what do you remember most about weddings(72 Posts)
My friend is planning her wedding and due to inviting a large number of guests is planning a hot buffet rather than a sit down meal. She is worried guests will comment that it is not classy enough.
I have assured her that guests care about food, drink and how beautiful the bride looks.
Tell her to go for it. We had a carvery and everyone loved it. People remember the food and whetherntheymcould relax and have a good time! If the guests go home feeling full and happy they will remember it as a good wedding.
Things that I am likely to remember in a less-than-fond manner:
Limited booze, and then the booze you buy being very expensive (I don't mind paying, I do mind it being £5 a drink)
Inconvenient location - especially if church and reception are far away from each other and far away from anywhere to stay.
Over-enthusiastic ceilidh leader people physically trying to drag me onto the dance floor.
Standing around a lot, especially if outside and cold and no idea when we will be let inside again.
whether they could relax! Eating breakfast and typing doesn't agree with me!
Every sit down wedding meal I have had has been so so at best.
Buffets however are usually good.
I would say most people would prefer the choice of a good hot buffet than a more formal sit down meal.
As long as there is good food, and booze, then no one should complain. Doesn't matter how its served, as long as there s hearty food to soak up the booze, then all's well
Assure her that the only reason people may comment is if they are kept waiting for it for 3 chuffin hours with no other form of food and crammed in a tiny room just so the bride and groom can spend the aformentioned 3 hours having 'arty' photo taken.........(can you tell I still have a bad memory of this too many years later coping with a toddler on my own who I fed a complete emergency snack pack to and then wasn't too bothered about the food that I kept holding off from giving her because 'Oh we're nearly finished.......', never mind I had to miss my food because she was as grumpy as hell so by 9.30pm I'd only had a sausage sarnie all day........ and breathe!!!!!!!)
The amount of booze available and the price of booze at the bar.
I remember the dresses (sigh) but i love clothes & fashion...
Also if it was a good party; & if the vows made me feel tearful (sad i know).
The negative stuff is:
if there are boring waits without food / drink (eg. photos being taken should be accompanied by mini (non messy) canapes & drinks.
& if the actual wedding ceremony is too long (eg. a long Church service).
& if other people attending are unfriendly / snobby.
Buffets are good.
Buffets are good - especially if it's organized so there's more than one place to queue!
Things I remember in a bad way:
- Buffet when 100 people have to queue one by one, so by the time you get there it's cold and there's nothing much left.
- Not enough veggie options (because obviously people will take the veggie option just because they fancy it sometimes, so you have to over-cater)
- Bride and groom asking/hinting for money
- Venues that are freezing/boiling/in some other way utterly uncomfortable
Basically, if it is obvious the bride/groom don't give a shit about their guests, it shows, and it is annoying. The fact your mate is giving some thought to what people will like suggests she is not in this category! Buffets are great for getting people up and mingling or moving about, and very friendly, so I think people will like it.
Buffets win with me every time! This way, the veggies are happy, fussy eaters like me are happy (i can cherry pick things i like, and bypass the other stuff)...if you are hungry you can fill up (unlike the sparse offerings most sit down caterers offer). Plus, people get food at the same time ish....ive had to politely leave my meal to go cold whilst one table member waited an age to be noiced and served.
Every sit down wedding meal I have had has been so so at best
Yes, same here. We've been to weddings where the food has ranged from fancy schmancy to a traditional roast dinner, and they've always been OK, never anything amazing. I think I'd prefer a good hot buffet
We had a hog roast and a very relaxed wedding, but every one had a good time
As long as the food is good, the company is fun, and the booze is freely flowing
and not ridiculously expensive I have a good time, I don't really care how the food is served
Having done 150 as sit down I'd go for buffet defo! Luke warm food, long waits, dodgy silver service. Buffet also different and means guests can pls tgemselves. Go For it!!!
