Top 12 Ways to Impress Your Guests

Here's what guests really think about some of the great—and not so great—bashes they've attended.

1. How Refreshing
"I went to a wedding where there was dancing between courses. For the intermezzo course, instead of having us return to our seats, waiters passed sorbet lollipops. Delicious—and we never had to leave the dance floor."
—Kate, New York, NY

2. Personal Touches
"I'd never met the couple (the groom was an old friend of my husband's), but after the wedding I felt I'd known them forever. From the location (an apple orchard), to the ring bearer (their dog), to the organic meal, to the mariachi band brought in from Chiapas, Mexico (where they volunteered every year), everything was very personal.  I learned that this couple was into nature, organic living and community service—the wedding said it all."
—Erika, New York, NY

3. Charitable Favors
"In lieu of typical favors, the couple made a donation in honor of their guests to a mission they wanted to support. At each table, there was a note explaining the gesture."
—Peggy, Spring Mills, PA

4. Flattering Fashion
"I like weddings in which bridesmaids are allowed to choose different dress styles. That way, they look and feel beautiful."
—Hope, Chester, PA

5. Nice Site
"The best thing about one wedding was the venue, on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Virginia. The wedding was very relaxed—breezes, birds and a beautiful view."
—Bruce, Washington, DC

6. Family Ties
"I loved it when the groom's grandmother was in charge of the dessert table. She happens to bake award-winning desserts!"
—Jenna, Madison, VA

7. In The Service
"My mom met my stepfather while teaching at the elementary school that both her children and his daughter had attended. When they got married, they had the service in the chapel of the school, and they asked the chaplain who had taught all four children to officiate. That meant a lot to our family."
—Bella, Washington, DC

8. Tasty Treats
"A lot of candy favors get left behind, but one couple gave Lindt chocolates. I took those with me!"
—Mark, Baltimore, MD

9. It Takes Two
"The bride and groom had secretly been taking tango lessons and performed a choreographed routine for their first dance. We were applauding at every turn."
—Courtney, Raleigh, NC

10. Poetic License
"It's touching when couples personalize their vows. One groom, who'd met his bride in an English literature class, surprised her by reciting a Yeats poem! There wasn't a dry eye in the house."
—Martha, Hartford, CT

11. A Sporting Event
"I went to a Steelers-themed wedding, where the bridesmaids wore black dresses and carried sunflowers (for the team's black and gold colors), and the bride and groom briefly wore Steeler jerseys. It showed me what a fun-loving duo they are."
—Tracy, Pittsburgh, PA

12. A Sweet Good-Bye
"As we left, we were handed warm chocolate-chip cookies and vanilla milkshakes to go. Yum!"
—Megan, South Orange, NJ


What They Didn't Love

  • "I hate seeing a bride or groom who drinks too much. The next day everyone gossips about it. Post-wedding talk should always be positive." —Linda, Cleveland, OH
  • "Single girls can feel conspicuous when they're called up to catch the bouquet, especially when there's only a few at the wedding. When you don't know many people, it's awkward." —Bailey, Richmond, VA
  • "The couple had at least 20 'special' dances: from the first dance to the father/daughter dance to a bridal party 'Electric Slide.' It left only an hour for everyone else to dance!" —Carin, Baltimore, MD
  • "A month before a friend's wedding, she told me that the event was getting to be too expensive, so some people had to be cut. One of them was me!" —Morgan, Brooklyn, NY