With the countless hours of research, planning and preparation that goes into your wedding day, as a bride, sometimes it’s tough to get out of the wedding tunnel vision. Though the dress, the flowers and the first dance are important elements of your wedding day, there is another very important piece you should put extra thought into: Your guests.
Wedding guests often make substantial sacrifices to be at your wedding. Many travel a long distance, have to pay for overnight (or longer) accommodations, take off work, find a babysitter and, of course, bring a gift. Needless to say, it’s not only polite, but also proper to do what you can to help those near and dear to you feel welcomed and special during your wedding festivities.
Because let’s face it — at your wedding, you’ll be busy. So you may not get to spend as much time as you’d like catching up with those you love. But worry not. We’ve gathered some unique ideas for the big day that will make anyone feel extra special.
In addition to close family and the wedding party, you may have invited out-of-town guests to join you at your rehearsal dinner. This is a great opportunity to offer a personal note of thanks. Though you’ll be seeing everyone at the wedding, the big day can be very busy. Leaving a personal note at the place setting of each guest at the rehearsal dinner is a great way to show your appreciation, particularly if your time to chat is limited on the big day.
A Warm Welcome
It is important to think of out-of-town guests and how to make their stay more enjoyable. It’s always a nice gesture to include a welcome bag of some sort in their rooms — complete with bottled water, snacks (from your favorite local sellers, for an added touch), as well as a guide of things to do in the area (after all, they will likely have some extra time on their hands, not to mention that some guests may treat the weekend like a mini vacation).
For example, if you’re having an NYC wedding, attending a classic musical is a something many guests may wish to do. Leaving a schedule of the current Broadway shows in the welcome bag, along with a list of your favorite area restaurants, may be greatly appreciated.
No One Goes Hungry
If there’s one thing wedding guests appreciate, it is food. While you’ve planned a delicious dinner for the reception, think about what your guests may need between the ceremony and reception while you and your wedding party are having photos taken. It’s a nice touch, particularly if there’s a block of time between the ceremony and reception, to have hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour while your guests are mingling. After all, there’s nothing worse than being hungry, particularly if it’s combined with drinking alcohol and the heat of an outdoor summer wedding. You don’t want to run the risk of people drinking too much on an empty stomach.
Play Their Jam
A personal (and fun) idea to show guests you really want them to have a good time at your reception is to include song request cards in your invitation. When returning the RSVP, ask guests to include their top three song requests to be played by the band or DJ at the reception. This is a great way to help all your guests get out of their seat and onto the dance floor.
A Good Deal
Finally, when considering accommodations for your guests, it’s a good idea to speak with the hotel staff ahead of time and negotiate a discounted rate. Oftentimes, hotels will hold a block of rooms at a special price for those who reserve a room for your wedding. Further, think about holding a light breakfast in the hotel or elsewhere the day after the wedding for guests who stay overnight. Complimentary, of course.
Above all, get creative! Any personal touches of your own that show your guests you thought about them ahead of time will be the things that they remember.