How To Make Your Guests Love You - 5 things you need to consider for your wedding day NOW!

Okay so your wedding guest list is comprised of all your closest and dearest friends and family. All 300 of them…

While everyone at the wedding is there to love and support you let’s be honest for a sec, guests aren’t always overflowing with patience on your wedding day.

Now this isn’t a post to bash either party or call anyone names, but rather let’s lay out a few truths and a few more strategies, to be the host-est with the most-est on your big day.

1. Consider a first look

If you don’t know what a first look is (have you been under a rock?) it’s a special moment, typically coordinated by your photographer, where you and soon-to-be-spouse see each other before the ceremony. First looks can be incredibly special and touching on a wedding day. It’s a wonderful chance to get out all your nerves, and get the jitters over and done with. The main purpose of a first look though is your timeline. Getting to see each other before the ceremony allows you and your photographer to take care of not just portraits of the two of you, but your bridal party as well. Think of all that time saved between the ceremony and reception! Plus you can get a ton more of those killer photos you know you’ll want.

What this really does for your guest? It keeps the cocktail hour to a nice and tidy 45 minutes and your guests grumbling about having to wait for the bride and groom to a solid zero.

Win. For. Everyone.

emotional first look

2. For Pete’s sake send out the food!

Imagine you’re a guest. You just sat through a 30 minute ceremony and drove another 20 minutes to the reception where you had to find a parking space and schlep your way into the venue. You’ve already knocked back two glasses of wine, and you’ve been eyeing the tables trying to decide where to set up base camp for the rest of the evening. It’s now 2 hours into your evening and you’re ready for some grub. That fruit and cheese display was cute but it’s real food time.

I promise the last thing your guests want to see is the beautiful full buffet of mouthwatering food sitting there in chafing dishes. The couple has decided to hold the food until they’ve made their entrance and done all the first dances. It’s a common situation (and if it sounds familiar, no hard feelings).

It’s super simple. Feed the guests. Let them enjoy all the tasty things you’ve picked out while you’re off doing photos. When you do finally make your grand entrance, your guests will be two glasses in with full bellies ready to hug you and shower you with love (and thanks for the grub!).


3. Comfort is King

Got an August wedding and you still want to get married outside? That’s great! Just make sure you have some creature comforts at the ready for your glistening guests. Bottles of water, fans, an air conditioned place to wait until ceremony time are all options and items that will leave your guests feeling appreciated on your special day. The same goes for cold. If you’re planning a winter wedding in the cold, have shawls, blankets, and heaters for your guests to stay warm and cozy while they wait for you to walk down the aisle.

shawl wedding favors

4. Keep an open mind about timeline

What this really boils down to is flexibility. The timeline for your wedding day isn’t a stone tablet that’s been chiseled with the 10 Commandments. It is a living thing that can go with the flow of your day. Your timeline should be a rule of thumb; a guideline for how your day should proceed. We always tell our clients that our photo timeline is what we strive for. Our max time allowed. If we get done sooner, great! We can move on to the next thing. Same thing with delays. If we planned for your ceremony to take 30 minutes but your musicians decide to take and extra 2 choruses of Eternal Father, things are going to shift in your timeline. Success comes from being ready to adapt as the day progresses and don’t stress when your schedule shifts.


5. Realize when it’s time to say goodnight

No one wants their party to end. You imagine everyone dancing to “Shout” into the night. The reality is that your guests have a limit. Everyone can only drink, eat, dance, and mingle so much. If you’ve planned on a 5 hour reception and guests start trickling out after 4 hours, it’s great to be flexible enough to end the party on a high with a larger group of guests. Everyone will remember partying all night long instead of looking at their watches.

snow exit

Graham and Austin - Fall Engagement Session at Saluda Shoals Park

One of our favorite spots at our favorite time of year. Columbia is beautiful all year round, but it feels like a very special treat in the Fall. We finally get some relief from the famously hot heat, and even get all little fall color in the trees. We had a great time work with these two beautiful souls. Here’s just a few of our favorites!

engagement session saluda shoals park
saluda shoals park
christmas lights engagement photos
engagement session saluda shoals
fall outdoor engagement session
columbia sc engagement photography
cute fall photos
fall engagement session
engagement session saluda shoals park

5 Wedding Day Items That Fall Through the Cracks : And How to Avoid Them


You’ve planned. You’ve dreamed. You’ve covered all your bases, and checked off every single wedding list known to the internet. Then how on earth could you possibly be in a situation where you’re not sure what to do next? Well, it’s called the void and we’re here to talk about all the nitty-gritty things that go unmentioned on the wedding day.


No. 1 What do I do with my license?

You’ve just walked down the aisle in a rush of happiness. You’re out in the hallway of the church hugging, crying, and being smothered by your family and bridal party. It’s time to go back in to the sanctuary and sign your marriage license. We gotta make this legal am I right? Well, you’ve signed, photos were taken, and everything is squared away, and your minister hands you what feels like a very legal and important document.