Do not let the best man ramble on for 45 mins when doing his speech, the only reason he stopped was because people walked out. (Most memorable worst thing, not my wedding)
Good food and plenty of it, most guest won't have eaten since breakfast do by mid afternoon are starving, (same wedding as above, hardly any food, speeches that went on forever in the middle of the meal and evening buffet crap and not enough to feed a mouse)
Buffets are much better than sit down meals in my view as long as the queue is controlled. Sit down meals take up far too much time which could be spent dancing, mingling and generally having fun
I always think that everyone who is invited should be there to celebrate with the bride and groom rather than get all 'Four Weddings' and judgemental about it. I always remember the dress - every bride looks gorgeous even if the dress isn't to my personal taste. The other thing is the entertainment - from cheesy disco to a 7 piece band with rat pack tribute, I love having a good boogie and a giggle! x
Second the comment about there being enough veggie food. Unless you can somehow ban meat eaters from touching it then you have to over-cater for them. I've gone hungry as everyone has snaffled the veggie bits as they 'fancied it'.
Cosy venue. Not in the middle of nowhere so people have the faff of dealing with taxi's.
Tbh as long as the food is plentiful and tasty I don't care how it's served.
I got married three years ago and when commenting in my wedding people mention three things: the food was nice, there was lots of free wine, and I had a massive grin on my chops for the entire event.
The only weddings where I remember the food was one where there was a hog roast, and the groom put on an apron and carved himself until his mum took it off him.
And my bil who fitted so many people round the table that you couldn't really use knife and fork without elbowing the person next to you, and the caterers served with a splat-including pavlova which looked like it had been not very carefully stirred. Actually it's more the looks on everyone else's face as they observed said pavlova I remember. I suspect that is what most people remember of that wedding.
with a hot buffet the only concern for guests is if there's enough food, and if they don't have to queue for too long and then if they can get a seat to sit and eat in a relaxed way.
The only food I can specifically remember from a wedding is rolls and square sausage in the evening at a wedding (a few hours after the main meal and well into a ceilidh). The rolls were very welcome and it was a brilliant addition to the evening.
I've been to a few, I can't remember much about them at all.
Is it just me? Am I horrible? I just think weddings are far more memorable to the bride and groom than the guests.
I mean, I'm sure I had fun on the day, but it's just faded now to oh yes, I went to X's wedding...
god, I do sound awful
My wedding is not going to be a typical wedding. It's basically going to be one massive piss up with a huge hog roast and a dozen cider kegs. There will be no too table, and no seating plans. There will be a marquee with lots of little round tables were people can just sit and eat with whom they want, when they want.
This is how all the best weddings I have been to have been done.
Nothing really unless something stands out for being crappy.
Like being starving and waiting around for the buffett
Cold reception rooms
Waiting around in general.
I'm happy as long as I'm warm, fed and have somewhere to sit down if waiting for stuff.
Hanging around for hours while photos are being taken
and trying to remain reasonably sober until I've had something to eat.
People trying to drag me onto the dance floor even though I absolutely hate dancing.
Other than that I agree with Hecate really. Most of my wedding memories tend to morph into each other. I really couldn't tell you a few weeks later what I had to eat or what the bride's dress was like or whether the napkins matched the bridesmaids' dresses.
Oh the photos yes!
An enduring memory of every wedding I've been to is either being organised by the photographer for formal shots or dodging the cameras for the documentary style shots.
Waiting ages for food is awful. Being hungry at a wedding is the main thing that ruins it for me. If the music is crap as well, that's bad. And not enough seating during the reception is a poor effort.
I don't mind how much drinks cost, it's my choice how much I drink
and guests can always sneak a bottle in and almost every wedding I've ever been to has required a taxi, unless you get married and have the reception in the town centre and not many people do that.
I'm surprised by the number of people that say weddings aren't memorable, I've been to dozens and could tell you what I did and didn't like about all of them.
