When you're planning the details of your wedding, there's a nearly endless list of ideas, options, and things to consider. Some decisions are easy, others are tough, and the reasoning usually falls into one of two categories: "Do we love this idea?" and "Will our guests like it?". These are great mindsets to have as your wedding day is coming together, but you'd be surprised how many of the things you're adding to your to-do list (and your budget!) for the sake of your guests aren't necessary or wouldn't be missed. We asked some of our favorite wedding planners to share the things your wedding guests really don't care about — as well as the alternatives that they'll really love.
His and Hers Specialty Drinks
"Our couples are often stumped when trying to come up with 'His' and 'Hers' drinks for the bar," says Emily Butler, the D.C.-based half of the planning duo behind Karson Butler Events. "They're cute and catchy, but guests are much more focused on the actual drink than whether you have two and what they're called. Instead, pick one cool cocktail you love and focus on that." She loves when her clients opt for a Moscow Mule bar (copper mugs included!) or a specialty scotch or bourbon bar.
Sure, it looks cute on Pinterest, but "[U]nless you and your friends spend a lot of time playing croquet or bocce, just don't do it," says Wendy Kay, owner and creative director of Birds of a Feather. "That money is better spent on additional appetizers, as your guests would much rather be eating and sipping cocktails than playing horseshoes with your grandpa while wearing a suit!"
The Guest Book
Don't do away with it altogether, but find an alternative that's a little more fun. "Instead of a traditional guest book, capture your guests with a photo booth and tuck duplicates of the photos into an album so you can relive the antics," says Amber Karson, who heads up Karson Butler Events' California office. "You could also add an hour to your photography coverage and request that your photographer capture more candid pictures of your guests as they celebrate with you."
Your China Pattern
While there are plenty of great arguments for setting up a thorough wedding registry, Karson advises considering alternative options, too. "Ask your guests to help support your favorite causes by creating a charitable registry," she says. "We love The Good Beginning and Heartful.ly."
Mad Libs and Quizzes
"They sound fun, but guests rarely fill out mad lib cards or games designed to see how well they know the couple," Kay says. "They tend to feel like a school assignment, when your guests came to have fun with you, eat, and drink. If you really want a personal message from your guests, set up a video booth where they can wish you well, or ask your videographer to get guests on camera to share the love."
Wedding Party Introductions
"Skip the long line of introductions for every member of your wedding party," says Karson. "Get the dinner party started instead! Guests will be sitting through multiple formalities, like toasts and the first dance, so skipping the introductions allows you to move things along and spend more time on the dance floor!"
Your End Time
"We find that clients fret over the end time too much. Your guests won't care if your party ends at 11:00 p.m. or midnight — especially if there's an after party planned!" says Butler. "On the flip side, be mindful of the start time if your wedding ceremony is early in the day. Too long of a break between the ceremony and reception may annoy guests." In that instance, consider starting the reception a little earlier, then plan an after party for those guests who aren't quite ready to go home.
You've heard it before, and Kay, Butler, and Karson all agree on this one: Guests don't care about wedding favors. "Skip anything with your name and the wedding date on it," says Butler. "You'll just end up with a lot of leftover monogrammed shot glasses!" Instead, she and Karson suggest using the funds for something your guests will love, like a food truck or late night snacks passed on the dance floor. Adds Kay, "There are more creative ways to spend your money that will really entertain your guests than miniature potted succulents, jars of jam, or anything with your names on it. Book a photo booth, hire swing dancers to perform during dinner, or secure a typewriter poet to quip cute poems about the guests — it's entertainment and a favor all in one!"