Wedding planning can be confusing… to the guests

I just meet with a beautiful couple yesterday. We chatted about them, about their likes, tastes, and what they really wanted their wedding plan to look like. We walked the property, and they told us where they envisioned everything happening. Everything sounded amazing! Until I started to go through her options…

They seemed confused at first when I explained how everything would flow best given what we had just seen in our walk through. I told her we would introduce them into the cocktail hour. She said, oh, you will introduce us at the cocktail hour and again into the reception? I explained that there would only be one grand entrance into the reception, and it would be toward the end of cocktail hour.

But that’s not how it’s done, is it?

Her confusion came from comparing her reception to wedding plans she had experienced. She already had a picture in her mind of how her wedding plan would ply out, and I was messing with it.  It is quite common in this business for vendors to tell clients they can have whatever they want. The difficulty starts when their only experience is with other friends wedding plans, and their friends weddings were in ballrooms.Today, weddings and events are happening everywhere; in Barns, Old Churches, Homes, Camps, old warehouses, fields, beaches, boats… literally everywhere. For this reason the wedding plan has to adapt to the space for everything to flow efficiently.

I’m on a Boat!

This particular event will be on a very large boat. The ceremony will be at a church, the cocktail hour will be in the back of the boat (the Stern), dinner in the center, and dancing at the front of the boat. The boat’s interior is long and narrow, making entrances difficult, and making it difficult for sound to reach from one end of the inside space to the other. Once I drew the plan out on paper, it all began to make sense to her. They would enter into cocktails on the Stern where guests would be waiting with champagne all ready for the toast.  After the toasts, the bride and groom take the microphone for a quick thank you and invite their guest inside for dinner.

Let’s Dance?

“Why not do the dances and everything right then and there” she said.  I painted a picture for her. Everyone is sitting and enjoying dinner and each other’s company, they had just been on the stern enjoying cocktails. They will probably go back there unless we tell them otherwise. and I know from experience that people don’t read. Signs and instructions are great, but you really have to do a lot of the thinking for them.  Our goal for the wedding plan is for the reception to transition naturally from cocktails to dinner, to dancing. Dancing is on the back deck. There will be a small cake to be cut, and cup cakes for guests. After dinner, the guests will head out to the Bow of the boat, watch the Bride and Groom cut their wedding cake, and enjoy a cupcake while watching as the newlyweds dance. Once the formal dances are done, it’s time to party, and the guests will all be there on the deck, ready to dance.

Wedding Plan around your wedding location

This is an unconventional wedding plan for an unconventional wedding space. While weddings on boats are not common, they are certainly not rare. A Ball Room wedding will be different from a barn wedding, which will be different still from a camp wedding. You want your wedding planned to flow as naturally as possible so the guests don’t have to think. It is sad to think they will not pay attention to the really sweet and carefully crafted signs you have painstakingly designed. Rest assured your efforts are rewarded by the plethora of people who appreciate proper prose as well as a slew of smart sign sighters.

Herd is the Word

The reason you need to think for people has nothing to do with the signs actually. It’s the power of the herd mentality. It’s innate, inborn in each and every one of us. When you are in a group of people who are all doing the same thing, your brain shuts off. You see familiar people, you start chatting, other things take priority because you have been lulled into a state of comfort and ease by your peers. Only the folks at the head of the pack will read the signs.

Most who wander are lost

When left to wander, rarely are the right decisions made. How do I know this? As a professional master of Ceremonies it is my job to make sure all of the excitement is focused in the right direction, that everyone is paying attention to the thing happening now or directing their attention to what is happening next. I want your wedding day to be remembered for all the right reasons, not because uncle Harold fell overboard, or the flower girl was lost or some other tragic event. You need a wedding plan for your wedding space to hep your guests make the most of it!

Many things go into your wedding plan, not just knowing the type of space, but familiarity with the space. You want professionals who have been at your chosen location before and know the nuances of the location. You want a wedding professional who will take the time to visit your wedding site ahead of time. I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions about your chosen location and event plans. I would personally love to help you find your perfect wedding plan for your chosen space! contact me at 204.450.4960 or any time. Thanks for reading! Chat soon…

Yours for a great event, Michael J Mahoney – M&M Entertainment