Bridal Club Magazine
Accommodating special wedding guest needs
You tried on dozens of dresses before finding the right one. You
poured over invitation samples and sealed every envelope with a
kiss. You even got a stomach ache from trying all of those
delicious cake samples.
As brides- and grooms-to-be go through the seemingly never-ending
steps to plan a wedding, they consider their own tastes and style,
hoping that their wedding guests will leave saying, "What a lovely
wedding for a lovely couple!".
It can be hard to remember that you and your spouse-to-be aren't
the only ones whose preferences should be considered. Many
now-married couples will tell you that the most likely source for
worry or even drama is realizing too late that you didn't make a
special consideration for a guest.
You've spent so much time and effort to plan to the perfect
wedding. At the end of the day (or weekend), you just want everyone
to leave happy. But that won't happen if you overlook a guest's
needs or even offend them. So here are five commonly overlooked
considerations that every bride and groom should discuss before
finalizing their wedding plans.
Gluten or Lactose Free Guests
Many brides and grooms have been embarrassed by forgetting a
guest's food intolerance or allergy, leaving an aunt or cousin with
only an undressed salad to eat. If your wedding is small, you
probably know about the dietary restrictions of your guests. But
for larger weddings, or if you aren't sure, many couples choose to
add a line to their RSVP card that reads "Dietary Restrictions" and
leaves room for the respondent to comment.
Caterers and restaurants are adept at meeting the needs of
various dietary restrictions, so be sure to talk with them ahead of
time. Even if you aren't certain of the needs of your guests, chefs
can always recommend dishes that satisfy the most common food
Most venues are required to meet handicap accessibility
standards, but during your walkthrough of the building, ask about
how your guest in a wheelchair or walker would fare. Is there
parking at a different entrance that would put them closer to an
elevator? If you're hosting a buffet meal, ask a guest seated at
their table to help fill a plate.
Sober Guests at an Open Bar Wedding
If you know a friend or family members is committed to living a
sober lifestyle, consider where they are in their journey. Tell
them in advance that you will have an open bar, so they can
consider their own triggers and risk factors. Ask if there's
anything you can do to support them, like seating them with other
members of your family or circle of friends who won't be drinking.
It is very common for families to make considerations for
Many families think of weddings as religious occasions with a
great party afterwards. If you choose to marry in a ceremony of
another faith or in a non-religious ceremony, you may risk
offending more observant members of your family. Have an open
conversation ahead of time, explaining why you decided to do things
a certain way. If you and your spouse are marrying in a religious
ceremony and many of the guests in attendance are not religious,
ask your minister to take the time to explain the different parts
of the ceremony so everyone feels involved. You could also print
explanations of the ceremony so guests can easily follow along.
Guests with Kids
It's hard to cater to all of the needs of children, but there
are a few basic considerations that can help parents feel welcome
and at ease at your wedding. When booking a block of hotel rooms,
one with an indoor pool, nearby arcade or other kid-friendly
activity will score major points with parents. When picking the
menu, make sure there are some basic kid-friendly meal options,
beyond the cake and desserts.
Don't expect kids to turn into mini-adults - be flexible enough
to allow for running around during the reception and some dance
floor antics. If you've invited a breastfeeding mom, you can ask
your venue where they suggest moms go for a private, clean place to
pump breastmilk. Taking these steps ahead of time will mean the
world to your guests, and it means you and your spouse-to-be can
savor every moment of your big day!