How to Keep Guests from Leaving Your Wedding Early

With all the time and effort (not to mention money) that goes into planning a wedding, the last thing you want is for people to get bored and leave early. If you’re worried that your wedding reception is going to be a snooze-fest instead of a great party, follow this time-tested advice:

    • Feed Them

People think with their stomachs. If there’s great food, they’ll stick around. If the food is sub-par or if there isn’t enough of it, people will leave to go find something on their own. This is especially true for families with children, who are trying to avoid meltdowns.

Hopefully the food served on your big day will live up to what you experienced during your taste-test with the caterer and will suit your guests’ dietary preferences. Try to ensure that there will be something for everyone to love when you select your menu – choosing different types of foods and flavors to cater to all palates.

If your wedding reception is scheduled during a mealtime (like mid-day or early evening), guests will expect to be fed. If you don’t intend on serving a meal, mention that in the invitation to manage attendee expectations. However, just know that even if you give everyone plenty of notice, it may not discourage people from leaving to go in search of something to eat.

    • Get them Dancing

When people are dancing and having a good time, leaving won’t even cross their mind. Ensure your DJ or band is up for the task by checking references and settling on music preferences before the big day. If you notice that the party is getting a little stale during your reception, don’t be afraid to ask the music provider to mix it up to get people on their feet. The best DJs can sense the pulse of the room and adapt their selections accordingly, but less experienced professionals may need a little nudge.

    • Encourage Conversation

Group guests into tables that will encourage conversation and connection. Helping guests that don’t know anyone else at the wedding to connect with others that share similar personalities or are in the same life stages can get the ball rolling. Don’t overwhelm an individual guest or a couple by putting them at a table where they are the odd ones out because everyone else already knows each other.

For tables with family members, take relationship dynamics into account to avoid grouping people who may not get along. The last thing you want is the drama of family bickering at your wedding.

    • Provide Necessary Accommodations

Cater to guests’ needs by providing ample restrooms as well as climate-controlled areas to keep them comfortable. Nothing kills a wedding reception faster than making guests uncomfortable! Don’t make guests wait in long lines because you skimped on restroom rentals or force them to walk too far to use the bathroom. Using a luxury portable restroom supplier will ensure that you have enough bathrooms for everyone in places that are convenient.

If you’re having an outdoor summer wedding, ensure that you provide shaded areas for guests to hang out and cool off. This is especially important for children and the elderly, who may be more sensitive to sun and heat than other guests. If you’re having an outdoor spring or fall wedding, plan for cold weather and provide the heaters to keep guests cozy and warm.

    • Thank Them

Genuine thankfulness goes a long way with guests! Remember that your guests sacrificed their time to come to your wedding and thank them for being willing to participate in your big day. This is especially important for out of town guests, who likely also incurred substantial travel and accommodation costs to attend. When guests feel valued, they’ll stay for the duration of the wedding.

    • Be Respectful

Your wedding reception should be a fun party to celebrate your new union, but that doesn’t mean you need to go wild. If your guests are more conservative, or if you have lots of families in attendance, they will likely be turned off by a reception that turns into a rager reminiscent of a college frat party. Keep the reception G or PG-rated to respect guests beliefs and opinions.

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