You have spent the year planning and finally your special day has arrived! Family and friends have traveled far and wide to join you in celebration and show their unending support. But when you take a moment to look at the schedule of events and do the math, you realize that you will only have a couple minutes per table for the entire evening.
How on earth are you going to find out all the juicy gossip, catch up on the latest big events and make sure that grandma still has enough time to compliment your dress choice? Saying “Hello” to everyone in the receiving line doesn’t count. You need to make sure that every person in attendance gets attention and feels appreciated for celebrating with you on your special day.
Step One: Have A Game Plan
While planning your special day find out when and where the “downtime” will take place. There will be multiple opportunities throughout the night to mix and mingle with your guests. It is best to know ahead of time when these moments will take place so you can make your way through the guest list.
Step Two: Prioritize
Those that came from out of town will need a little extra attention. They made an extra effort to show their support and in return be sure to visit their table multiple times throughout the event. Anyone who you feel might be leaving early (grandparents, guests with children) should also receive some priority visits early in the evening.
Step Three: Keep Track
It is imperative that you visit everyone at your wedding. Your guests have come from all over to celebrate with you. It is highly recommended that you thank each guest in person for their attendance. To help keep track, take a photo or leave a small token at each table so you know who you have visited and how many tables you have left to attend.
Step Four: Divide and Conquer
Split up with your partner to make the rounds. Don’t worry you have the rest of your lives together! This way guests will be thanked faster and tended to earlier in the night. Your guests will feel as though they have received double attention if they receive a visit from each of you throughout the night.
Step Five: Make Every Conversation Count
You have minimal time to make every conversation memorable. For some guests the conversation will come naturally; however, your great aunt or crazy uncle may pose a challenge. With your more difficult guests skip the pleasantries: “How are you liking it?” “Did you like the ceremony?” The answers will always be, “Yes! It was beautiful”. Don’t waste time with questions about the drive in or the hotel they are staying at when you know they will not complain on your special day. Use your time wisely.
Step Six: Introduce Something New or Give Them a Special Task
During quick conversations introduce your guests to something or someone new. It can be as simple as, “Uncle Joe, I know how much you love Mexican food so we decided on a nacho bar this evening just for you!” Or introduce your guests to someone new. “Aunty Claire, I wanted you to meet my good friend. Remember when I come to visit and you are always asking me about my adventures? Well this is the lovely lady that joins me.” The personalized attention based on your guests needs and desires will lead to a more meaningful evening for all.
Another way to make each conversation more memorable is to give a special task. Make your guests at that table feel as though they were chosen to attend for one particularly special reason. This creates a sense of importance and the guests will gratefully take to their new assignments. If you have a particularly rowdy table, tell them it is their job to liven up the dance floor once dinner is over. Let them know you are counting on them and the entire table will have a sense of pride being tasked with such an important job.
Step Seven: Use The Dance Floor
Get out there and enjoy! Dance with as many different people as possible. A good solid laugh and some dancing will create a more memorable experience than brief table conversation. Be conscious about moving around the dance floor and walking through the room to invite guests to dance. You are the celebrity everyone wants to be seen with.
Overall, remember your wedding is your special day. You invited your friends and family to come share in the love and joy. By making a plan, giving priority to those that are planning to leave early and keeping track of who you have spoken with; you will manage to see everyone and make everyone’s night extra special.
Life’s Secret Sauce, founded by Brandon Slater & Samantha Field, has been designed to teach young urban professionals how to have engaging and meaningful conversations as well as increase their networking skills. A
s public speakers in the Cruise industry, they have learned what it takes to build relationships, connections and engage in great conversation without distraction. Currently, they live in Miami with their Shiba Inu puppy, Azumi, and enjoy hiking in Alaska throughout the summer months. To learn more click here!