10 Things Your Wedding Guests Don't Care About

Bride and Groom First Kiss at Ceremony

 

List of Things Wedding Guests Don’t Care About

There are more than a few items on your wedding checklist that guests pay far less attention to than you think. With an endless list of things to do, from the décor to the dress to the catering and everything in between, the wedding stress can pile on quickly. Instead of driving yourself crazy over the teeniest wedding details, save yourself the headache (and probably a few bucks, too) by knowing what matters to your guests, and more importantly, what doesn't. 

Read on for our handy list of wedding details that guests don't really care about – plus a few that they do!

*This post contains affiliate links through Etsy. While we may receive commission, opinions are entirely our own.

1) Expensive or Elaborate Wedding Invitations

I hate to break it to you, but most wedding invites end up in the recycling bin faster than you can say, “I do.” Sure, it’s the very first introduction to your wedding, but a beautiful invitation doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. No one is judging your choice of paper stock, ornamentation or font. There are plenty of ways to send out stylish invitations without spending an excessive amount of money.

Solution: Print Yourself / Affordable Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations

Minimalist Wedding Invites with QR Code RSVP

The average couple spends $445 on their wedding invites. Find an affordable option that fits your budget instead. There are tons of retailers that would surprise you with their collections of wedding invitations, such as Costco, Target, Walmart, Shutterfly, or Etsy. On Etsy, you can even pay a flat rate for an instant download, and then print as many as you need.

2) Fancy Wedding Cakes to Feed Everyone

Towering layers, handcrafted sugar paste designs, 24-carat gold motifs: the painstakingly detailed wedding cake is undoubtedly gorgeous. However, guests won’t miss those details if you opt for an elegantly simple confection instead. As long as it tastes delicious, you’ve got a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Solution: Small Wedding Cake for the Couple & Other Desserts for Wedding Guests

Wedding Cake Topper

Personalized Gold Wedding Cake Topper

A classic wedding cake is a nice touch, but it doesn't have to be huge or elaborate. If you definitely want to include a cake, buy a small and minimalist cake then add a custom cake topper to personalize it. You can use this small decorative cake for the cake cutting ceremony and other traditions. If you think all of your guests will want a slice, you could buy a simple sheet cake in the same flavor.

Wedding Donuts

“Donut Mind if I Do” Wedding Favor Bag

You could also swap the cake for cupcakes, macarons, donuts, ice cream sundaes, custom cookies, or a dessert bar with a few different options. Guests will be just as pleased with any type of dessert.

3) Unnecessary Wedding Favors (Especially if They Are $$$)

Wedding favors are a sweet gesture to say how much you appreciate your guests making it to your wedding. However, most of these gifts end up forgotten on the table or make their way into the trash a few days later. Engraved champagne flutes, customized candles, and other novelty items are forgettable for guests and an added expense for the bride and groom. Try to choose something small and affordable or practical and reusable.

What to Include Instead: Late Night Snacks, Pizza, Or Hotdogs

Wedding Exit Bar Sign

Late Night Nibbles Snack Bar Sign

The exit bar is one of the greatest modern wedding trends. In lieu of gimmicky favor, see your guests off with a yummy late night snack. A slice of pizza, a hot dog, or even a hot pretzel are the perfect post-wedding snack. Set up an exit bar near the door of your venue so that your guests can grab a quick greasy bite before their journey home.

4) Expensive Custom Wedding Guest Book

Guest books can get pricey, and the cost can skyrocket once you start piling on the works. Please do yourself a favor and keep it simple, or go ahead and nix it altogether. Your guests won’t miss it, and in the age of digital photography, you’ll have tons and tons of snaps of your family and friends sharing your special day. If that doesn’t beat a scrawled name on a page (or a smudgy thumbprint), I don’t know what does.

Solution: Simple Wedding Guest Book Alternative (Can Also Be DIY!)

Wedding Guest Book Alternative

Round 3D Wedding Guest Book Alternative

If you decide to go with a guestbook, create something simple. You could create a cute DIY board for guests to sign or you could order a creative guest book alternative from Etsy or other sellers.

5) Having the Perfect Wedding Flowers & Arrangements

Floral arrangements are almost always a welcome addition to your chosen venue and can inject the space with a bit of your style. Unfortunately, designer flowers can be incredibly expensive. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of affordable floral options and alternatives to fresh flowers. Guests will appreciate the beauty of flowers no matter what they cost.

