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May09

Ideas We Love: How to Plan for Guest Comfort

Comfortable Guests Are a Key Ingredient in a Great Party!  Photo by Amanda Campbell.

Comfortable Guests Are a Key Ingredient in a Great Party! Photo by Amanda Campbell.

 

Frequently, weddings are the first time that a bride and groom are personally responsible for and invested in dozens of people’s comfort. Sounds heavy, right?  Relax! As we at Something New Entertainment try to remind our couples often, this is one day of the rest of your lives, and there’s no hurdle a good plan can’t clear.

Our DJs and MCs do more than just play music — and we help couples plan far more than the disc jockey services and uplighting of their wedding receptions around Northeast Ohio. We’re more holistic, which is why you could have caught us recommending to one couple that they provide chairs for every guest during their ceremony, and why we suggested to another bride and groom that they be prepared to provide each guest an umbrella since they didn’t want to make other rain contingency plans.  Dry, well-rested guests — comfortable guests — are a key ingredient in a great party!

Umbrellas Provide Protection from Wind, Rain, and Sun.

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The beauty of ensuring guest comfort is this: While it might seem on the surface to be a daunting task, most of your steps are actually suuuuuuuuper simple and rooted in the common sense we all possess. It doesn’t take David Tutera to figure out why shade is so nice on a hot, sunny day!  That being said — if you’re considering hiring a wedding planner to help you with logistical concerns, such as guest comfort, we can recommend quite a few!  A great wedding planner (like a great MC) is worth his or her weight in Gold Jordan Almonds, at least.

 

To make YOU more comfortable in your planning process, I present to you a compilation of suggestions — simple things you can do to make sure everyone from Grandma to your best friends are happy as clams at high tide on your wedding day:

 

  • If you’re marrying outside, don’t forget to tell your guests! (If they don’t know, they won’t know to wear sunscreen, proper attire and the like, noted my friend, Amanda Cursaro, who does wedding planning and owns baci designer stationery + events out of Cuyahoga Falls.)

 

Water! A MUST HAVE for Every Celebration

  • Definitely plan for thirst, rain and sun. Provide bottled water, provide for a place to go if Mother Nature adds MORE water to the mix, and provide some place for shade.

 

  • If there will be a gap between your ceremony and reception, give your guests something to do. (And try to keep it limited to an hour.) Consider especially your out-of-town guests, who may feel lost in the area and may not have a home to return to during the interlude. Start the cocktail hour as soon as you can and serve appetizers and drinks. And if you opt not to do the cocktail hour, ask an in-town guest if s/he would open up her/his home to those who’ve traveled. Keeping your guests fed and watered really can make a difference in your reception later on, since guests that have not eaten can be tired and cranky!  This does not make for a lively dance floor!

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Hors d’oeuvres can literally SAVE your celebration.

 

 

  • Provide a timeline that creates a sense of continuity for your guests and tells them where they need to be from one minute to the next. Also consider providing shuttles around town and valet parking (because it’s never much fun to walk a mile in heels just to get inside!).

 

  • Don’t squish and overbook your tables, reminds Heidi Baumgart of Heidzillas wedding planners. And put a little extra thought into where you seat your guests who don’t really know anyone else. For example, Heidi and her husband once attended a wedding where the couple thoughtfully seated them with food industry people – fitting, given he’s a restaurant manager.

 

  • Another big thing Heidi sees her clients doing increasingly is providing restroom amenity baskets. For women, these baskets can offer Band-Aids, tampons and nylons. For men, it could be combs and some Axe body spray. For both, think breath mints!

 

A Temporary Respite from Halitosis, Low Blood Sugar, and Dry Mouth.

 

  • Assume your lady friends will not make the most sensible decisions regarding footwear (it’s a given, isn’t it?), and follow this growing trend: Provide flip-flops for them — what a great favor!

 

  • Finally, Amanda recommended, try to book hotels for your guests closest to the reception, since that’s where they’ll go afterward.

 

Easier yet, entrust Something New Entertainment or any one of these planners to ensure guest comfort down to the detail!

 

Photograph by Brightside Photography

And the bottom line: Keeping your guests happy and comfortable means they’ll stay longer, which means you’ll have more people cheering as you smash cake in each other’s faces and more people to dance with when Something New Entertainment starts playing your “must plays.”

 

Share YOUR ideas: what are you doing for your wedding to make sure your loved ones are comfortable?

 

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