PW Guide Article: The 5 Most Common Wedding Guest Complaints

apax submitted an article for the Project Wedding Guide.

The 5 Most Common Wedding Guest Complaints

Find out what most irks guests at a wedding and learn how to avoid these common planning pitfalls

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Posted on January 10, 2009 at 9:12 am
d1rtymart1n1
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12/04/2009
d1rtymart1n1

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(51) Comments

sly9377
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10/24/2009
sly9377

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Def the never ending speech, that you just don't get, lol!

Posted on January 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm
FutureApostle
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09/11/2010
FutureApostle

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We are really concerned about people being able to get home from the party.  Aside from having the hotel 1/4 mile away, were hiring cars for the wedding party and close family as well as hiring a nurse to care for and drive Gregs Grandmother who is 97.  This way she doesn't have to stay later than she can handle and his parents dont feel they need to leave to take her home!

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:28 am
Niecy
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09/06/2006
Niecy

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ditto Butterly .... reception music should be well rounded and cover multiple genres to ensure all guests have fun not just the friends they go clubbing with ....


and I DETEST long waits between Ceremony and Reception ....it's so rude to the OOT guests ..... even when Im local and its no big deal for me Im always at home in between talking smack about what the OOT guests are having to deal with ...LOL

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 5:33 am
tandr2
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08/28/2010
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I've already started on my Seating Plan for my August wedding - I'm sitting people together that know each other. On the rare occasion that I can't - nothing much I can do. I've tried to put those people with other fun and interesting friends of mine that I think will get along OK.


We have a 3 hour wait between the Ceremony & Reception but our venue is a Museum that 98% of the people will enjoy. The Hall is on the same property and non-alcoholic drinks will be available an hour after the ceremony. We're giving out cold bottles of water after the Ceremony in case it's hot.


I don't know if we're delegating anyone for "speeches" but people will be able to get up and tell stories of us if they want (as long as their tasteful)


We're planning on typing up phone numbers for the local hotels and taxi and putting them on the tables...We don't want anyone drinking and driving.

Posted on February 5, 2010 at 5:56 am
mrsKC1
5
09/04/2010

mrsKC1

Trying to avoid each of those!  Thanks!

Posted on February 5, 2010 at 5:57 am
tmbrwolf329
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09/04/2010
tmbrwolf329

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I'm getting married September 4, 2010, and I think I have all of these issues resolved in a really simple way...We are getting married in the prayer garden of our church, and having the reception in the social room immediately following.  Any set up that needs to be done will be finished well in advance of the ceremony so that guests can simply flow into the reception hall as soon as the wedding is done.  Additionally, we are having open seating and a buffet style meal so that people can sit where they want (and more importanly with WHO they want).  I know that having a big, formal wedding is the "dream" of many people, but I'd much rather go with casual, intimate, and fun.

Posted on March 5, 2010 at 8:01 am
jayla_love
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10/10/2010
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I am with tmbrwolf329!  We are getting married on a yacht and the reception is open seating buffet and immediately after our ceremony. We are going with casual and fun for everyone, rather than formal and stuffy

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 7:57 am
clgybride2010
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What a good article. My sister's wedding had a few of those faux pas on it. Her wedding was a learning lesson of things that I didn't  want happen at mine this summer. I was happy to be a guest at my sister's wedding and I thanked her for it since being a FT student and having a FT job, living in a different city I was just so happy to be there.


  1. After the speeches my sister had the MC announce an open mic so anyone could come up and talk. After about 10+ people came up and gave more speeches it really dragged the evening and was a spoiler. Not to mention so many inside jokes that no one understood.They already had 5 speeches before the open mic, which was enough and guests at the table looked bored and so uninterested. Me included. I vowed at my wedding no open mic. Only the people we have asked to make speeches will be doing so and we have gave everyone a time limit of no more then 5 minutes each. So our parents, our MOH,Bestman & us will be giving speeches. We think 5 is enough and the day is already all about us, I don't think an open mic is necessary or 15 minute speeches. Argh,

  2. After the ceremony, guests didn't know where to go. So they stayed in there ceremony room or in the foyer. I wish my sister would have had ushers or a host saying to leave the room for cocktail hour in another room. Sitting in a ceremony room is not fun, it was so warm in there too and I felt really bad for the staff that worked at the hotel since they were trying to clear the room and move items but couldn't because guests were still in there.Why people would want to hang out in there, I will never know? By the time guests realized there was a cocktail hour and got to the next room for it, it was almost over. Food was cold and they were already opening doors for the reception. It was chaos and so unorganized. Not the guests fault but I didn't understand why people wanted to hang out in the room? The ceremony is over, the couple is gone for pictures? Since we are having our wedding all at the same venue, we booked different rooms, so it would give guests time  to move and also for the staff to change over the room. We are also supplying some appetizers and drinks at the cocktail hour since it will be about 2 hours before the reception room is set up. I really didn't want to have our guests wandering around the hotel so some live music,food and drinks should keep them busy. I also remember a co-workers wedding that had a 4 hour gap and I really didn't want to do that to our guests. Busy guests are happy guests. 

  3. Eating too late or eating such small meals. It's a long day for everyone so feed your guests and take care of them because hungry people are not happy people. My pet peeve would be soup for a summer wedding. It's already warm out, why have soup at a wedding? It just doesn't make sense to be serving hot soup in the summer.


I love my sister but I am so glad she got married  before me so I can learn from her mistakes. I am also glad we hired a wedding planner who will make sure things are taken care of so we don't have to worry about anything.

