6 Ways To Make Single Guests Feel Included
Whether its your wedding budget that doesn’t allow for any plus-ones or COVID restrictions have caused you to make some guest list cutbacks, you don’t want any of your single friends to feel left out of the festivities. Be sure to incorporate various ways to make everyone feel included and comfortable. This will ensure that your solo guests have just as much fun as those who come in pairs. Here are our six favorite ways ways to make your big day a memorable one for all your guests.
Get Connected Before the Wedding
Try to invite guests that your single friends already know or make an effort to introduce them at your pre-wedding celebrations. These parties are always an ideal opportunity for guests to meet before the big day. If they aren't all coming to the rehearsal or to a shower, host a small party at your home and invite your close friends that might not be in the same circle. This way, there will be a level of familiarity for them when they arrive at the wedding.
If you are making Nashville your destination for your wedding, we would be more than happy to help make your single guests feel more at ease by putting them in touch with each other to coordinate travel arrangements. We find that with destination weddings, its common to have a lot of singles attending. Weddings & Events by Raina would be delighted to help you come up with a plan to connect guests via email or your wedding website so that they can share rooms or rides with a friend. We would even suggest creating a dedicated email address so that guests can reach out to your Weddings & Events by Raina planning team for any assistance they might need.*
Make Your Event Interactive
Hosting a slightly less traditional wedding where the event is more interactive is one of the best ways to make your single guest feel included. By not drawing attention to the fact that they’re unattached, your guests are sure to engage. For example, toss the bouquet and garter. These traditions can be embarrassing, not to mention somewhat outdated. Instead create an event where single or paired up people can enjoy themselves. For example, have a friendly dance-off or hire a photo booth...even set up a separate area for a whisky tasting. We have quite a few ideas on our blog 10 Fun Ideas for Non-Dancing Guests.
For a wedding weekend, arrange meeting spots where guests can congregate during downtime. Things like a tour of Nashville's hottest new rooftop bars. Some of our favorites include White Limozeen at The Graduate, the Bobby Hotel, L27 at the Westin Nashville, and Rare Bird at Noelle. Arranging a scavenger hunt with Wild Goose Chase Events featuring the guys vs. the gals is also a great way to build lasting friendships or even an irreverent tour of the town courtesy of the Jugg Sisters aboard the bright pink NashTrash tour bus. Those ladies will have you laughing long after its over!
Think Through Your Seating Plan
Open seating for the ceremony is always good way to begin, however, a strategic seating plan at your reception allows guests to better get to know each other. Don't seat all your single friends at one table made up entirely of single people. This will make them feel like an afterthought. Whether you plan to have a plated dinner, stations or a buffet, seat your single friends with others they may know or have at least heard about. For example, if you have a single friend from college, seat them with other friends she may know from school regardless of whether those friends are also married or part of an established couple.
Add Conversation Starters
Unique details in your table decor like an assortment of 'fun fact' cocktail napkins that each include an interesting fact about the bride and groom will inspire your guests to interact and share stories helping them find those mutual connections. We also love offering your guests surprising entertainment options like a live event painter, mobile bartenders who move about the room, or a caricature artist to really give your guests something to talk about.
Serving the dinner family-style goes a long way to creating a sense of community through food. By passing those bowls and platters plates and platters, it is the perfect setup for breaking the ice with other guests and getting conversations started that will hopefully lead to a fun night of celebration. Plus it lets you can get creative with the menu and table decor, which is an added bonus! We love the farm tables or long 8' tables because a larger communal table allows guests to feel more included than when they are seated at a round table for eight where it can be more difficult to carry on a conversation with everyone in attendance.
Set up a Chic Lounge
An interesting lounge area is always a great way for single guests to chat with your other friends and family. It creates a relaxed environment as well as an escape from the dance floor for a bit but still be part of the festivities. We love to set up a few different lounge areas, space permitting...one lounge near the dance floor and another between the bar and a quieter area. Our favorite, however, is a dessert lounge for guests to enjoy wedding cake and other dessert surprises you might have planned like a coffee bar, in an informal setting.
*Service available with our All-Inclusive Luxury Wedding planning package.