We got married late last year and had canapés and mulled wine/cider at the end of the church service - it was about 12.45pm by that time, so by the time we sat to eat, about 3pm, people weren't chewing the legs off the tables. It seemed to go really well, I have lots of memories of being hungry at weddings.
I guess just the samey 'formulaicness' of them all... I'm not a foodie so I'm usually positive about the food. Worst things for me are having to sit through generally yawn-inducing speeches and the fact that very few venues have a separate area for the dancing, so if you don't want to dance, you can't easily chat either because of the noise. Really hate that. Also, all the crapola surrounding what you can and can't wear when in reality, I've pretty much seen the whole range of dos and don'ts at every single wedding i've been to and nobody cares.
I'd say out of all the weddings I've been to (a lot), none of them was particularly memorable but the few that were had very good venues where you weren't forced to sit in one place for a long time and there were separate areas for dancing, chatting, drinking etc. Nowt worse imo that everyone being jammed into one big sweaty hall with a gang on the floor dancing and everyone else sat at tables vacantly looking at the gang dancing because they can't hear each other think.
Weddings where you get one glass of fizz then the people doing the speeches make you stand for about 75 separate toasts to everyone; grandma, neighbour's dog, eyebrow plucker etc.
Yy to being made to stand around outside for an age, esp for those with young and hungry DC
I've only been to one wedding with a buffet and whilst the food was nice, there wasn't enough spaces to sit so we ended up taking it in turns. The chair we did have was also along the back wall so not even at a table (only a few tables). So I'd say it's fine as long as the guests have somewhere to eat their food.
The one thing I was very glad we did was to have the speeches before the food. The main reason was to ensure that the people doing the speeches could enjoy their food and not be sat there nervous and not drinking. They were over and done with quickly and everyone could then get on with relaxing and having fun.
I've only been to one where there was a buffet and it wasn't good, people were either stood in a queue or trying to get back to their table through the queue with a plate of hot food. People at the front were worried about taking too much so had tiny portions then were hungry and the people at the end had lukewarm food.
Things that I remember fondly-
The romance,the vows,the whole lurve thing!
A decent well stocked bar with not extortionate prices,enough wine on table.
Short amusing speeches or ones where the dh gets a bit choked up (cant really plan that though unless fantastically bridezillaish).
Table placements,don't just mix it up for the sake of it.
Not my bag-
Lots of waiting around
Not enough food/drink
Adding a gift list with invite,very rude IMO.
Not recieving a thank you for the gift/money/vouchers.
I don't do buffet as a rule,all my friends know this. I would prefer it to a grim set meal though.
I love weddings,I do sometimes think I should have been a wedding planner. I did use a bridal forum & loved the fact the brides could obsess over every detail without having to bore their friends
I remember my cousin had a buffet at his wedding and everyone had to join a long queue and then take a plate and point to what they wanted. It was like being in a self service restaurant during a busy lunch time tbh. I think buffets work best if the food is laid out on a few tables and people can just go up and help themselves.
[Nowt worse imo that everyone being jammed into one big sweaty hall with a gang on the floor dancing and everyone else sat at tables vacantly looking at the gang dancing because they can't hear each other think. ]
I totally agree Hello. This is the worst part of weddings really. I often end up going out to the loo just to get away for a while.
We had a hog roast was very tum
Definitely get your caterers to do much more veggie food than you think you need. Meat eaters can always eat veggie stuff, no big deal. Veggies on the other hand are often left with nothing to eat at all as the meat eaters have eaten all the veggie stuff.
I remember having only lettuce and potatoes to eat at a wedding at the meat eaters had snaffled all the veggie stuff before our table was served!
What I specifically remember about weddings that could have been problematical (I enjoyed them all though)!
