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How Being a Wedding Guest Helps You Plan Your Wedding

Black and white image of wedding guests sitting at banquet tables and laughing at speches

Did you know that reminiscing on past weddings you’ve been to can actually help you with your own planning?

Taking a look at the great and not so great weddings you've been to can give you some great ideas and inspiration for your own big day. Plus, it can help you prioritize what's really important to you when it comes to your own wedding planning. From decorations to food, music, and even guest lists - understanding what worked well (and not so well) at other weddings can help you make the right decisions for your own special day.

During my free consultations, I chat with couples about their best and worst wedding memories. It’s amazing how quickly their priorities come to light. For some, the best weddings included ones where the music selection was killer and the party went long into the early morning. For others, the best weddings were the intimate, quiet gatherings out in nature.

Wedding groom and groomsmen taking a silly picture in a line with all of the groomsmen looking at groom

This is the most fun, and often the trickiest, part of weddings. While there are some general guidelines and ways to make your event enjoyable, for the most part, you can use your own preferences to guide and shape your big day.

In your own planning journey, take some time to reflect on what these experiences have been for you. Think about how these might impact the decisions you make, or have made, for your own wedding.

  • Did you appreciate when the food was really good and there was a variety of options? Think about prioritizing catering in your budget and select a caterer with several options that excite you.

  • Was it a blast to go to a wedding that started the night before? Think about expanding your wedding into a wedding weekend. Invite all guests to a reception the night before to get the party started early.

  • Did you really enjoy the brunch wedding that was relaxed, short and sweet? What about doing the same thing and hosting an 10am wedding followed by brunch. Consider having a small wedding party so the girls don’t have to get up too early to get ready.

  • Did you love being outdoors for a ceremony in the mountains? Think about an outdoor ceremony for your own wedding. If it can’t be the mountains, think about how you can create the same ambience with an area near you.

Bride in gorgeous gown with hanging bouquet and groom in grey suit walking in a field with mountains behind them

If you find this practice helpful, go a step a further and fill out a “Needs and Wants List” by following the instructions in my blog post here.

Haven’t been to any (or many) weddings? No problem! This exercise still works with most events, so think of a recent birthday party, night out or trip you’ve been on.

I hope you find this helpful for your planning!


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