The average wedding sees all manner of friend and family member come together to celebrate a very special occasion. Whilst much emphasis is put on entertaining younger wedding guests, the same care and attention should be taken to keeping older guests satisfied throughout the ceremony and reception. Whether that older guest is your grandmother, distant uncle, or family friend, spare a thought for how you can make them feel comfortable.
Here, we share our tips for taking care of older wedding guests on your big day so you can ensure guests of all ages have an utterly amazing time.
Consider the mobility of your guests
We’re proud of the portfolio of grand wedding venues we represent but our extensive houses and grounds can be a daunting prospect for older, less mobile relatives and friends. While they wouldn’t expect you to reconsider your venue choice, there are a number of things you can do to ensure guests who can’t walk as far don’t have to.
Make sure you are aware of the mobility needs of your wedding guests well in advance of your wedding day. A simple catch-up with your guests will usually provide all the information you need.
If you’re not particularly close to the guest, ask a family member or friend who is to help you gain a full understanding of your elderly guests’ mobility issues. You can then work with your venue to ensure special arrangements can be made in preparation for your big day.
All our venues have accommodation available for guests with accessibility issues and disabled parking spaces close by. These spaces can be increased upon request to ensure all your guests’ mobility needs can be catered for.
Devise your seating plan mindfully
Customising seating arrangements with your elderly wedding guests in mind will ensure tired legs can be accommodated. It’s not just seating arrangements at your ceremony and wedding table plan that should be considered. Providing extra seating around the dancefloor at your wedding reception will guarantee comfort and keep elderly guests at the heart of the action.
In addition to this, you should make sure that your elderly guests aren’t seated next to speakers. Loud music can make for an uncomfortable experience for those with hearing issues. Positioning older guests towards the top table will also ensure they don’t have to twist uncomfortably to enjoy the wedding speeches.
Wedding Ideas Magazine also recommends earmarking a space within your wedding reception venue for older guests to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the main event:
“Find a corner of your venue where you can create a chill-out zone; it might be a room off the main party area or a comfortable hallway. If there’s a roaring log fire nearby in winter so much the better – or in summer, a cool shaded spot outside would be perfect if the weather is good.”
Provide alternative menu options
Wedding breakfasts are often decadence affairs, you should, however, provide a simpler alternative for older guests who struggle to eat certain foods. We’re not saying that you have to offer a pureed option but providing a different dish to replace difficult to eat menu items, such as meat on the bone or spicy recipes, will ensure elderly guests can thoroughly enjoy the meal.
Dietary requirements will certainly be a topic of conversation when you liaise with your caterer in the months before your big day. Allow plenty of time to find out about the dietary requirements of all wedding guests – including elderly members of your party.