When your family members and friends hear that you’re getting married, they were obviously over-the-moon excited. You’ve probably heard some form of “we can’t wait!” or “I’m counting down the minutes!” from pretty much every one of your guests (along with some major squealing). But here’s the truth: They’re lying. Okay, well, maybe not totally lying. Yes, they’re thrilled that you’re tying the knot, but there are certain aspects of attending a wedding that your loved ones may not be totally amped about. According to a new WeddingWire study, there are certain parts of the wedding guest experience that people find particularly frustrating. But the good news is, by knowing what these tasks are in advance, you can actually help make the process easier for your loved ones so they’ll actually be thrilled about every aspect of your big day.
Here are the top four things that wedding guests find frustrating about attending a wedding—and how you can make their experience an easier one.
They have trouble finding something to wear.
Even if shopping is your favorite hobby, finding attire for a wedding can be pretty overwhelming. According to the new study, 44 percent of guests found finding attire for a wedding challenging. There are lots of criteria that go into the perfect wedding outfit—it needs to be appropriate for the season, match the dress code, be flattering and comfortable, not cost next month’s rent, not look like what the wedding party is wearing, and on and on. Your guests may end up spending a lot of time in stores and online browsing attire and trying outfits on—all to ensure they look their best for your wedding.
How you can help: While it’s totally okay to give your guests a suggested dress code, stick with an attire style that isn’t too restrictive or confusing. So while “black tie” or “cocktail” may be okay, “all white,” “Game of Thrones-themed attire,” or “Met Gala inspired” are not.
Attending a wedding is expensive!
While guests are excited to celebrate your marriage, they may be less-than-overjoyed to spend so much money to do so. We know that the average guest spends $430 to attend a wedding—and that cost goes up to over $1,000 if it’s a destination wedding. According to the WeddingWire study, 50 percent of guests who had to fly to a wedding found it difficult to keep costs down. Between transportation, accommodations, buying a gift, and more, the cost of attending a wedding can add up super-quickly.
How you can help: Yes, we know you are spending a ton of money to put together the event of a lifetime—but that doesn’t mean your guests also have to spend an arm and a leg to attend. You can still have the destination wedding of your dreams, but make a concerted effort to keep costs down. Try to plan your event for off-peak season at your chosen wedding locale, book room blocks at affordable hotels, and provide transportation to and from your event. While these may be extra expenses on your part, they’ll be greatly appreciated by your loved ones.
They’re stressed about finding the perfect gift.
A wedding gift is a meaningful symbol of your guests’ love and their appreciation for being included in your big day. On average, guests spend $120 on a wedding gift—but they may spend more or less depending on their relationship with you (close family members spend more, casual friends less). That’s not a small sum of money, so your guests want to be sure they’re spending it well—either giving you an item you’ll actually use or giving you cash that you’ll use for something important as you and your partner start your new life together. Finding the right gift at the right price can be time-consuming and perhaps, not super fun so it makes sense that 24 percent of survey respondents said they found finding the right gift challenging.
How you can help: Set up your registry ASAP with a variety of gifts at a variety of price points. A good rule of thumb is to register for at least one gift per invited guest, but we recommend registering for more if possible. Be sure to publicize your registry on your wedding website so it’s easy for your guests to find, and don’t forget to check on your registry regularly to see if you need to add more gifts so your loved ones will always have plenty of options to choose from.
They hate figuring out travel logistics.
For guests attending weddings that require travel, figuring out all of those logistics can be pretty stressful. Maybe they have to request time off from work, research flights, book hotel rooms, rent a car—it’s a lot! According to the WeddingWire study, 39 percent of guests who had to fly to a wedding’s location found making travel arrangements frustrating.
How you can help: If you’re planning a destination wedding, do your part to make arranging travel as easy and stress-free as possible. Take the time to arrange group discounts with airlines and book room blocks at convenient hotels. Provide transportation when possible. And make sure all important travel information is prominently included on your wedding website, so your guests don’t have to call you with questions (but be gracious if they do!). If traveling to your wedding destination is particularly complicated, you might consider enlisting a travel agent to help your guests every step of the way.