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These Are the Details Wedding Guests Care About the Most

They might not remember your invitations, but they'll definitely remember you ran out of cake.
Maggie Seaver
by Maggie Seaver

You know those wedding details that are a fun and beautiful addition (if you have the time and budget), but aren't totally necessary? You know, the ones you care about, but your guests might not really notice—like over-the-top stationery, ornate ceremony programs and towering centerpieces. If you're having trouble cutting costs, deciding what to splurge on or prioritizing certain details, remember this: At the heart of it, your wedding guests only really care about a few key elements. Study up on the biggies right here, then try to marry them with what you and your partner care about the most. That's the secret to an unforgettable celebration of love.

The Food

This one's simple: Don't let your guests go hungry. Whether you opt for passed bites, an elaborate buffet or trendy food stations, make sure your catering is delicious—and that there's plenty of it. Same goes for dessert. Choose a wedding cake (if you're having wedding cake, that is) that tastes as good as it looks.

The Bar

You don't need to have a open bar all night, but you do need to offer your guests something to drink—without making them pay. Opt for beer and wine only, just a signature drink or purely mocktails, but don't force your guests to whip out their wallets for a cash bar.

Transportation

Stranding your guests at the hotel, ceremony or reception site is a no-no. Provide them with transportation options that suit your budget—whether it's an Uber code that lasts all night, taxi company recommendations or a shuttle bus that runs to and from key locations. The importance of transportation cannot be stressed enough, especially if you plan to serve alcohol. (Your wedding website is the perfect place to share directions and transportation options, by the way.)

A Smooth Run of Show

Timing really is everything. Do your best at every turn to avoid lag time when your guests could get antsy and bored. Max your ceremony at one hour (unless you're having a longer religious ceremony that requires otherwise, of course), keep reception toasts brief, cut your first dance song to one verse and one chorus, start cocktail hour immediately following your ceremony and so on. You get the idea, right?

The Music

Bad music pretty much equals a bad party. Whether you opt for a band or a DJ, put some effort into researching, interviewing and hiring the right pros. Share a thoughtful playlist and do-not-play list, listen to their stuff (live, if you can) and go over things like how often they'll take breaks and what songs should be played when. Trust us, the right music will immediately elevate your reception.

The Space

Too little or too much room at a wedding can make a surprisingly big difference in the overall vibe. Ever tried to dance to "Uptown Funk" on an overly crowded dance floor, or wanted to bust a move but it felt like no one was out there but you? Consider this factor early in your planning process. When calculating how much space you'll need, talk guest list numbers and square footage with your venue site manager or tent rental company.

Being Able to Hear Each Other

Don't force your non-dancing guests to yell over each other. Either work out a volume control plan with your musicians or provide a separate space (maybe a comfy lounge situation nearby) where guests can enjoy each other's company without going hoarse.

The Happy Couple

You could spend all the money in the world, hire a celebrity performer and have a 50-yard slip-and-slide—but if you and your partner are unhappy, table-bound or M.I.A. for the night, no one will have a good time. You two, the beaming newlyweds, are the North Star of this party: If you're relaxed, smiling and dancing, your guests will follow suit and never forget how much fun they had.

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