Want to know what your wedding guests really want from your wedding? It’s not just party favors. As a newlywed who has attended three weddings in the past month, I’m starting to notice what can make me love a party.

Today, brides, I’d like to feature my top five ways you can ensure your guests have a great time at your upcoming Las Vegas weddings. Take a look at my list of what wedding guests love. Then feel free to take your own group of guests into consideration (from age to personalities) to create the ideal wedding.

My hubby and I LOVE photo booths!

Useful Party Favors

While party favors are a genuine attempt to give gifts to wedding guests, we brides tend to default to easy-peasy norms. As a guest, I want to receive a favor that’s useful. Whether it’s a cookie I can nibble during the cocktail hour or a small plant that I can take home and cultivate with you in mind, I prefer a party favor with some serious functionality or at least a little flair of the bride’s personality.

Funny Photo Booths

The photo booths never fail to entertain me. I love gathering fellow guests from my table to pile into this lovely box of creativity and strike the most random poses for the bride and groom to enjoy later. Talk about a lot of laughs! As a guest, I find time passes more quickly when I’m having fun. So give me a photo booth. I’ll have a good time posing for pics, exchanging gags with fellow guests, and being given a copy of my photo strip to stick to my fridge at home. With this, I’ll always remember the fun times I had at your wedding!

Entertaining Cocktail Hour

If nothing is happening while the bride and groom are away taking personal photos, I’m going to notice as a guest. I’m going to notice that I’m bored, that the bride and groom don’t care about my attendance enough to provide me with something to do, and that I should probably skip out now. Brides, encourage your guests to stay by giving them something else to focus on. You may want to consider: photo booths, a variety of filling food, an available and creative guest book, words of wisdom cards, and entertainment by the disc jockey (bride and groom slideshow, party games, etc.) or a smooth live musician. Any combination of these ideas is enough to convince me to stick around!

Such creative place cards!

Discovering Seat Arrangements

We guests love to congregate around the seating charts. I want to know where I’m placed and whom I’m sitting with pronto, so make those seating charts accessible. Brides, also keep in mind that we guests like to be seated with people we know. That’s what makes us comfortable, and when we’re comfortable, we enjoy the reception more. As a bride myself, I made the mistake of pairing people together based on who would get along once they got to know one another. Big mistake. My extended family was less than happy when they weren’t seated at one table. Take my word for it. Place guests with fellow guests they know, and leave the creative seating placement for people who won’t know anyone else at the party.

Speaking with the Bride

Brides, get prepared to schmooze, smooch, and smile. Every single guest wants to pass along their well-wishes, no matter how well they know you. We guests don’t mean to pull you away from the dance floor or stop you from enjoying the party. We just want to let you know we’re so incredibly happy for you, and we couldn’t just let our congratulations slide with a greeting card. We need this personal moment. We want to look back to your wedding and recall how you beamed at our hugs and laughed at our lame marriage jokes. So, brides, indulge us guests please. Your wedding day may be your day, but we really want to share it with you.

Brides, for all the traditional fanfare or modern edge, sometimes all your wedding guests are looking for is a chance to celebrate with you and fellow guests whose company they enjoy. Starting today, remember to focus on what matters. Give the guests an opportunity to mingle, to stay entertained, and, most importantly, to have a special moment to exchange a few words with you on your most special day.

Author: Allyson Siwajian (copyright 2011)

Photographs: first image by ShutterBooth photo booth, second image by Allyson Siwajian