You don’t have much control over the milestones in your life. Starting school is on your parents… getting engaged is all on your partner (unless you popped the q yourself – go you!). Your wedding day is different. You pick the date. You pick the venue. You direct the day. I hope!
If it isn’t 100% “the best day evaaaa!” then… it feels like it’s on you. You know what though? It’s just another day – and things WILL go wrong. If you plan your wedding knowing this – and avoid expecting perfection – then you will enjoy your day, and start your marriage with a whole lot less regret.
I organised events professionally before I had my wee boy – so my wedding day was organised to the Nth degree. But I still have a few regrets about my wedding day (like not saying no, and being 45 minutes late). Want to know my biggest regret? It’s something lots of couples debate, so I am sharing this, even though it’s not something I’m necessarily proud of.
If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have dance only guests
I wish I’d invited everyone to the meal, instead of having 20-odd people just to the dance. The primary reason people do this is budget. I hear you! We were under a tight one too – my father had been made redundant, we didn’t want to get into debt for the wedding – hell, I even took on a part time job in addition to my full time one, to help pay. To add a meal for those extra 20 people would’ve cost us another $1,000. But looking back on my wedding now: we both agree we could’ve sucked it up, paid the extra, and had them join in our first meal as a married couple.
For a start, there’s around 15 people who did enjoy the meal who we don’t see anymore – old workmates mainly. Six of those people didn’t even stay till the music started! Maybe we should’ve been harsher when compiling the guest list (and it would help if we’d used the guest list flowchart).
Dance only guests didn’t work into our wedding timeline too well…
What guts me is the people who were invited to just the dance section – looking at that list, most of them are our closest friends now. Oh… and the awkward part where a couple we’d marked as “dance only” turned up for the meal (having heard the MC’s announcement at the ceremony).
The cherry on top – because I was so late to the ceremony, it pushed the whole day out, and our ceremony/dance only guests ended up turning up between the main meal and dessert. UGH! Luckily my unflappable caterer just directed them to a couple of spare tables we’d set up, and they got served dessert, none-the-wiser (well, they might know now, if they’re readers!)
I’m not saying blow the budget so you don’t have regrets. Instead, figure out what matters to you and don’t get caught up in the total cost while forsaking what’s important. I wish I had realised this a bit sooner.
Are you tossing up whether to have dance only guests? It can be a good option for some people (especially if you have limited space for people to sit down and have a meal).
Comment below if you’ve had an awkward dance-only experience, or if my regrets raised any questions.