2024 Wedding Trends: Focus on Your Guests!

In the past, wedding guests observed the wedding but didn’t participate other than selecting fish or beef for their dinner. Now the trend is to find creative ways for your guests to have fun participating in your wedding. Read on to find out the great options for you when planning experiences for your guests!

Hey, Christie!

Chris and I are so excited to be getting married at Ainsworth House & Gardens in 2024! We can’t wait!

I heard the buzz that great weddings in 2024 will have a focus on how much fun the guests have such as having chef craft a wood-fired pizza with the guest’s selected ingredients during the reception. 

Could you give me some ideas?


–Jennifer in Jefferson, Oregon

Hey, Jennifer!

That’s a great question!

As we assist more brides and grooms with planning their weddings, we are seeing some amazing plans for guest experiences!

Let me share a few ideas:

Wedding under a 200 year old Ponderosa Pine at Ainsworth House
A couple marries in front of the Ainsworth Mansion.
  1. Your Color Palette for Your Guests: In your invitations, ask your guests to dress in certain colors such as sunset colors or black tie. This way, you won’t worry about Uncle Dudley showing up in a plaid suit that clashes with everything in the county AND your photos will have a fantastic harmony!

2. Fun events before the wedding ceremony: Due to travel schedules, out of town guests often arrive as much as four days before the wedding—although 1-2 days before the wedding is the most common time. To have your guests participate in your wedding weekend, you may want to plan events for all of your guests (local and visitors) such as an event or a combination of any of these:

a. A welcome party  (which takes the place of the rehearsal dinner)

b. Sports tournaments (e.g., golf, pickleball, go kart racing, or tennis)

c.  Wine tasting events

d. Local field trips to the beach, whale watching, or to mountains

e. Have a Scavenger Hunt

f. Go horseback riding or have a pool party.



3. Libation Options: According to NCSolutions, “In 2023, 28%of Americans 21 or older did not drink any alcohol at all.” For that reason, you may want to have fancy mocktails or a non-alcoholic espresso martini for your guests to order. Why limit your non-drinking friends to a boring soda water and a squeeze of lime? By offering enchanting, non-boozy drinks, you are presenting your guests with unparalleled hospitality!

What can you offer your guests who drink alcohol to elevate your celebration?

A mixologist can create signature cocktails which incorporate your favorite libations or create a drink to honor your pets!

Trending in 2024 are Omakase cocktails which are dazzling, bespoke drinks that surprise and delight even expert foodies.


Reception at Ainsworth House & Gardens

4. Trending, fiery food stations: While interactive food stations (order your own wood fired pizza or hand-made sushi) have been on trend for some time now, in 2024, we kick it up a notch! Caterers provide chef-assisted stations at which guests can order customized grilled cheese sandwiches,  grilled tropical fruit, fired local cherry flambé, and s’mores.

5. Late night snacks: Whether your wedding ends after your reception or after the after party, your guests will appreciate a snack you can send with them to eat after they return home or to their hotel. Think about a snack that conjures up great memories for you. It might be a bowl of hot ramen soup or your favorite cereal when you were a kid. Who doesn’t like a great bowl of Frosted Flakes?

Wedding reception at Ainsworth House & Gardens
Ainsworth House & Gardens reception

6. Later wake-up time for the post wedding brunch: Your guests might not be quickly moving the day after your after party ended so move the brunch start time to a later hour. Your guests will appreciate being able to relax after your fabulous wedding!

Hint: Host a very trendy brunch. We’re hearing that  foody guests are tempted to skip a brunch so that they cab explore what local restaurants offer.

If you have additional questions, let me know. I’m happy to help you!



Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne



Wedding on the Front Lawn at Ainsworth House & Gardens!

Cover image courtesy of Pixabay.com.  All the photos were taken at Ainsworth House & Gardens weddings. 

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