When I was planning my own wedding, I quickly found there were a set of phrases people pretty much only say to you when you're in the middle of planning a wedding.
There was "Oh, you absolutely have to have a..." and "Well, everyone is going to expect..." and "If you don't have that everyone will be disappointed". For whatever reason, weddings immediately bring out the discussion of other people's expectations, and you'll get tons of contradictory opinions of what those are.
So I decided I wanted to know, exactly what are wedding guests expecting? I created a survey and shared it through my circles and was surprised by the data!
94% of guests surveyed said they do not expect the bride & groom to provide transportation to and from the venue.
Somebody should tell that to all of those "wedding etiquette" books out there making everyone feel like bad hosts for not hiring buses to lug all their guests around.
Another interesting one?
29% of guests would consider skipping a wedding entirely if there wouldn't be any alcohol.
But (contrary to what many people insisted to me when I was planning), almost everyone was okay with a limited bar serving wine and beer. So if you're wondering how guests feel about a limited bar, the answer is pretty much "free alcohol is good alcohol".
And the "to open bar or not to open bar?" question... well, it divided our respondents.
57% of guest said an open bar was expected, but many of those who said it wasn't expected still said they'd be disappointed by a cash bar.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think guests' opinions should dictate your decisions. I'm all for making a wedding about you and celebrating your way, so never feel like you have to change something you like because of what may or may not be "expected". And certainly don't feel forced to spend out of your budget (the people who matter will show up and it will be awesome no matter what!). But feel free to use this information to help you along the way for those tricky "if only I knew what they'd want" moments.