Solution: Opt for Fake Flowers or Affordable Wedding Florals (ex. Trader Joe’s)

Pampas Grass Wedding Bouquet

Burnt Orange Pampas Grass Bouquet

Instead of spending a fortune on fancy designer flowers, visit your local farmer’s market or Trader Joe’s. Your guests will have no idea where your flowers came from, so why spend all the extra money? You could even opt for a faux flower bouquet that will last forever as a keepsake from your wedding.

6) Assigned Seats at the Wedding Reception Dinner

Assigned seats are great for making sure everyone is exactly where you want them, but they can add unnecessary complications and costs. Wedding seating charts can be stressful and time-consuming to set up. Assigned seats mean you’ll need to label each seat with a custom name card. It also means that guests will be stuck in a very specific spot and feel awkward if they want to swap seats. 

Solution: Keep It Simple & Assign the Table, Not the Seat

Wedding Table Assignments

Minimalist Wedding Table Assignment Cards

You won’t want guests to be scrambling for a chair but you don’t need to assign them an exact seat either. Stick with simple table assignments and guests can fill in the blanks from there. Table assignments help you save money on escort cards, simplify your planning process, and let people choose who to sit next to (while still keeping it organized).

7) Extra Stationery That’s An Unnecessary Cost, Like Ceremony Programs

Printed programs tell everyone exactly what’s going to happen during the ceremony, but most modern wedding ceremonies aren’t nearly long enough to require an entire printed program. Go ahead and skip the individual programs, just make sure guests know the schedule for the day.

Solution: Provide a Wedding Day Timeline / Order of Events Sign

Wedding Timeline Sign

Wedding Timeline Sign Template

Guests don’t need to know everything that is happening at the ceremony, just generally how long they should expect it to be. They are likely more interested in the wedding timeline as a whole. Set up a wedding timeline sign near the entrance to your wedding so that everyone knows the plan. This option is cuter and more eco-friendly than printing programs for every person.

8) Expensive Table Linens / Wedding Centerpieces

Wedding guests won’t pay much mind to your tablecloths. Specialty linens can get costly, so save yourself the buck and choose something simple and functional that blends seamlessly with your decor. Centerpieces really add a lot to the overall aesthetic of the reception. They don’t need to be complicated or expensive though!

Solution: Purchase Second Hand or Rent Table Decor to Save Money

Simple Wedding Tables

Save money by choosing simple table decor options, minimalist tables often look better anyway. Check Facebook marketplace for linens (past brides are often selling in bundles) and thrift stores for vases or jars. You could also check with the venue for rental options, they often have extras from past weddings that they can rent to you for an affordable price.

9) High-End Designer Wedding Attire

You’ve been dreaming about your wedding dress for a long time, and you may be worrying about the price tag. Remember that you will only be wearing this dress one time so don’t blow your entire wedding budget on an expensive gown. As long as your wedding dress suits your style and is properly tailored, it will look great on you and in your wedding photos. There are so many affordable wedding dress brands to choose from for your big day. We promise, guests won’t bat an eyelash at the lack of designer label.

Solution: Buy a Wedding Dress and Other Attire You Can Comfortably Afford

Affordable Wedding Dress

Lillian West 66163 Wedding Gown | Meara Grace Photo

Your guests care about your dress, what they won’t think twice about is the price or designer of your dress. So don’t take out a small loan to buy a dress with a fancy designer label that you hope will impress your guests. Instead, find a dress that fits you and your personality well. Shop sample sales, clearance, and online to find a perfectly beautiful dress that won’t break your bank. You could even wear a second-hand wedding dress, and no one would know the difference. Our shop has a huge selection of gorgeous bridal gowns that are under $1,000!

10) Whether or Not You Include the Bouquet and Garter Toss (Or Any Other ‘Tradition’)

The bouquet toss and garter toss traditions have become somewhat archaic in recent years, with many brides opting to skip them altogether. Do it or don’t do it – it all depends on your vision – but rest assured that if you opt-out, it’s likely that no one will miss it. Other traditions you might want to adjust to fit your taste: cake cutting (and face smashing), sitting at a couple’s table, ceremony length and style, sit down dinner, and waiting till the ceremony to see your spouse.

Solution: Only Include Things that You & Your Spouse Are Excited About

Wedding First Look

Wtoo Montgomery Wedding Dress | Ash McMahon Photography

Keep the traditions that you love but ditch the traditions that you are only doing out of a feeling of obligation. Get a giant cookie instead of a cake. Have your favorite food truck roll up to cocktail hour instead of formal hors d'oeuvres. Try out a funny dance with your spouse on the dance floor. Your family and friends showed up to your wedding to celebrate your love, not to catch your bouquet.

