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5 Common Ways You're Confusing Your Wedding Guests

From transportation to attire, here's how you're leaving your loved ones scratching their heads.

Contributing Writer
guests walking in woods
Photography by: Carrie Patterson

While it may start to feel like you're being redundant in your communications to your wedding guests, it's important to be clear and concise (and yes, a little bit repetitive) to avoid any confusion. This is especially true when it comes to information around travel, location, transportation, and dress code, which are some of the most common wedding details guests get confused about. Luckily, wedding websites, invitation enclosures, welcome notes, and group emails are all wonderful tools for providing your family and friends with detailed information. Here, find out which big-day elements your guests are probably confused about, and get our best tips for making sure everything is clear.

 

Related: The Etiquette of Wedding Invitation Enclosures

 

Where and When to Go

Your biggest priority should be to clearly communication specific times and locations for every wedding event. Your guests should know the basics based off of your invitations, but any added tips concerning shuttles, directions, or likely delays will need to be spelled out. Err on the side of too much rather than too little information and you'll find that guests direct fewer questions your way.

 

Vague Attire Descriptions

While creative attire descriptions may feel fun and festive, they more often than note leave guests feeling confused. Rather than assuming your loved ones will understand what something like "garden fabulous" means, you might have a better success rate suggesting something like "cocktail attire," or providing a more descriptive attire suggestion on your wedding website.

 

Transportation

If you're providing shuttles to and from your wedding venue, this information needs to be really specific when shared with guests. You should also let hotel staff know that these pickup details are key to your wedding starting on time. Giving a window of time for guests to gather can be extremely helpful. You might say something like, "Shuttles will arrive at the hotel at 4:30 p.m. and depart at 4:45 p.m. If you miss the shuttles, know that vehicles are not permitted at the venue site. Please do not miss the shuttles." Whereas if you say something like, "Shuttles pick up at the hotel at 4:45 p.m.," guests are left thinking that this mode of transportation is optional.

 

Couples often overlook the importance of an end-of-night departure schedule for shuttles and this can lead to a frustrating experience for guests. Say, for example, that just two guests take the 24-passenger shuttle to their hotel at 10:15 p.m. but the wedding officially ends at 10:30 p.m. It's unlikely that the shuttle will make it back in time to bring the remaining guests home in a timely manner. Setting a specific schedule alleviates the guesswork and lets guests know all the information so they can plan ahead.

 

Unmarked Buffet Food

Food stations are confusing for guests with allergies and dietary restrictions, and they're especially tough to navigate when they're not marked at all. If you're having self-serve options during cocktail hour or dinner, be sure to clearly label what each choice is and list any common allergens should they be present. Something as simple as "Contains Nuts" in the buttom corner of a label can make the world of difference for your loved ones.

 

The End of the Night

Some guests assume they're free to depart once the cake has been cut but others may think they're obligated to stay until the last song plays. Take the guesswork out of this for the older folks by listing the end time on your wedding website and letting guests know they can leave whenever they'd like.