"Your Timing Stinks
Huge time gaps between the ceremony and the reception — the ones where the ceremony starts at noon, but the party isn't until 7 p.m. — are annoying because you're often leaving us in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing to do. We don't want to kill time at a restaurant because we're hoping you'll feed us well at your reception. And there's only so much lingering we can do at a coffee shop or a bookstore ... in our dressy clothes! We'd much rather head straight to the party after the "I dos."
You Picked a Bad Day
We've had weddings on every holiday, from Mother's Day to Super Bowl Sunday (yes, that counts as a holiday). You must realize that we'd rather be with our moms or watching the game instead of going to your wedding on those days. And please don't ruin our holiday weekends. We get it; you can save a bundle if you get hitched on the Sunday before Memorial Day, but maybe we'd like to take our vacations then. If nothing else, please don't get married on some random Tuesday night. That means we have to take off two days from work just to go! Let us use our vacation days for vacations.
You're Boring Us
The ceremony may be the most important part of the day to you, but the reception is what we're really looking forward to. When it takes forever to get dinner served, each speech is 25 minutes long, and you play a string of songs that are all inside jokes with the same group of friends, there isn't much time for getting our groove on. Uh, and if the band's so bad that no one's dancing — including you and your groom — we just think, Why are we even here? Showing us a really good time is the least that you can do to thank us for giving up our free day, traveling, and getting you an expensive gift.
The Food Isn't Great
Why would you bother spending thousands on your flowers if your food is going to taste terrible? We want a delicious meal way more than we want pretty centerpieces. You don't know this, but we actually think of that $200 gift as a contribution to a great meal. If it's not as good as something we'd have at a restaurant, we're going to be disappointed. Even if the food is tasty, don't make us go hungry. We don't need an eight-course meal, but we don't want to have to push through other guests just to get to the tiny hors d'oeuvres you're calling dinner.
You Make Us Pay?!
Treat your guests like guests; don't make us bring our wallets whenever we want a drink! When you have more than 300 guests and a cash bar, we wish that you would've just cut the list and paid for our drinks instead. How exactly are we supposed to feel when we paid for flights, a rental car, a hotel room, and a gift, and then you make us pay at the bar? So not cool.
You Sat Us Here
We want to have fun at your wedding, believe us, but it's pretty tricky when you seat us right in front of giant speakers. We won't be able to talk to anyone at our tables or enjoy our dinner if you're blowing out our eardrums. Before you book your venue, make sure there's enough space for tables without having to make us sit in the DJ's lap. And don't make us suffer in the heat. If you're having a summer wedding, do it somewhere with air conditioning!
Also, if you want to be outdoors, don't make us rough it: Walking around in the mud, swatting bugs, or using porta-potties is even less fun in formal attire. And please give us plenty of places to sit. Cocktail hours are great, but it's pretty tough to balance our plates, drinks, and purses while standing — in heels no less!
You Don't Invite a Plus-One
Nothing reminds us of our dating status like a wedding. No need to rub it in our faces with even more reminders. The garter and bouquet tosses are like saying, "Hey, look at them. They're single!" Could you blame us if we hide in the bathroom as soon as the DJ announces it? And, come on, even if they did honestly predict we'd be the next to marry, do we really want some cheesy guy slipping garters up our legs? Of course, we'd prefer to be invited with a date, but we get why you may not be able to give us that, especially if we'll know lots of other people there. But if everyone we know is making out with their significant other all night, we're going to be pissed that you couldn't include one extra person to make us feel a little more comfortable.
You Put Us to Work
We know we'll have to help out with some tasks when we agree to be in the bridal party, but it's insulting when you consider a task like manning the guest book table an honor. We'd rather just be a regular guest at the wedding than have some silly duty like that. At the very least, give us a heads up if you'll need our help. Don't spring flower girl babysitting duties on us minutes before the reception.
You Don't Say Thank You
It's frustrating when we fly all the way to your wedding and you don't take the time to thank us for making the trip. Even if we haven't come a long way, make an effort to thank us for coming anyway. We know it's hard to talk to every guest at the wedding, but that's why, at the very least, we better get a thank-you card from you when you get back from your honeymoon!"
"My biggest gripe about weddings is that sometimes people don't know how to loosen up and have a good time. Wedding are about celebration...so let's celebrate!"
"As a guest and photographer, the time gap has always annoyed me. Especially when it's more than an hour and the ceremony and reception are far apart from each other."
"I don't like how the bride's family and friends have to sit on one side and the groom's have to sit on the other!!! Let's mix it up people!!!"
"Not knowing who the other guests are and trying to figure out who is related to who, or not related"
"I want to see the faces of the bride and groom -not their backs - when they say their vows. I'd rather see the back of the person marrying them."
"Who the heck does money dances anymore? I was at wedding a few weeks back and they had a money dance that took 45 minutes!! People were actually yawning and leaving!!"
"The nicest wedding I attended was one in which the bride and groom walked around to all the tables and personally talked to each of the guests. If you can't do it, don't invite so many people."
"One secret gripes is the lack of time to talk with the couple. i understand that everyone wants them, but more face time = good"
"Waiting for the ceremony to start for a long long time. Please start within 15 minutes of your invite time. Some of us get there at least 45 minutes before the ceremony and having to wait two hours for a 15 minute ceremony is absolutely insane."
If you have your own secret gripes about weddings, please post it in the comment section...and yes you an post it anonymously!
Photo from Benachi House and Gardens