Avoid common reception pitfalls. We all know the saying, “you can’t make everyone happy”. While that may be true, these types of guest criticisms are easily avoided by careful planning. Addressing potential problems now will create fond memories of your wedding day for all of your guests.

  1. The DJ was annoying or played music no one liked.  Find the best wedding DJ available using recommendations from other brides or other wedding industry professionals.

  2. The music was TOO LOUD.  Hire a DJ who is experienced and focused on creating a positive experience for you and your guests.  Other suggestions to avoid this common complaint:  Set guest tables away from speakers and seat older guests further away from the sound equipment.

  3. Speeches were TOO LONG and the guests couldn’t decipher the words.  Keep speeches and toasts under five minutes each.   A good DJ has a quality microphone, will spend a few moments with each speaker, and teach him\her how to correctly speak into it.

  4. We were seated with total strangers.  Take the time to plan your seating arrangement by placing guests at tables with others they know or share similar connections.  Try to seat out-of-town guests, who aren’t likely to know anyone, with others having similar interests.

  5. The receiving line took forever.  The fewer people in receiving lines the better. The bride and groom, and their parents are the only required greeters.  Better yet, couples should instead consider visiting individual tables during or immediately following dinner.  (See # 6 below)

  6. The bride and groom didn’t stop by our table.  Make the rounds of guest tables at your reception, but don’t spend too much time at each.  A quick greeting, thank you or compliment will suffice.

  7. Paying a dollar to dance with the bride can create resentment.  Unless it’s a long-standing family tradition, and you will offend someone if you break the ritual, the dollar dance is best forgotten.

  8. There was too much “down time” between the ceremony and reception.  Guests are often at a loss for ways to fill the hours between the wedding and the reception.  When it isn’t possible to hold the events within an hour or so of each other, ask the hall if it will open its doors early for your visiting guests (and ask them if there’s a charge).

  9. The centerpiece was overpowering.   Your guests couldn’t see or talk to others seated across the table.  Smaller, shorter arrangements work better.  Your centerpiece shouldn’t be the main topic of conversation at the table.

  10. Really, a cash bar?  Open bars are the accepted norm.  If your budget is tight, offer wine and beer only — or limit drink choices to “call” brands.  You can also close the bar during the dinner hour to save on costs.  A new trend is to create a “signature” drink and offer it along with beer and wine only.

  11. I never received a thank you note for my gift!  Share this task with your spouse.  Divide your list, write your notes at the same time, and make a promise to finish a certain number every night until they are finished.  Create an incentive; when the last note is FINALLY written, reward yourselves with a special bottle of wine or dinner out.  It is customary to mail thank-you notes within 6 weeks.  You want your guests to feel their generosity was appreciated.

  12. The directions to the reception were horrible and traffic was a nightmare! I noticed that most guests shared this same complaint as we all from out of town.

  13. The chapel for the ceremony was charming, but it did not have air conditioning, so my cute summery dress was sticking to me and it was so embarrassing.

  14. The outdoor reception on the horse farm was beautiful, but it was a mud pit to walk through from where we parked to the tent. I felt bad because everyone was panicking, but there was no one really in charge to direct people and deal with the unexpected downpour.

  15. I didn’t eat much before the wedding or reception and was disappointed in the lack of food! You had a reception during the dinner hour and only provided light snacks. I was tempted to order pizza.