Eat, Drink, and Be Married

‘I just want everyone to have a good time’… if I had a pound for every time a client had said that to me! The answer is surprisingly easy. Just ensure you don’t scrimp on food and drink. It’s a celebration, not an observed mass! Scroll on if you have wedding budget concerns, because I’ve got a few easy swaps for you too.

How many times have you been at a wedding, and ended up hovering, and hoovering, around the entrance where the canapes are coming from? Yep yep, me too; guilty. It’s hungry (and thirsty) work, doing the good deed of helping your nearest and dearest celebrate their love for each other!

You’ve already asked your guests to travel for the day, perhaps stay overnight somewhere, they’ve probably got something new to wear, possibly even arranged babysitters, and likely not had any lunch – maybe also a rushed breakfast. I cannot stress how important feeding and watering your guests generously is. Hangry-ness also adds to the overall atmosphere of your day. And sneaks in surprisingly easily. Having worked at 180+ weddings, I can tell within about 10 seconds of entering a room if the canapes haven’t come out yet. Food and drink can also act as its own form of entertainment, it encourages interaction, provides a talking point, and quite simply, it makes people happy.

I’m here for the details, I really am, (I would be out of a job otherwise…!) but I tell my clients not to sweat the small stuff. So long as there is plenty food and drink to go around, it doesn’t (entirely) matter what font your place names are in. Unfortunately, people don’t remember place names, but they definitely remember how hungry they were waiting for canapes, waiting for the photos to be done, or waiting for dinner to be served.

In real terms, stationery wise, a table plan gives impact and adds to the stylisation of your day, but place names on the other hand (just for example), can be substituted or brought down a peg or two without much of a second look. And while we’re on it… if your favours can’t be consumed, then ditch them entirely please – and spend the money on more drinks. The very first thing that gets thrown away by your caterers when they’re clearing your tables is your place names and your favours! I see it so often and it makes me so sad! Especially because it’s usually me that’s put a fair whack of mental labour into them both before the day, and physical labour on the day!

I get it though, feeding 100 odd guests for around 12 hours isn’t cheap. But that’s the reality of the day; if you want people there to celebrate with you, you must host them. So, if your wedding budget is an issue, I would always advise to either cut your numbers, or do some swaps in your day to make sure your money goes further.

So, for one, if your wedding package is coming in at approx £100 per head, cutting just 10 guests will give you an extra £1k to play with to do extra canapes, an extra round of drinks, or perhaps a fun snack station. But if you have reservations on that front, in my humble experience, I, personally, would make these swaps:

It all comes down to value for money and price per minute of enjoyment, in my eyes. While of course being mindful of your wedding budget. As always, put yourself in your guests’ shoes. How would you like to feel?

The answer from me, when it comes to weddings and epic parties, will always be, ‘full, happy, and merry’.


Image by Angela Ward Brown from Charlotte + Tom’s wedding we worked together on
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