’t really need a page dedicated to them on your website. At best it will make them feel more special, but at worst, it can make your non-VIP friends (or friends who were hoping they’d make the cut and didn’t) feel excluded. But if you do want to include a special note for your wedding party, take a page out of APWers Tiff and Sam’s book, who wrote:

The wedding party is a group of our close friends who opted to give up their lives for the next few months to help us plan the wedding! If you aren’t pictured below, you (thankfully) probably haven’t fielded harried questions about flower arrangements, suit colors, or website coding questions.

But in reality you’re all part of team Spiffy. We really wouldn’t be the same without you and that is why you’re invited. We hope that each and every one of you knows how important you are in our lives.

6. But a Registry Page is A-OK

Okay, so formal wedding etiquette says that you’re basically never supposed to talk about your registry out loud, and your guests are to find out about it by means of osmosis. But when Meg signed up for her own wedding website, years ago, she also signed up for analytics (data tracking that tells you who’s visited what pages). And you know what she discovered? Pretty much everyone just came for the wedding registry info. (You can get analytics on your Squarespace site super simply with a business account, for only a few extra bucks.) So modern etiquette says that not only is it fine to include your wedding registry on your website, but that people actually prefer it when you do. Helpful tip: Squarespace includes a predesigned registry page with their wedding website templates, so you won’t have to create one from scratch. They’ve even have registry blocks that mean your guests can shop right from your website. That said, if you’re opting for a nontraditional registry (like a cash registry, or you don’t want gifts), keep in mind tip number three above. For example:

After the wedding, we are going to be moving across the country, and we are trying to keep our load light. We have set up an experience registry to allow us to explore our new town however, please know that your presence is all we could ever ask for.

Bonus tip: If you’re worried about pleasing everyone, you can always set up a hybrid registry, which lets you incorporate traditional registry items on the same page as nontraditional items. Squarespace will help you out with donation blocks where folks can send money right to you from your site. Pro tip: If you Google a “Store-Name logo,” go to the ‘images’ tab in Google results, click on ‘tools’ at the top, then ‘colors.’ and select ‘transparent’—that will get you logos for the stores where you’re registered at. Upload those to image blocks on your website, and make them click-through URLs. It will make the registry section on your site look super pro.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have used people’s wedding websites as a means of research. So if you don’t want future employers, or random strangers on the Internet, to know what kind of stemware you’ve asked for or how you met your boo, either password-protect your site (or just certain pages of your site), or make sure Google can’t find it.

8. Don’t leave anyone in the lurch

I was once invited to a wedding with a parade. A short walk from the ceremony to the reception, I was told. Well, that short walk ended up being a thirty-minute hike o’er hill and dale, and I was wearing inappropriate footwear. The moral? If your wedding in any way deviates from the norm (what most of your guests will be expecting), or if only some of your guests even know what the norm is (if you’re hosting a cross-cultural wedding, for example), let people know. Barring bodily injury, the worst thing that can happen to a guest at a wedding is being surprised. Things you might want to mention include: Is the ceremony standing room only? Is there a cash bar, or is it open? Will there be a magic show halfway through the ceremony? IS THERE A THIRTY-MINUTE HIKE? That kind of thing.

What do you like best about wedding websites? What stuff drives you crazy? Have you made an amazing wedding website? (Share it with us!)

P.S. Squarespace IS OFFERING 10% OFF your first Squarespace website TO ALL APW READERS. JUST USE THE CODE APW2020 AT CHECKOUT! CLICK HERE TO START YOUR 14-DAY FREE TRIAL.

This post was sponsored by Squarespace. Squarespace makes beautiful wedding websites happen in a matter of minutes, thanks to their user-friendly software (full of features) and modern, minimal template designs. Click here to start a free 14-day trial and get your custom wedding website URL today. APW readers get 10% off yearly subscriptions when you use the code APW2020 at checkout.

Alyssa Griffith

Alyssa (she/her) is a queer woman who lives in Sacramento, CA with her partner, the cutest seven-year-old, two pups, and two kittens. Alyssa is the Media Sales Manager at APW, which means she connects smart, innovative brands with APW’s audience. Before joining the team at A Practical Wedding, Alyssa worked as a wedding planner throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for nine years. She’s planned and executed weddings for many dozens of couples, been a bridesmaid at least eight times, and even holds a certification in wedding planning. In addition to her on-the-ground experience in the wedding industry, Alyssa also helped Meg research her second book and has contributed her expertise to numerous articles and events at APW. And now she’s engaged and planning her own wedding! When she’s not planning epic events, you can probably find her eating ramen, buying plants, or in the mountains somewhere sipping coffee (or a glass of wine, let’s be honest).


