Recently Brides magazine published a blog called “What Millennial Wedding Guests Love and Hate Most About Weddings“ and as someone who makes his living in the wedding industry I clicked on it hoping to learn something new. But instead I was simply reminded of something I’ve known since I first started DJing weddings. Namely, that for the guests, the two most important factors of any wedding are the food and the music. So while millennials certainly differ from their older peers in some regard, they are more similar than you’d think in that prioritization. At a wedding, they want to eat well and party. Everything else is secondary to that.
First of all, this is not to diminish the importance of other wedding professionals like photographers and videographers because, keep in mind, this survey is about the guests at a wedding. Certainly those services are extremely important to the couple getting married, in many cases even more important than the entertainment. But for the average wedding guest, how great (or not great) the wedding album or video edit turns out is of little consequence, especially the day of the reception.
Looking closely at the article these are the things that jumped out for me:
- When guests were asked for the details at the reception that they value most (or pay most attention to) they listed “Food” first followed by “Music” second. But also making that list were “Dances” (which is sort of vague, does that mean the spotlight dances or the actual dancing?), “Entertainment” (which the blog defines as “photobooth/props/etc) and “Couple’s Entrance” (which is certainly a function of the entertainment) so I’d argue that 4 of the top 8 things guests care about at a reception are entertainment-related.
- I had to chuckle at the list of “Top 8 Reception Details Guests Value Least (and Are Paying the Least Attention To)” because “Couple’s Grand Exit” is on there. So apparently guests care a lot about how couples enter but not a lot about how they leave. So much for your sparkler send off!
- This tendency also came through when guests were asked for their top “Overall Pet Peeves” at a reception. Right behind drunk guests and not knowing anyone else at the wedding is “Bad music and/or DJ.”
- And finally in the category of what guests are most excited about, entertainment lands twice in the top four (“Celebrating the happy couple” is first and “Dancing” is fourth) with very little difference between millennials and Gen Xers.
And again, while this information made me feel good about my chosen profession it was no surprise to me. I’ve always known that wedding guests value a good time and will judge a wedding more on whether they danced or not than on how the flowers looked and what the favors were (both on the “Top 8 Reception Details Guests Value Least” list, by the way).
Which all leads back to what couple’s should consider when they are planning their wedding (assuming they value what their guests care about their wedding). If you consider your guests concerns you’ll think long and hard (and research in-depth) your entertainment options. You’ll make sure you are hiring a band or a DJ that knows how to get people up and out of their seats and partying. You’ll want to see video footage to confirm that, read a bunch of reviews that prove it and maybe even see them at a showcase so you can witness it first hand. This should be the main takeaway from that Brides blog (along with not spending much thought on “escort cards” because it’s the number one thing guests care least about.