The 5 Essential Things Every Really Great Wedding Needs

A local bride and her mom aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on their “must-haves” list; Judy breaks it down

It can be a matter of debate, but there truly are certain essentials at a wedding. Apparently, this bride thinks everything is an essential. (I’ll do my best to clear it up for her.)

A mother-of-the-bride asks…
“My daughter keeps telling me and my husband that there are things that she must have at her wedding… and the list keeps getting longer. I would like to get back to her ‘armed’ with your suggestions, so maybe there will be an end to her list!”

The Wedding Guru says…
Hmm, think she’s going a little overboard? Let’s see if we can make her list more practical for you.

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In my opinion, there are several must-haves at a wedding, the first of which is to have lots of food and drink. If your budget requires you to pick between more food and better quality food, pick more. Guests don’t really expect wedding food to be top-notch, but they will be really upset if the amount of food is stingy.

Add as many guest-friendly items as possible, so that your daughter’s guests feel like they she really had them in mind when planning the wedding. A welcome station with drinks (Champagne punch, perhaps), fruit, crudités and the like are very much appreciated, especially by those who have travelled a distance to get to the wedding.

If hers is a destination wedding, especially one out of state or out of the country, make information available to the guests. Put together gift bags that include directions to the area’s attractions, and perhaps even a dictionary for those unfamiliar with the language. Make every effort to make every one of the guests feel special.

If for some reason the wedding doesn’t start on time (hey, it happens!), it’s up to the wedding hosts to make sure that there is enough food for guests to munch on, as well as entertainment (such as an acoustic guitar or harpist). That will make their wait more palatable.

Speaking of entertainment, you’ll want music that works for everyone, not just the young friends of the bridal couple. Deejays are a very popular choice, since they’re able to play a wide variety of music. Make sure that when your daughter chooses her song list (before the wedding), she includes many genres of music. You also want a list of songs that you don’t want them to play, so as not to offend any of your guests.

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Talk to your daughter. Go over her must-haves versus yours, and let’s get that list crossed-off!

Got more questions? Write to me at

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