Does anyone know of any other gripes? I want to make sure my guests are taken care of so we don't have to worry about anything that day.
Posted on April 11, 2010 at 7:35 am
aliV
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07/09/2010
aliV

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Another complaint I've heard a lot is that the music is too loud...too close to the DJ...put the young people by the speakers

Posted on April 11, 2010 at 10:47 am
MrsB2B1030
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10/30/2010
MrsB2B1030

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LOL - These are valid but knowing how much money FI and I are spending it makes me say this:


If you want to complain, they why don't you shell out the money for our wedding!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 9:21 am
Darling1123
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05/07/2011
Darling1123

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i agree!

Posted on October 25, 2010 at 3:24 am
Kristen_Tater
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08/20/2011
Kristen_Tater

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Great article!! Very helpful!

Posted on October 25, 2010 at 3:39 am
justbreath
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05/25/2011
justbreath

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Very Insightful. Thanks for the heads up

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 7:26 am
AOII_Panda
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11/11/2011
AOII_Panda

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@ MrsB2B1030 - LOL! *high five* Agree! Guests don't realize that you're potentially spending $200 on each person there...

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 7:43 am
lkdjv8jsld
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12/21/2010
lkdjv8jsld

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I agree....my cousins wedding not too long ago had 3hrs in between but it ended up being more like 4.5hr until they showed up at the reception. For OOT people, it sucked!

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 7:51 am
cmariem3292
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07/09/2011
cmariem3292

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My recent gripe was how many things were going on at once. After dinner was served a slide show was played, a friend sang a song, and toasts were done. I felt rude eating while all of these took place so my food was cold. Also, running WAY behind (which resulted in the action packed dinner) and not having enough time to dance.
Posted on February 25, 2011 at 5:18 am
nubianqueen
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09/18/2011
nubianqueen

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I like it but I would have thought biggest complaint would have been leaving hungry. I have literally heard that complaint at least from 3 out of the 5 weddings that people have told me about that they attended.
Posted on February 26, 2011 at 9:39 am
a1b2c3
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10/29/2011
a1b2c3

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I think thats very valid!! I hope I can avoid ticking off our guest:)

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 9:41 am
Carrolli
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10/01/2011
Carrolli

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None of these are my biggest gripes.  I have never been to a wedding where I didn't know what to do or where to go. I don't mind a wait time as I can stop for a drink and kill time.  I don't mind the endless speeches.  It's one of those things one must endure during someone else's special day.  I have never minded sitting at a table of strangers.  I simply hold out my hand and introduce myself.  However, in this day of over the top decor, and mock platinum weddings, there are a few things I think some brides forget, and frankly I find them rude.


My biggest gripes(and please don't flame me)


1.  A cash bar....Unless the bride and groom are not drinkers for religious reasons, or recovering alcholics, no matter how you slice it, cash bars are rude.  It is even more rude if the host/hostess have not made the guests aware of it.  If you are a guest in my home, I would make sure you were offered a "drink".  Heck, even Christ had wine at the wedding feast of Canaan. 


2.  Dollar Dances/Money Trees and or "tip" jars.....I just gave you a check to cover the cost of my meal and you want me to pay you to dance or tip the bartender?  Tacky!  The only exception would be if the couple was of a culture where it was traditional.  Anyone else that does it is simply being greedy, imho.


3.  Card Boxes....Yes, I know everyone does them.  I am a 50 year old bride.  I prefer the "money bag".  I have been to far too many recent weddings where the bride and groom did not make it to greet every guest, at the table(which is traditionally where they would receive the envelope).  Dropping the envelope in anything, without a greeting from the happy couple is bad manners.


4.  Bad food.....The bride paid $6K for a wedding dress, but served rubber chicken to their guests?  Yes, it is all about the bride, but it is also all about being a good hostess. 


I am sorry, but having been thrown into the wedding world at my age, I am astonished at what is perfectly acceptable today, that awould have been mortifyingly horrid in my younger bridal days.  :) 

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 10:59 am
Carrolli
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10/01/2011
Carrolli

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None of these are my biggest gripes.  I have never been to a wedding where I didn't know what to do or where to go. I don't mind a wait time as I can stop for a drink and kill time.  I don't mind the endless speeches.  It's one of those things one must endure during someone else's special day.  I have never minded sitting at a table of strangers.  I simply hold out my hand and introduce myself.  However, in this day of over the top decor, and mock platinum weddings, there are a few things I think some brides forget, and frankly I find them rude.


My biggest gripes(and please don't flame me)


1.  A cash bar....Unless the bride and groom are not drinkers for religious reasons, or recovering alcholics, no matter how you slice it, cash bars are rude.  It is even more rude if the host/hostess have not made the guests aware of it.  If you are a guest in my home, I would make sure you were offered a "drink".  Heck, even Christ had wine at the wedding feast of Canaan. 


2.  Dollar Dances/Money Trees and or "tip" jars.....I just gave you a check to cover the cost of my meal and you want me to pay you to dance or tip the bartender?  Tacky!  The only exception would be if the couple was of a culture where it was traditional.  Anyone else that does it is simply being greedy, imho.


3.  Card Boxes....Yes, I know everyone does them.  I am a 50 year old bride.  I prefer the "money bag".  I have been to far too many recent weddings where the bride and groom did not make it to greet every guest, at the table(which is traditionally where they would receive the envelope).  Dropping the envelope in anything, without a greeting from the happy couple is bad manners.


4.  Bad food.....The bride paid $6K for a wedding dress, but served rubber chicken to their guests?  Yes, it is all about the bride, but it is also all about being a good hostess. 


I am sorry, but having been thrown into the wedding world at my age, I am astonished at what is perfectly acceptable today, that awould have been mortifyingly horrid in my younger bridal days.  :) 

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 10:59 am
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