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What Your Guests Really Want


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

What Your Guests Really Want | A Practical WeddingWith all this talk about “guest-centric” weddings these days, which is a admirable goal, and one we are working towards. Its just that I think we’ve gotten the teeniest bit confused about what our guests actually want. Some examples:

Your guests might enjoy: Wearing those delicate pink pashminas you picked out to match the bridesmaid dresses.
Your guests WILL enjoy: Getting to wear their own pashmina that they picked out to match their own dress.

Your guests might enjoy: A cigar rolling station. (Well, YOUR guests might, mine would think I lost my mind).
Your guests WILL enjoy: You serving the d*mn food on time (no, not after 3 hours of bridal portraits).

Your guests might enjoy: Those gigantic center pieces you spent a fortune on.
Your guests WILL enjoy: Getting to chat with old friends during dinner. And see them across the table.

Your guests might enjoy: The silver frame you bought them as a favor, engraved with your names and wedding date.
Your guests WILL enjoy: A silver frame.

Your guest might enjoy: That half hour video montage of your lives and your love that you created for the reception.
Your guests WILL enjoy: Actually getting to talk to you one-on-one for five minutes during the reception.

Your guests might enjoy: Watching the dancers you hired to perform the Tango!
Your guests WILL enjoy: Getting to dance to Baby Got Back. Themselves.

Picture: What is that, a monument to your love? Would you want to talk around that?

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03429404210444847213 lauren

    aw, i gotta support dramatic vertical centerpieces (not the one in that pic, but as a general proposition)! the ceiling in our reception room was three stories up, so we had the choice of going tall or looking like a gnome-reception. solution: we went so tall that we cleared sight lines altogether.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06290864014993900467 Nikki

    Yes, yes, yes! Sightlines trump glamour and drama (I can’t believe I just said that) and my getting to dance to “Baby Got Back” trumps watching an a capella performance. No joke. It happened. It wasn’t so bad, just maybe went on a few songs too long. : ) (love you, friend I am talking about!)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    But your reception was *lovely* Lauren, not tasteless!! And I know for a fact that you did not spend, say $1500 per centerpeice. AHH. sorry, I scared myself there for a minute.

  • Jenna

    If I were giving out blog awards, I would give yours “My Favorite New Blog I Discovered Lately” award.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209533406055486161 Rachel

    Thanks for bringing a little dose of reality. I think it’s easy to get carried away in all the foolishness when planning a wedding – so it’s nice to hear a voice of reason.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03642283825272019212 Veronica

    Meg- you are the sanity that I desperately needed. I told my fiancĂŠ last night that I had found my “blog soul mate” (yes, cheesy. I know but it’s true‌lol) in discovering your blog. We value the same things. I almost gave up on the idea of having a stylish yet modest wedding. I almost cried all the way to the bank to take out a loan. I almost started to think given the city that we live in – stylish and modesty was a mismatched pair. But you’ve renewed my hopes. Mostly through shedding much needed light on what I DON’T NEED to have a beautiful wedding which happened to be alot of sh*t I didn’t even want. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04349394209890946701 Dubbs

    amen sista! (and i ain’t even religious)

    will you come to my wedding so SOMEONE will be supportive of my sensible ways despite this being my ‘once in a lifetime event’ which everyone keep telling me every freaking day?!?!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    I think when people tell you “But its a once in a lifetime event!!” You should fix them with your coldest stare and say very calmly, “Yes, that is the idea.” And then turn on your heel and walk away.

    Game over.

    • Julie

      Have I died and gone to heaven??
      It’s so comforting to know I’m not the only bride-to-be who’s sick and tired of hearing people tell me how happy I’m supposed to be. You try orchestrating this “once in a lifetime event” in five months’ time on a shoestring and be all sugary/giddy about it. I think not. THANKS MEG for your wisdom!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    I love you. You make me laugh, you make me smile, you make me breath a huge sigh of relief that there is still some sanity in the World O’ Wedding.

    ps, I hate monumental floral arrangements. Especially those ones with clear vases and vast bushes floating mysteriously on top. Hideous.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04555487152643143603 DrayaAnn

    I laughed out loud when I was reading this post! It’s perfect! We’re having our reception in a tent and the church we’re getting married in is very old and doesn’t need any more drama…so our florist is doing my bouquet and the flowers for the men. Nothing else…and it’s PERFECT! Simple can be just right!

  • http://promtoaltar.net/blog/ nicole

    i LOVE This post! yes yes yes! (i’ve been meaning to tell you that for a few days now.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03403195452811243957 pasadena

    I love this post! Can I translate something for my blog? (Writing the source of course! ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07099654516607570108 Lucy

    you are RIGHT – all these weddings are so passively aggressively about the BRIDE and her lovely ideas but pretending to be about the guests. Huh, just cut the details – your mental health will be the better for it!