15 Wedding Ideas That Will Absolutely Appeal To Introverts

There’s no way around it: your wedding day is going to be at least a little stressful. But for introverts, the big day can be especially overwhelming, as it combines some of their least favorite things: being the center of attention and engaging in lots of small talk without much ― if any ― alone time.

Eloping is always an option, of course, but for introverts who choose to have a wedding, how can they minimize the stress and maximize the fun?

“Be sure you are planning the wedding that suits you rather than succumbing to other people’s ideas of what a wedding should be,” Sophia Dembling, author of Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After, told HuffPost. “This is good, all-purpose advice, of course, but introverts are often shamed for low-key preferences. Don’t let others decide for you.”

Large social gatherings can be challenging for introverted wedding guests, too. So when planning your celebration, just remember that not everyone you invite is going to be into dancing, playing party games and giving toasts.

“Some people love that kind of thing, some don’t,” Dembling said. “Let your guests enjoy the party however they feel most comfortable.”

Below, we’ve compiled 15 wedding ideas that will make the big day more manageable for introverted brides, grooms and guests alike.

1. Consider a more casual celebration, like a brunch wedding.

A traditional seated dinner can feel a bit formal or stuffy for some. A daytime brunch wedding or a backyard fete, on the other hand, can add a low-key feel to the day that will put you and your guests at ease.

2. Keep the bridal party small.

“Big bridal parties often lead to bigger problems,” wedding planner Tracie Domino of Tracie Domino Events told HuffPost. “From trying to find a dress that will fit everyone to one of your girls complaining that her hair appointment is too early, the less opinions the introverted bride has to deal with, the better.”

Plus, having too many people around you while you’re getting ready the morning of the wedding can mess with your zen and add unnecessary chaos.

3. Create a “call anyone but the bride” phone list.

Create a phone list with all of the important numbers for your guests and vendors. That way, people know who to call for what and won’t need to bother you with pesky last-minute questions. Oh, and because introverts really don’t like talking on the phone.

4. Do a first look before the ceremony.

Waiting until you walk down the aisle to see your bride or groom may seem romantic, but for introverts, it’s a whole lot of pressure. Plan to do a private first look before the ceremony, just the two of you, to relieve some of those wedding day jitters.

5. Try sitting during the ceremony.

We said it before and we’ll say it again: Introverts do not relish being the center of attention. Consider sitting ― not standing ― during your wedding ceremony. If your knees get wobbly and your palms get sweaty just thinking about all of your guests staring at you so intently, sitting down may help you feel more grounded and allow you to really soak in the moment.

6. Skip the speeches.

Standing up to give a big speech in front of lots of people is a nightmare scenario for many people, especially introverts who loathe public speaking. (Note that some introverts actually find public speaking easier than making polite chit-chat with an acquaintance. It depends on the person.)

Instead, ask your bridal party and wedding guests to write a heartfelt message, a piece of advice, well wishes or just a funny story in a guestbook or some other creative alternative, like the “Words of Wisdom” box pictured above. This way they’ll be able to enjoy the day without having the speech looming over their head.

7. Provide some conversation starters to prevent painful small talk.

Small talk is anxiety-inducing for innies, and unfortunately, it’s all but unavoidable at weddings. Providing some fun facts on the reception tables (see the “5 Things Her Side Should Know About Him” cards above) can serve as talking points for introverted guests who are searching for common ground.

8. Come up with icebreaker activities that don’t feel forced.

These Guess Who sets, personalized with your guests’ faces, will help family and friends get to know each other a little better under the guise of a childhood game. It’s fun and less awkward than just asking again and again, “So, how do you know the couple?”

9. Plan some activities that aren’t dancing.

Hitting the dance floor is the best part of weddings for some, and for others, it’s the most dreaded. Set up a table with puzzles and other games that don’t require a whole lot of talking to give non-dancers something to do.

10. Skip the sweetheart table.

It will eliminate the fishbowl effect. Instead, sit at a small table with your closest family and friends. It will make you feel all warm, fuzzy and relaxed to be surrounded by your people.

