May 12, 2016

Wedding Guest Enjoyment Survey Results: 9 Interesting Findings

Today I have a very unique post for you all! I created a wedding guest enjoyment survey and sent it into the world. Coming from a statistics background under my graduate political science degree, nothing makes me happier than numbers and data.

Although my collection methods don’t exactly feature random sampling or heavy demographic control questions, this survey with 32 respondents should, nonetheless, provide valuable insight for brides and vendors. Read on for the results.

Wedding Guest Enjoyment Survey Results. Cavin Elizabeth Photography's survey on what parts and aspects of the wedding day the guests enjoy and dislike the most.

1. Percentage of Respondents in the Wedding Industry

I have a lot of friends in the wedding industry who could have answered this survey, so I did find it necessary to establish what percentage of survey respondents work in the wedding industry. About 76% of respondents are not wedding vendors and thus only 24% of respondents work in the industry.

The majority of those who identified themselves as vendors marked that they attend between 1 and 4 weddings per year. This leads me to think that the vendors answered from a guest perspective and not from that of a wedding professional.


2. How Many Weddings, On Average, People Attend Each Year

87.5% of respondents say that on average, they attend between 1 and 4 weddings per year. 6.25% attends 5-7 and another 6.25% attends more than 10.

How many weddings per year each person attends, wedding guest enjoyment survey

3. Guests’ Favorite Part of the Wedding Day (Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Reception)

When asked from the choices of ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, 53.13% said that the reception is their favorite part of the wedding day. A quarter of respondents answered ceremony, while 15.63% said theirs is cocktail hour.


4. Guests’ Least Favorite Part of the Wedding Day (Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Reception)

50% of respondents gave their own answer about their least favorite part of the wedding day. Answers under “other” included things like:

  • Waiting for the ceremony and/or reception to begin
  • Receiving lines and transitions between the ceremony and reception
  • Gaps during the day

Cocktail hour came in second with 37.5% of respondents saying it was their least favorite part of the day.
Wedding guests' least favorite part of the wedding day, Wedding Guest Enjoyment Survey

5. Favorite Thing About Going to Weddings

For this question, respondents were presented with an open-ended question about what they really loved most about the wedding day. Here are some of the most common responses:

  • Mingling and talking with other guests
  • Dancing, food, and drinks
  • Getting dressed up
  • Seeing the love between the couple

Wedding band jamming out on stage. Estancia La Jolla Grande Room reception by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

6. What Guests Want to See More of During the Wedding Day

This question was also left open-ended so that respondents were free to give any answer they’d like. Top responses included:

  • Unique, rather than template-like ceremonies
  • More traditions
  • Couples enjoying more of their day (less stress)
  • Interactive activities, such as games and active things for guests to do


7. Most Enjoyed Wedding Day Traditions

For this question, respondents were asked to choose as many elements of the wedding day they enjoy that they so desired. For dancing and eating dinner78% of respondents said that they enjoyed those activities. I think one of the most interesting findings is that only 16% of people enjoy gift giving, although 28% enjoy receiving thank you notes for gift giving.

What people most enjoy about weddings, wedding guest enjoyment survey

8. Excitement to See the Professional Wedding Images

I included this question mostly for my own personal curiosity, but also so that couples could see that guests really do enjoy viewing the professional wedding images from their event. Approximately 72% of respondents reported that they feel excited about seeing the photographer’s images from the wedding.

Excitement over professional images, Wedding Guest Enjoyment Survey

9. Extra Comments

Just in case anybody had anything more to say about weddings at the end of the wedding guest enjoyment survey, I included an “Anything more?” comment box as the last survey item. Here are a few of the additions:

  • “Personalized decorations are my favorite.”
  • “People go overboard on cost! I wish it was more heartfelt than status driven.”
  • “Some couples decide to take an hour of pictures after ceremony and guests are left waiting for them to get a chance to join the crowd and visit. Keep the portrait time limited, folks, guests want to talk to you.”
  • “It is a very special day but it’s only ONE DAY. You have to find the balance of loving and enjoying it, but if something goes wrong, laugh it off, call it a memory in the making, and move on. Your wedding doesn’t define you or your marriage.”