Now I don’t profess to being an expert, but I’ve hosted enough celebrations in my time to know how to get a party started. Planning a wedding is no different and sometimes it’s the really obvious aspects that are overlooked when it comes to creating the right atmosphere. After spending many a year throwing all manner of parties here are a few mistakes that we should definitely try to avoid when planning the bash of the century.
Allowing Guests To Stand Around
Now I like a glass of fizz. In fact, I like a few, but weddings are long days and if there is nothing planned to break up your day, you can guarantee that you’ll have guests falling over themselves by the time it comes to the wedding breakfast. It’s all too easy to forget that whilst you are being whisked away for your photos, the rest of the wedding party may well be drinking the bar dry. This part of the day is where people can get really restless, and they’ll be way too polite to say so.
If the budget allows, then canapés will go down a storm and will give people the chance to catch up with friends and family. They don’t need to be super fancy but a few carbs won’t go amiss. Having something a little special tucked up your sleeve will also help to keep guests entertained. We got all our wedding guests on a big red bus and gave them a tour of the Brighton seafront with a few glasses of champagne and bags of nibbles. This made sure that no-one was standing about whilst we nipped off for our beach snaps.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend weddings where live music has been played after the service and giant games of Jenga have lead to a crazy level of competitiveness. All these little moments will help to avoid the ‘hanging around’ and get guests warmed up for what’s to come.
Lack Of Atmosphere
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. You can’t buy atmosphere. Having all the money in the world isn’t going to create a buzz and that’s where your time and energy comes in. A couple of things you might want to consider…
Get that lighting right. Say no to the big lights and warm up your venue. I live by this and will shout at the Husband if he so much as reaches for the ceiling light switch. Candles, warm fairy lights, lanterns? Yes. Huge overhead strip lighting? No. In fact, in my opinion, I’d rather it was too dark than too bright.
Music at all times. Don’t wait until the evening reception to start up the music. The general buzz of conversation is brilliant but some chilled out tunes in the background really does add atmosphere. Set up a quick playlist and plug in your iPhone at the venue because I promise it makes all the difference.
Think about the seating plan. And I mean really think about it. There is nothing more likely to kill an atmosphere than seating guests together who have zero in common. It takes a little advance prep but it’s well worth it.
Forgetting The Details
Have you thought about the details? You’ll ALWAYS get a camp of people who say the details don’t matter and ‘nobody notices anyway.’ Yes, you’ll have guests that don’t notice your attention to decor, but you’ll also have a huge group who do. I’m not advocating spending the rest of your days making thousands of meters of bunting (unless you want to of course) but a DIY venue will look vacuous if you don’t add in those finishing touches. Stick to a general theme or colour and if all else fails you’ll never go wrong with candles and flowers.
Ignoring The Music
I hate to say it but an empty dance floor isn’t going to create atmosphere and if our wedding guests hadn’t been throwing out all the shapes, then we’d have been gutted! Check that your DJ knows EXACTLY what you want and try not to play the same genre of music the whole night. It’s likely you’ll have guests of all ages and whilst you don’t need to cater for the six year old its good to mix things up a bit. Getting guests to request tunes is a great start and a live band will always be a good thing.
Forgetting The Little Ones
Kids at weddings. We did it and I don’t regret a thing about that decision. However, remember they will get restless, they will be grumpy and they won’t just miraculously find things to do for a solid eight hours. If you feel you can, ask your bridesmaids to take responsibility for creating little bags of treats for the kids which will keep them entertained during the speeches. Nothing super crazy but a few packets of crayons, a bag of special sweets and a few treats from the supermarket party aisle and they’ll be happy. When things start to get a little ‘lively,’ then a break out area with a few games, blankets and cushions will give them some space to chill out.
I know this isn’t rocket science but trust me when I say that these mistakes are made all the time and with just a bit of forward-thinking you can avoid stressing out about your day. If you need us to help with any of the finer details then head over to our gallery pages and find out how we can add a little bit of loveliness to your wedding celebration; we’d love to work with you.