How to increase your wedding guest’s enjoyment (without costing you a penny!)
David Haslett -
Wedding entertainment specialist
You want your guests to have a great time!
I remember the lead up to my wedding day - I was surprised and chuffed that family and friends were coming from overseas to enjoy my big day.
Even friends I hadn’t seen in years, who I knew didn’t really have the time or money, made the effort to see me pop a ring on it!
Giving them a great day and showing them our appreciation was a priority and to do that we spent a reasonable amount of money on a celebration that everyone would enjoy.
In my 5 years of being a full-time wedding musician and DJ, there’s one rule which I believe is crucial in creating a celebratory atmosphere that your guests will thrive on - and it doesn’t cost a penny.
The rule is this:
If you have a great time, your guests will too!
Or to put it another way, monkey see monkey do.
When I meet with Brides and Grooms and ask them what they really want out of their wedding, they often respond with “a great dancefloor, relaxed afternoon, slow and easy atmosphere”.
I remind them that they are the conductors of their own big day.
If you’re stressed and exhausted, that will flow into the atmosphere. If you’re taking your time and enjoying every second, your guests will too.
But why is that?
We call it by many names - the vibe or energy in the room, the spirit of an event - but it mostly comes down to group psychology.
Daniel Goleman, a science journalist and author, describes group psychology as “the tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of another person's and, consequently, to converge emotionally."
In every group there’s a leader, a chief, the alpha male or female.
At your wedding, you’re it!
Whether you want to or not, everyone is subconsciously taking their cue from you! Whatever you want your guests to experience, you should prioritise experiencing it yourself first.
At every wedding small things go wrong, it’s part of life. The trick is to expect it and move on when it happens. At a wedding I played recently, one of the speeches was a bit inappropriate, which put the groom into a sullen mood. As the entertainer, I noticed the energy drop for some time afterwards.
Everyone could sense he was a bit upset, and this affected everybody’s night until he picked up again.
When small things go wrong, just close your eyes, breathe, tell yourself ‘oh well’ and move on. It’s a bummer, but you won’t even remember it in a months time, and you and your guests will continue to have the night of a lifetime.
Why group psychology is a beautiful thing
Let’s be honest, most people have problems. Some people have very big problems. There’s something about a wedding which helps people disconnect for a while.
We enter a beautiful venue, with world class food, music and company, and enjoy a night in Never Neverland.
Your love for each other resounds throughout the ceremony, afternoon and evening, and we all leave with a sense of hope and perspective (and often a headache the next morning!).
The human mind allows us to share the emotions of others - in this case, the emotions are incredibly positive. So relax and let them radiate throughout your day.
Some practical advice
So relaxing and having a good time is as important as any other part of the wedding planning. Here’s some practical advice to ensure you have an amazing day with nothing negative on your mind.
- Make a schedule of the day, with the names and numbers of every vendor at the bottom. Email it to anyone who might possibly need it.
The day (and even on the day) of my wedding people were calling me to get the number of the photographer or venue, or to know when certain things were happening. This accumulates to stress, when you should be cool as a cucumber.
- Have a good night’s sleep every night that week. Especially the few days leading up to your big event.
I was definitely a bit tired on my wedding day and this affected my mood when I hit the 4pm slump. Even if you’re a night owl like me, prioritise some early nights.
- On the day, breathe deeply and make a point of noticing the little things - the colours people wear, the smiles and the excitement. Take it all in and feel completely satisfied - you’ve earned it, and your guests have earned it too.