How to Make Sure Guests at Large Weddings Feel Special

Make the big day feel intimate even when there are hundreds of attendees.

Even if you're having a huge wedding, there are still quite a few ways to make each of your guests feel special throughout.

Photo: Roey Yohai Studios

As couples try to focus on personalization and unique details for their wedding day, a lot of attention is paid to making sure the guests have a truly excellent experience. This is one of the many reasons the popularity of smaller, intimate weddings has increased. However, for some sweethearts cutting the guest list is simply impossible. Whether you have a large number of friends, a huge family, or parents who insist on inviting who they please because they’re footing the bill, hosting fewer than 100 attendees simply doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, plenty of pairs find themselves with over 200 loved ones checking yes on their RSVP card! Don’t fret though, you can still make each of those people feel like they were an important part of your big day.


Here are some ideas on how to make guests feel special at large weddings:

- Host a wedding weekend. This is already a major trend, but is still a wonderful way to get one-on-one time with the bulk of your guests. When someone gets to talk to you at the welcome party or rehearsal dinner, they’re less likely to feel slighted if you don’t get a chance to boogie together on the dance floor.

- One venue for ceremony and reception. Transporting everyone after the vow exchange is a hassle even for a small guest list, but parking alone can be a nightmare with a larger group. Everything in one place will have your attendees feeling more like loved ones and less like cattle.

- Seating in the round. With hundreds of people watching your vow exchange, those in the back rows can barely see or hear. If the seats are placed around the altar, it lessens the amount of rows, in addition to creating intimacy as you are circled by your guests.

- Smaller tables at the reception. King’s tables look extravagant and are trendy, but for larger celebrations it can make people feel isolated. More traditional round or square tables allow for more conversation.

- Lounge areas and bonus activities. Find a venue with little hideaways – or create them with drapery – to add to the experience and keep the space from feeling like it’s one big room.

- Personal touches on escort or place cards. This is going above and beyond for even the most intimate of gatherings, but including a note or photo that relates to each of your guests is something that will make it clear how important it is that they are there to celebrate your love. 

For more tips and advice, learn how to involve your parents in the planning process, how to maximize your intimate wedding, and learn how to plan your wedding without regrets