Hey, who's wedding is it anyway?

This is Brandee and Ben.  This is Brandee and Ben at their wedding.  Brandee and Ben are having fun with their guests because everyone is there to celebrate.  Brandee and Ben have great friends.

I read this article and I have to admit, it bothered me.

Let’s face it, [an early wedding] isn’t fun for guests or the bride and groom. You have to wake up at 5am to start hair and make-up and, more importantly, you have to feed and water your guests for longer, meaning - unless your budget is bulging - a major dent in overall spend.

You’ll also have to face flagging guests in the afternoon who are either extremely drunk, bored or, worse, both!”

”Everyone feels a little miffed when they have to pay for drinks at your wedding, especially in pricey hotels where it’s £9 (about $15 in US dollars) for a glass of wine. If you manage your budget correctly, a cash bar is the best investment (along with amazing food) to keep your guests singing your praises for months to come.”

Three hours of drinks between ceremony and reception is just boredom waiting to happen. As nice as your venue is, guests like to keep moving and the flow has to be 90 minutes maximum in the cocktail hour to keep the atmosphere alive. If budget allows, canapés always go down well to keep blood sugars and stamina up.”
— Daily Mail UK

So, will there come a point when your wedding guests will start posting Yelp reviews on your wedding?  And just how many drinks were they planning on drinking?

I understand the position of wanting to be hospitable to your guests and, if reasonable, making accommodations for some.  But really, if you have to worry about friends who will be disappointed in you because you did not meet their expectations regarding a celebration of the beginning of your life together with your spouse . . . then maybe they aren't friends.

You have enough stress worrying about your wedding day, you don't need a planner telling you how if you don't do it "right," then you won't have "guests singing your praises for months to come."  

As a wedding photographer, I recognize that quite often, a bride wants to minimize the time away from her guests.  That is why I place an emphasis on communication between me and the couple.  What is priority - formal portraits or candid shots?  How many variations is expected with family pictures - you and parents, you and siblings and parents, couple and parents, couple with parents and siblings, etc.?  Sometimes I let the couple know, I am going to "kidnap" them during the reception for 20 minutes to do formal portraits then - it not only removes the distraction of well-wishers, but I have had more than one bride tell me, she needed the break from the noise and tumult of the reception!

See Sara and Josh.  See Sara and Josh taking a break at their reception to head outside and clown around  while doing formal portraits.  Sara and Josh got some fresh air and a second wind to finish their reception strong.

But, dear people, please remember - it is YOUR wedding day. Those who love you and want to be there to celebrate your marriage are the ones who don't care if you served the chicken instead of steak and salmon.  Be a good host, but don't compromise your state of mind trying to please everyone.

Because it is just a day, albeit a special one - the real fun are the years to come!