Good grub - lots of it, hot (whether buffet or sit down) served at a reasonable hour (at the last wedding I was at, there was a drinks reception with canapes - I got 1 and was very disappointed as I love my grub! We 'liberated' a few packs of Bourbon creams and Nice biscuits from a cupboard in one of the reception rooms, otherwise we would have been hammered. Food later was lovely though)
Places to sit before the meal - remember lots of people are in high heels and are uncomfortable if they've to stand for too long. A mate of mine was at a wedding where the bride purchased about 80 pairs of flip flops (reduced to 1 in Primark) and put them in a big box in the loos. Men were sending their partners in to snaffle them a pair by the end of the night.
Short, funny, audible and UNDERSTANDABLE speeches - best/worst one ever was my boss, who is Scottish and long winded at best, attempting to read a speech in Irish (written out phonetically for him) which neither the Scottish nor the Irish guests could make out a word of.
Music loud enough to dance to - but not too loud to be able to sit and talk in the room. Otherwise people who want to socialise will disappear out to the bar.
If the venue is miles from anywhere, hire a taxi/minibus to do a few runs near the end of the night, and maybe get cards for a few local taxi services and leave them in a bowl near the door so that anyone who wants to go earlier can get a taxi easily.
I always remember dresses - but never negatively! I think if someone has been nice enough to ask you to share their big day, you are obliged to find the dresses lovely! (either all my friends have brilliant taste or I'm easily pleased, anyway I've never seen an ugly dress)
Decent buffet with plenty of choices and short queues.
Not too much hanging around for photos etc
Short journeys between venues
Relaxing atmosphere and able to get away from loud music / dancing in the evening
Hog roast with no alternatives unless you had declared yourself vegetarian in advance (I'm not but I hate hog roast)
Silver service with luke warm food
Speeches that try and be "unusual" and involve audience participation or just go on for hours
Loud discos/ceilidhs that you can't get away from, even worse people dragging you onto the dance floor
Punch up between the bride's father and best man in the middle of the speeches
It really doesn't matter how the food is served, as long as everyone ends up with a full belly.
I agree with the others - being fed well is very important. Weddings which I've thought "that was AWESOME" have had good food, and plenty of it.
Bad stuff - very long boring speeches, or very awkward speeches (e.g. FOB starting with "I was very much against this marriage from the beginning" and finishing with "I suppose this is what I deserve for marrying against my parents wishes"), VERY awkward moments (though this one was also hugely amusing - very drunk photographer, whom I'm assuming was a family friend, singing a song about how he's always been in love with the bride, and now she's a woman, he's sad to see her go) and venues in the middle of fecking nowhere, with no information provided on how to get there, and a tiny sign with the name of the venue which you drive past three times (not entirely the G&B's fault, but no map, and having their wedding venue in a tiny village in the provencal countryside was a bit of an arse).
Bride and groom being relaxed and enjoying having all their family and friends there, so catering and rinks all provided within their means so no stress.
So as long as what they decide to provide is enough for everyone then whatever it is is fine!
As a compromise, she could do what I did and have a hog roast but do it as a sit down meal. So basically we had a bonfire night theme and
- no starter- served "chunky canapes" as soon as people arrived for the drinks reception- things like mini hotdogs and burgers, quiches etc
- sat down for the meal but kept it to 2 courses. Wine in bottles on the table- caterers just replenished the bottles. Hog roast and dauphinoise potatoes were plated up and served, and big bowls of green and roasted veg were put on each table so people could help themselves. When I sent the invites out I told everyone that choice was hog roast or veggie so any meat eaters who preferred the veggie ticked that on the reply card.
