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.
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.
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.
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