11. Set up a quiet area away from the dance floor for chilling.

Setting up an area with comfy chairs and couches will give your guests a place to rest their bones tucked away from all the action.

12. Designate a special spot for you and your new spouse to slip away when you need a break.

Before the wedding, choose a quiet hideaway where you two can retreat to when you need a moment to regroup.

“Taking 10- or 15-minute solitude breaks through the big event can help you keep going for hours,” Dembling told HuffPost. “Scope out someplace in your venue where you can flee. Maybe a garden or courtyard, maybe a bathroom, maybe just a remote hallway. One introverted couple in my book, Introverts in Love, ducked into the kitchen from time to time to chill out. The staff was busy and ignored them, and they got a breather from all the fuss. This tip works for wedding guests too.”

13. Ditch the solo first dance.

Who says the first dance has to just be the newlyweds, slow dancing all by themselves? Ask your guests to join in too so you don’t feel so much pressure.

14. Delay your honeymoon.

Consider not jetting off for the honeymoon right away. Having to rush off to the airport will make you feel frazzled. Give yourself time to bask in the post-wedding glow it will help you start your honeymoon off on the right foot, too.

“A day or two of rest first and you’ll embark refreshed and less cranky,” Dembling told HuffPost. “Introverts can get cranky when they’re overextended.”

15. Give used books as wedding favors.

Introverts enjoy reading, and after spending all night socializing, nothing will delight them more than hopping into bed and curling up with a good book.


3. Don't let guests go hungry.

Two words: hors d'oeuvres. Even if you plan on serving a full dinner at your reception, it's a good idea to have a few nibbles for your guests to nosh on while they wait for you and your new spouse to make your grand entrance—lest your guests get bored and cranky. Mini empanadas, soup shooters, vegetable skewers, and even fried macaroni and cheese balls are all great options (go for one-bite appetizers so guests can chat while they snack). Your guests will be refreshed from the ceremony—and grateful for the sustenance.


Top 10 Things to Talk About with a Guest You’ve Never Met

Whether we’re barricaded against the bar between two dudes at our best friend’s wedding or caught on the couch next to a never-before-seen woman at our cousin’s baby shower, we’ve all been there.

We politely chat about where everyone lives and works. Then we’re left to awkwardly stare at the floor before excusing ourselves to get another drink while still holding a half-full beverage.

Whether we’re seated next to a stranger or forced to talk to someone by our mom, we’ve got surefire segues and creative conversation starters to turn a brief and boring Q&A session into a non-cringeworthy convo. And all you have to do is ask a few simple questions.

1. Ask how they know the host, then ask:

Do you have any funny stories about him/her?

2. Ask where they’re from, then ask:

What’s the most touristy thing to do in your hometown?

3. Ask where they work, then ask:

What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?

4. Ask what they’re doing for an upcoming holiday, then ask:

What’s your favorite childhood memory from that holiday?

5. Ask if they’ve been on a trip recently, then ask:

Do you have any recommendations of things to see or do if I ever go?

If the following topics come up in conversation, try these follow-up questions:

6. If you’re talking about popular movies/TV shows, ask:

What was the last show you binge-watched?

7. If you’re talking about kids, ask:

When you were a kid, what were your favorite toys?

8. If you’re talking about their significant other, ask:

What did you do on your first date?

9. If you’re talking about college, ask:

Who’s your college’s most interesting celebrity alum?

10. If you’re talking about current events, ask:

Did you hear about…? (Be sure to brush up on current events before going to the party, obvs, and avoid the taboo triplets: sex, religion and politics.)

Know someone newly engaged? Encourage them to share a nearly-wed photo for a chance to win custom digital wedding invitations and a $1,000 Visa Gift Card in our Near the Knot Photo Contest!


Donuts

Last, but certainly not least, are donuts. Yes, donuts may seem more like an appetizer than a top-tier choice for wedding favors but there are ways to change that. If you package each of the donuts in a paper sleeve or customized cardboard box, it instantly transforms into a take-home treat that they can enjoy the next day. It can be a cute and memorable way to give your guests a token of appreciation.

Whether you opt for an edible option like donuts or something interactive like sparklers, picking the right favors is important. There are so many great options out there, and it can be hard to nail it down to a single choice. Hopefully, this list of 10 wedding favors that your guests will love will help you make the right choice for your upcoming event.


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