- Sticky toffee pudding for dessert
- Champagne and speeches, and then everyone got up and got their coffee buffet style and watched the fireworks outside
Basically it meant that the caterers weren't overstretched (because hog roast man was doing a big part of it and the starters were way before the mains) so the food was lovely, and everyone was eating their meal at the same time, plus still got the visual impact of the hog turning on the spit
I actually did a straw poll pre-planning and the big negatives people remembered were
- too much standing around sans food and booze waiting for photos
- not enough food
- not enough booze
Things I really dont think people give that much of a shit about are things that are purely visual and dont really benefit them like
- wedding cars
- favours (we did the traditional 5 gold sugar almond thing- cost pennies- buy bulk on internet and bag them yourself)
Things I remember for the wrong reasons:
Couples who hold their weddings abroad (because it is cheaper for them), without considering just how expensive it is for their guests, what with flights, car hire and hotel. A really OTT expensive wedding list on top of this just about kills my friendship with the couple concerned.
Really formal by the book tedious stuff - a huge great receiving line which takes hours, set in stone seating plans, set sit down meals (it's always something I loathe, so I have to push it round like some kind of neurotic model), loooong boring speeches full of 'in jokes' that no one but the best man and the groom understand
Hours standing round outside in below freezing temperatures whilst the photos are being taken
Miles between the wedding venue and the reception venue without transport laid on. Not everyone has a car.
A dress code. Wtf is that about????
Asking for money - hate hate hate that.
Things I remember for the right reasons:
Laid back casual weddings with no stupid rules, regulations, or possible ways of causing offence
Buffets, hog roasts, BBQs, open seating, and fun! The best weddings are always the least conventional.
Couples who are obviously made for each other. I have been to too many weddings where the happy couple seem to be on the verge of killing one another. It's awkward.... and betting on the date of the divorce is considered bad form.
I am getting a bit fed up of this fashion for bride and groom to pick some remote location, to which neither of them have any connection, simply because it will look picturesque in the photos.
It probably will but it also entails guests having to take extra time off work, spend a fortune on petrol and often a two night stay in the only -expensive- nearby hotel plus pay overnight babysitters. Sometimes it costs more than a holiday in the sun just to go to someone's wedding. B&G are then miffed when people send polite regrets.
Oh, my god yes.
Or some location you can only drive to, then being surprised when all the guests choose to head off around 11 instead of shelling out for rooms in the poncey hotel that's the only building for miles.
I agree about favours, such a waste of effort and money. No one remembers a wedding because of its favours.
Sit down buffet/carvary (sp?) weddings have been my favourite by far. Although make sure there is enough of everything and that the queues flow quickly. There was one large carvary wedding I went to where the first table were finished well before the last table had gone up to get their food. Their complaint was that they had to wait ages for pudding (which was brought to the tables). On the plus side, there was loads of hot food and the last table didn't end up with just the dregs.
Totally agree with other posters about sit down dinners being so-so. I admit, if the wedding is in a posh 'looking' venue, I'd like the the food to reflect the price that its obviously costing the bride and groom.
Waiting around for photos or if the wedding ceremony and reception are in the same venue, having to wait ages whilst the rooms are changed from one purpose to another is annoying, especially if its cold. If there's going to be a wait then some sort of entertainment would be good - giant games such as jenga, pick up sticks, connect 4?
Cheap flip flops for the end of the night sounds like a genius idea. Also like the idea of a few chairs and tables outside with cheap fleecy blankets for the smokers/energetic dancers trying to get a bit of air before heading back on to the dance floor.
I remember the wedding where we waited for hours in a long queue for food (bride and groom have a massive, lovely and very sociable family/circle of friends!) and then there was hardly anything left because there was no-one serving the food /supervising portion control. Complete disaster for us as had two small dsss with us .
Drinks and nibbles when photos are being done is good.
Also, if you have a help-yourself type buffet, please put aside plate of food for anyone with allergies/food issues. DH is gluten free and it's not enough to mark food with 'gluten free' as things tend to get contaminated as people help themselves.
Another thing to remember is be very clear on the invite whether it includes children or not (sometimes not children due to numbers, not 'child-free wedding'). I always check, but some friends of ours turned up to a reception (they'd been to the ceremony) with their three kids only to find two places at the table. They were so mortified that they just went home.
Remote weddings can be lovely if done well though.
