Lessons Learned from Four Weddings

Four Weddings is a TV show where four real brides attend each other’s weddings and rate them across a variety of factors to determine who had the best wedding. The winner gets an extravagant once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon for herself and her new spouse. Despite the premise, the show isn’t catty and isn’t in any way scripted, which means you get all the feel-good fun of the weddings without the drama. The result is just a strangely addictive show, which is why it’s drawn such a loyal fan base!

Regular viewers of the Four Weddings show on TLC will notice some recurring trends. Brides-to-be, take note: here is what to do (and not to do) on your big day if you want guests to rate your wedding among the top events they’ve attended:

  • Incorporate Meaningful Special Touches

Some weddings include special elements that reflect the bride and groom’s personalities or tell part of the story of how they’ve met. These are almost always well-received because they provide a sweet personalized dimension to the wedding. (In fact, the only time we’ve seen this backfire was when a couple decided to get married at a venue across from a major airport because they met while traveling for work, and the venue itself wasn’t very inspiring because it was just a floor of an office building.) By including personal elements, it makes the wedding feel less “cookie cutter” and more meaningful.

So, if the bride and groom have a favorite hobby or activity, feel free to include references to it in the wedding cake, favors, or toasts. Similarly, don’t be bashful about telling your story through the place settings, centerpieces, or music. The more of your lives that you can incorporate, the better! After all, it is your day!

  • Don’t Skimp on Food

Guests expect to be awed by the food (or at least not repulsed). So instead of choosing the same old chicken, beef, and vegetarian plates that every wedding venue offers, think outside the box to find a delectable lineup that will have guests’ mouths watering.

Choose scrumptious appetizers, irresistible entrees, and a fun dessert menu that will keep them talking. (That doesn’t mean offer the craziest thing you can think of however, as off-the-wall selections are usually received as poorly as dry chicken.) The same goes for drinks if you plan to have a set cocktail menu – give guests a few choices of truly signature beverages. Consider the style and location of the wedding and select food and drinks that will fit.

No matter what you choose to serve though, always avoid the cardinal sin of not having enough food! The absolute worst thing you can do is leave guests hungry. It’s tacky and it makes attendees (especially children) ornery. If you don’t plan to serve a full meal due to budget or logistical constraints, make that clear in the invitation so guests know what to expect and can plan appropriately.

  • Cover Guests’ Necessities

Food is not the only necessity that guests have. They also need water, shade, and bathrooms.
Weddings that have long lines for the bar even to get water and non-alcoholic drinks always score lower than weddings where the basics are taken care of. The same is true of shade. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, provide guests with a place to cool down and get out of the sun. This is especially important for children and the elderly, who are more sensitive to sunlight.

Bathrooms are a must-have at any event, but especially at outdoor events where the on-site facilities may be minimal. Renting luxury portable toilets is a great way to keep the elegance of your wedding while also giving guests the restrooms they need! With a wide variety of size options, there is a portable restroom trailer that’s sure to fit your needs.

  • Carefully Consider Timing

Weddings that start too early or go too late are inconvenient for guests. Just because you’re a morning person doesn’t mean that all your guests want to get up, get ready, and drive to an 8am wedding ceremony. Similarly, if you’re a night owl, you may want the party to go late, but your guests may want to go to bed or need to get home to relieve the babysitter.

Having an “off-time” wedding is usually a score killer (especially when it’s accompanied by serving an unusually timed meal). The most flagrant example of this was an evening wedding on the show where dinner wasn’t served until sometime after 10pm and the reception went past midnight. You’ll be hard pressed to find a venue that will accommodate an odd timing request like this, but even if you can, don’t do it! Stick to the traditional late morning wedding with a lunch reception, afternoon wedding with a dinner reception, or evening wedding with a dinner reception format to please guests.

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