So, What Do Wedding Guests Care About?

Narrow down your to-do list so you can focus on the things your guests will actually care about. We’ve talked a lot about what they won’t notice, now what are the items they will? Your wedding is meant to be a fun party for your friends and family to celebrate you and your spouse. So your main focus should be that you, your new spouse, and all your guests all have a good time together. Sustenance, comfort, and activities are the essentials! We compiled a checklist of the most important factors in your wedding for you to consult while you plan.

1) Good Wedding Food and Access to a Bar/Beverages

Guests will have a hard time enjoying the wedding if they’re hungry. Great food really makes a wedding enjoyable. A few cocktails don’t hurt either. Make sure your bar situation is organized and efficient. An open bar is always nice, but if you choose not to do that, your guests will understand. 

Wedding Food

Prioritize finding a caterer who will keep everyone well fed. Try to share some of your favorite foods with your guests, especially if they’re local and seasonal options. We also recommend having lots of options for guests with different tastes and dietary restrictions (this is especially easy during cocktail hour). Consider some interactive food stations like a mashed potato bar or a build-your-own pasta bowl option.

2) Having a Place to Park (Or Communicating Otherwise Beforehand)

Parking is everyone’s least favorite activity. Try to make it as easy and simple as possible for your wedding guests. Try to choose a venue with convenient parking or valet service. If your dream venue doesn’t have a parking lot, consider a shuttle service from local hotels. We recommend offering a shuttle service either way so that your guests can have a few drinks without worrying about driving. Don’t forget to communicate with guests about where they should park, if there’s a valet available, and/or what the shuttle schedule is.

Wedding Parking

Velvet Bridesmaid Dresses | Kiana Grant Photography

3) Staying On Schedule

Keep the wedding moving as planned. Start and end the ceremony relatively on time, don’t let the cocktail hour go on too long, and try to serve dessert at a reasonable hour. Respecting your guests’ time is a better gift than any wedding favor ever could be. Put a schedule of events near the entrance to your wedding so that guests will know what to expect.

Wedding Schedule of Events

Elegant Wedding Day Timeline Card

4) Getting A Moment to Chat with the Newlyweds

Try to make time to greet everyone at your wedding - especially if they had to travel to be there. A great time to say hello to everyone is when they are seated for dinner. With everyone staying in one place, it’s easy to make sure you’ve said hello to all of them. You may even want to take photos with each table as a memory of who attended. 

Greet All Wedding Guests

5) Having Good Music to Dance To

You may have noticed some trends in wedding playlists if you’ve been to a few. Certain songs are perfect for weddings because they are well known, easy to dance to, and popular among multiple age groups. Crowd pleasers keep everyone entertained and excited about dancing. Create a playlist with a variety of songs from different time periods and genres so that everyone can enjoy the music. If you hire a DJ they will likely have a plan already. If you’re on a budget, a great playlist, speakers, and a friend running the aux will get the job done. Our wedding songs checklist will help you create the perfect playlist!

Dancing at Wedding Reception

Wedding Songs Checklist | Tessa June Photo

Narrow Your Wedding Checklist & Get Started Planning

Now that you’ve considered what your wedding guests will and won’t focus on during your wedding, you can narrow down your checklist. Figure out what aspects of your wedding are most important to you and your spouse. Spend less time worrying about the items none of your guests will care about and find ways to simplify where you can.

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Leave a comment

Ruth Hall
December 01, 2023 09:46

Great advice!

Carine Bea Photography
December 01, 2023 09:46

Amazing tips!

Kim
December 01, 2023 09:44

Instead of a bouquet toss, I dedicated my bouquet to a beloved wedding guest who was there with her husband celebrating 50 years of marriage on our wedding day!! She had no idea and was speechless. It was an incredible moment that my guests still remember to this day, 20 years later.

Lauren
April 14, 2021 16:16

thx for the info I’ll use it when I plan my wedding

dekorasi kartini
December 10, 2020 11:27

nice article

Engaging Events Charleston
September 10, 2020 11:01

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Yaniv Persy
August 12, 2020 11:57

nice content..!!

Dianne Fox
July 16, 2020 22:15

I never imagined a wedding dress would be one of this but I will surely make a wonderful one when I get married! thanks for the tips! :)

Emma Meaghan
May 20, 2020 15:45

Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. This topic has interesting and solid content.

sapilo
April 20, 2020 16:28

I love your idea to make reception best because here you have described all necessary things about make reception more attractive. I am sure people will get so many ideas from this post to make their wedding reception more special and memorable. You have described all the things very neat and clean here.thank for your little information

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