I went to an amazing wedding in a remote Welsh manor house. Guests were invited to arrive Friday night, the wedding took place all day on Saturday, and people stayed Saturday night as well, leaving on Sunday.
I can't remember if we had to pay for the accommodation, but if we did it must have been very reasonable as I don't remember it being an issue.
Pretty much everything else was laid on (except late night drinks) and the whole event was just lovely.
The venue was stunning, inside and out. The speeches were heartfelt.
Four details which made the wedding easy to enjoy, were that children were very much welcome - there was a kids room for them, which they could escape to at any point if they got bored. Also the bar stayed open late for those who chose to stay up! And - importantly - breakfast was available from some early time till 10am for those who aren't very good at early mornings (can you guess which one I am?! ) Very importantly, the staff were very competent and laid back, so while the venue was fabulous, it wasn't not at all stuffy.
I think the all-weekend wedding probably worked well as so many of the guests already knew each other (but some hadn't seen each other in years so great to catch up) and the ones who didn't were a very friendly bunch of people anyway. If it had been a random assortment of work mates it might not have worked so well I guess.
Polyethyl Most of them get left on the table. At least if they cost 5p you dont really care, plus I am a freakoid who loves sugar almonds so I didnt mind scoffing all the leftovers.
Yes I'd agree with the point about remote locations. I'd rather be in an easily accessible place than travel 5 hours to the middle of nowhere, then have to travel again to the reception venue, then travel again to get to accommodation.
I think a buffet is fine. The only one I didn't enjoy was where there wasn't enough food for all the guests so those at the end of the queue didn't get any. But that was an evening buffet after a sit down meal at lunchtime.
Tableware and favours - yes completely unnecessary. Colouring or a few toys in a corner for dc, good.
The only other one I didn't enjoy was where we were sat with an awful couple who kept arguing. I tried to make conversation with them (as you do) and the dw thought I was chatting up her dh and got really nasty with me. I think seating plans need careful thought is my point there. If you have an awful bil/sil - sit them with family who know what to expect and don't inflict them on friends.
Food. And if they' make you pay for drinks.
I remember the dress and the food! I love hot buffets! I do hate wwaiting too long though!
I dont mind paying for drinks if the wedding is low key- ie. it's in proportion to the rest of the wedding. What I object to is where they've spent £5k on the dress and I'm buying my own drinks
Bad bits of recent weddings...
Too little food.
Appalling evening buffet.
No pudding/sweet option on the buffet.
No drinks at all, not even to toast.
Freezing cold room.
Too much waiting about.
Cash requests, especially when presented as a poem.
Reception miles from the ceremony.
Great food, not posh but hot decent tasty food.
Wine with the meal.
No waiting about for food.
Great evening buffet with plenty for everyone.
Cheap drinks at the bar.
A lot of it LRDthefeministdragon is part of the 'bridezilla' culture that's sprung up in recent years.
'Its our special day so it all revolves around us and the guests are just there to ooh and aah and admire our specialness and make us feel soo special'.
I know its nice to be asked to weddings but the guests are often doing you a favour as well. The reality often is:
Your cousin's husband keeps giving out and asking if they have to go because he hates weddings.
Your next door neighbour has spent her last four lunch hours traipsing around the shops looking for an outfit she knows she will never wear again.
Your mother's best friend is only going because she's known your mother for 30 years, but would secretly rather be at home in her slippers watching Strictly Come Dancing
Your Aunt Doris and Uncle Joe spend the car journey debating whether it would look 'odd' if they disappeared after the meal because they can't stand the thought of 4 hours of shouting over loud music.
An awful lot of the guests really put themselves out to attend the wedding so a bit of consideration from the bride and groom wouldn't go amiss.
Prefer a sit-down do myself - feels like more of a treat, and also more of an opportunity to chat and drink . And wedding queues can be very long, especially if you've already queued for a line-up.
