Though a couple’s wedding day is meant to focus on the start of their new chapter as life partners, many celebrate it with an unforgettable experience for their guests. People travel from far and wide to celebrate your love, so it’s normal to want to show them a good time.
If you’re unsure what your guests are looking for, it might be time to ask them for their opinions. From food to music to lodging, your guests can help you map out the special elements of your big day.
While this advice can be constructive, it’s important to note that it can also have its downsides. For couples planning on asking their loved ones for their two cents, there are a handful of pros and cons to consider. Luckily, we sat down with a few industry experts to hear what they had to say regarding sourcing guest opinions. Here’s what they shared.
Pro: Vendor Feedback
Choosing wedding day vendors can be a significant source of stress for most couples. So if you’re looking to lighten the load, it’s wise to chat with some of your guests. Ask them which vendors they would recommend so you can design an experience everyone will enjoy.
“A huge pro of sourcing guest opinions, more specifically, [opinions of] trusted friends who are recently married, is vendor feedback,” shares Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss. “They have likely had experiences, both good and bad, that will be indispensable as you start planning your wedding. It’s hard to know how a DJ does if you haven’t experienced it firsthand, but if you attended the wedding or your friend is raving, you will feel much more confident booking!”
Meredith Ryncarz of Meredith Ryncarz Photography agrees, emphasizing, “Friends can offer feedback backed up by experience. Most people that offer planning advice have gone through the wedding process, [so they] can speak to the quality of certain vendors.”
So don’t be afraid to turn to loved ones who have already navigated the wedding planning process—their input can be invaluable to your journey!
Con: Increased Confusion
Your loved ones mean well, but if you hear from too many of them, you risk feeling more stuck than you did in the first place. Be strategic in your approach to avoid overwhelming yourself with differing opinions.
“Getting several opinions that contradict each other will only make you more confused,” Sheils notes. “Instead, ask a very small group of trusted friends or family for their opinions and then make your decision.”
When it comes to wedding opinions, less truly is more!
Pro: Better Understanding of Guests’ Budgets
Many couples worry about how much each guest is willing to spend on their wedding—especially those considering a destination celebration. Gathering advice will help you and your partner better plan for those traveling to celebrate your big day.
“If [they’re] planning a destination wedding, many couples choose to source their loved ones’ opinions before choosing a destination venue to get a feel for the initial interest in traveling far away,” explains Jen Avey of Destination Weddings Travel Group. “The pros include getting an idea of your guests’ budget[s] to choose a location that won’t break the bank and ensure most of your loved ones can attend. It also helps to determine your guest list estimate, which is vital in the beginning stages of destination wedding planning.”
And since destination weddings often come with shorter guest lists, it may be as simple as calling your loved ones or sending out a group email. Either way, it’s always best to get a pulse of the group before booking a destination that’s outside of your guests’ reach.
Con: Differing Values
What someone deems essential at a wedding might be something you and your partner wouldn’t consider. For example, your aunt might think a Champagne toast is a tradition, while you’d prefer spending your budget elsewhere. Remember that your wedding day should be a culmination of your preferences rather than getting too caught up in what others value.
“Your guests give you advice based on their values,” Ryncarz reminds us. “Each guest will value something different at your wedding, from food to florals. This advice does not consider what you and your partner value for your day. While their advice may be valid, what matters on the day is what you value.”
With that said, take every opinion with a grain of salt. While it’s natural to take feedback personally, remember that your loved ones only chime in with suggestions because they want you to have the best day. Take what you want and leave the rest—it’s your wedding!
Pro: Provides a Foundation
When you focus on gathering opinions from those you really trust, they can help guide you throughout your planning. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, the right people will know how to filter out the noise and ensure you feel confident in your choices.
As Ryncarz notes, “Guests can keep you grounded. So often, our couples try to make their guests happy by spending a lot of money on different experiences for their guests to enjoy at their wedding. Guests can give opinions about which experiences matter to them. This will help to redirect your resources so that all guests share in the experience you are providing.”
At the end of the day, though you may value your loved one’s opinions, don’t lose sight of what your celebration is really about: the love you and your partner share. So regardless of the advice you collect, make sure your choices reflect your unique vision. Guests will be happy to be there on your special day, no matter what you decide!