What do I do with this??? This dress doesn’t have pockets. I don’t trust my husband with it right now (I mean that tux is a rental after all). What am I supposed to do?

We’ve seen it more than once. The license is the biggest thing that can be misplaced or lost in the rush of the day. It doesn’t have to be a moment of stress with just a little bit of planning. Pre-designate a very responsible friend or family member to take care of your copy of the license once it’s signed. If you’re staying in the country for the honey moon, you can comfortably leave it safe at home. Going abroad? Take your copy with you. Have that same friend place it in your carry on or overnight bag and tell you and your spouse exactly where it is. Remember in the state of South Carolina, there are three copies you sign on the wedding day. Your officiant is responsible for taking care of two, and the third is yours.


No. 2 Where and When Will My Bouquet Be Delivered?

That bouquet you ordered is going to be stunning, and you can’t wait to see it for the first time. Hold up. When is it going to be here? Now most florists are going to ask you where you’re going to be and when so usually there is no issue. The caveat to that is if your getting ready venue, photo location, and ceremony site are all in different places. How on earth are you supposed to coordinate that? Well the answer, again, is simple. Communication. Getting ready at the hotel? Have the bouquets delivered there so you and your bridesmaids can grab them and go create those on point pre-ceremony photos. Not feeling like schlepping around town with the weight of responsibility resting on your gorgeous tanned shoulders? See if your saint of a florist will meet you at your photo location bouquet in hand (just make sure you can tip them for the extra effort and sainthood).


No. 3 Those Shoes are on Point (uh…do you have a backup?)

Having killer shoes on your wedding is a must for most brides. It doesn’t matter how high the heel or how uncomfortable they are, they must pop. While I wholehearted agree on this particular point, nothing can be more debilitating to fun and more specifically the photos if you can’t walk another step. We’ve seen so many victims of this shoe-tastrify in pain. So, if you’re planning on rocking those stilettos, bring a backup for the reception so you don’t have to go barefoot. Some cute little flats will keep you happy and dancing the night away. Besides, no ones looking at your feet at the reception ;)


No. 4 Have you fed your friends?

Hair at 8:00. Makeup at 11:00. Photos at 2:00. Ceremony at 5:00.

So often the wedding day starts before breakfast and ends well after dinner. The reception covers dinner and many times there is some kind of breakfast provided during hair and makeup. The real gap is lunch. You eat three meals a day normally, so why does lunch end up by the wayside? A simple delivery form a sub shop or tray of chicken nuggets can go a long way. You’r bridesmaids will love you, and everyone will have something in them to keep the nerves (and alcohol) at a manageable level. Don’t forget the guys too. The best way to keep their spirits up and photos in control, send over some grub :) They’ll talk about how your wedding was the best ever for years to come.


No. 5 To Pocket Square or Not to Pocket Square?

With guys it seems so easy. You pick the tux and it’s done. No muss, no fuss. Or is it?

With formal wear not being an every day thing, it can be a little confusing. So many of the options for ties and pocket squares are personal preference, and the best option is to be consistent. Decide ahead of time how you want the guys to wear their accessories and pass that info along. Your groomsmen will appreciate the lack of fuss. If you opted for a self tie neck tie or bow tie, make sure everyone (or at the very least, one person) knows how to tie it. We’ve seen so many groups you tubing bow tie videos and it can get messy.


What do you think? Is there another item that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Julia + Andrew - Romantic wedding at 1208 Washington Place

Julia and Andrew had such a sweet romantic wedding day. We loved her simple and stunning gown complete with a cape passed on from other female family members. Her flowers were exquisite, and we couldn’t get over how beautiful Fern Studio made the vault doors at 1208 Washington. Here are just a few favorites!

Incarnation Lutheran

1208 Washington Place

Fern Studio

Southern Way

Bonnie Brunt


Blue Orchid

Party Reflections

fern studio arrangement
bridesmaids and bride
bridesmaids bouquet
bridal portraits columbia sc
candid bridal portraits
columbia church
church details
father and daughter
Incarnation Lutheran Wedding
incarnation lutheran church
lutheran wedding
columbia wedding photography
columbia wedding photography
portraits incarnation lutheran
fern studio bridal bouquet
beautiful wedding portraits 1208 washington
fun portraits 1208 washington
1208 washington place wedding
columbia sc wedding photographer
wedding portraits cola
wedding cake 1208 washington
fern studio vault
1208 washington fern studio flowers
vintage floral design fern studio
first dance 1208 washginton
1208 washington checkerboard dancefloor
classic wedding style
fun first dance
cake cutting 1208 washington
cake cutting cute
1208 washington vault doors
candle centerpieces
bubbly bar
1208 sparkler exit