But as long as the food is good, then that's what really matters. Would rather have lovely buffet than rubbish sit-down affair.
Can be gutting, however, when the most popular pudding has already gone by the time you finally get to the front of the queue...
Buffet when 100 people have to queue one by one, so by the time you get there it's cold and there's nothing much left.
I've just remembered the last wedding buffet I went to the staff announced the buffet would be available table by table and then they told you when it was your turn. It worked really well.
Ones where children invited more relaxed and informal, however formal the surroundings.
Plenty of food, drinks (soft and alcoholic).
But....I don't particularly enjoy attending them unless very close family. Much prefer birthday parties.
memories of other people's (ie not mine, or daughter's) weddings:
wearing uncomfortable clothes
waiting around for hours while other people do something of no interest to me
having to endure a mock-social event afterwards.
what can people do to promote happy memories?
watch the pace - no delays
good food and a comfortable environment
Things I care about:
Drink (not necessarily alcoholic - just enough soft drinks and not having to pay for water!)
Warm and comfortable, somewhere to sit
Not being made to wait around endlessly
The music not being so loud I can't hear myself think
Things I don't care about:
How beautiful or otherwise the bride looks
Buffets are great, love them. But then I love any food as long as it's plentiful and good.
I'm happy with a buffet - but hate queuing (have at least two lines), and if you have elderly/frail relatives you do have to make sure that someone sorts them out, and that dishes are clearly labelled.
If there will be a big gap between when people could have reasonably eaten (think about travel time and where they are coming from) and the meal, then canapes are a must - but please don't forget those with food requirements and children in those, as often the canapes are all gluten and dairy, many times all meat/fish.
Plenty of chairs during waiting around times.
Great idea to have a buffet, as long as the quality of the food is good.
Just a tip - get her to ask the venue to call a table up at a time, much nicer than a loooooooonnng queue.
Do most people really enjoy attending weddings, judging by the threads on here so many people feel they have to attend out of 'duty' .
I think hot buffets are a great idea - providing they are 'managed' properly and the food is plentiful (and hot) - so much better than the dreary three course meal with bland chicken and tasteless vegetables. As someone else said, so many weddings are so 'similar'.
Please don't keep your guests hanging around whilst you take zillions of photographs, don't charge for drinks, don't ask for money, don't say 'no children' and then put me on the table with relatives' children that were invited , don't have a tedious evening disco with the 'B list guest invited' - if fact why do weddings drag on for so long these days.
Actually, I never want to be invited to another wedding in my life .
I love a wedding! May change my tune by this time next year though - dh and I have been invited to five
Things I remember in a good way:-
Anything quirky and original or home-made that clearly hasn't been inspired by a wedding magazine.
An original venue.
I hate a dress code. We had to go to one once where it was 35 degrees, entirely standard for that location in that season and the dress code was black tie
I don't mind a buffet so long as it's refreshed and the last table doesn't end up with a couple of spoonfuls of cold potatoes each. I do think it's a bit difficult in a big wedding, eg where the top table are off to get their main course as you are just sitting down for your starter. Wouldn't say I've thought about that after a wedding though. Just didn't like it much during.
Also not great to do a playlist on an iPod IMO. Means there's no one to judge the mood. Have seen a few parties crash and burn that way.
Don't try and be creative with the seating plan. People like to be put sitting with people they know well; not spend the entire meal making small talk with the groom's parents' next door neighbours.
Personally I hate the 'stagey' parts of weddings eg everyone standing up and clapping when the bride and groom enter the dining room or doves being released or all that stuff.
Do most people really enjoy attending weddings, judging by the threads on here so many people feel they have to attend out of 'duty'
Absolutely love'em (great chance to catch up with people I haven't seen for ages and meet interesting new ones- yes, I am that person who is slightly disappointed if I'm seated next to DH at dinner as it reduces my chat with "random" quota ), However, I usually go to ones that meet the criteria you mention later.
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