From Your Guests' Point of View

Make your wedding a special experience – even from the back row.

Have you been to several weddings over the years? Your experience varies, doesn’t it?

Sometimes – especially if you’re an attendant – it’s a weekend of joyful celebration. Then again, if you feel like a fifth wheel, or if you’re stuck behind the tall guy with the hat – you may wonder why you bothered to come.

Only two people at your wedding are the principals. A handful of others play supporting roles. The rest are spectators who have made an effort to be with you for your big day. You can give them the experience they deserve. It starts with looking through their eyes.


Can everyone see and hear? Family members have front-row seats, but everyone attending should be able to follow what’s being said. Will you need a PA system? Call in an experienced audio pro. Often, a wireless lapel mic on the officiant will pick up her/his words and your vows. Those stepping up for a reading or song may need a mic on a stand.


You know the whole cast of characters, but most of your guests won’t. They’ll appreciate a printed program listing all the participants and the names of readings and musical selections. Bonus: This becomes a nice memento they can take with them.

Your officiant’s remarks can include a brief explanation of rituals or other elements that may be unfamiliar. This is especially true for ceremonies with religious traditions or languages that some guests won’t know.

Time your photo ops

Have you been to a wedding where the couple disappears for an hour, just when everyone wants to congratulate them following the ceremony? You want to document the whole experience, but your wedding is a real-time event – not an all-day photo op. Your photographer and planner can help you arrange to get many shots ahead of time, and then finish quickly after the ceremony so you can join the reception. Clue in advance those who should stay close for after-ceremony shots.

Use your experience as a wedding guest to guide planning for your own. Or, just imagine yourself in the back row at your service, wanting to follow what’s going on. With a bit of forethought, you can give everyone you’ve invited an experience to remember and celebrate.