When planning a wedding, it is easy to get caught up in all the hype of the day that is ultimately all about the couple who are tying the knot. While a wedding day is centered on the bride and groom, it’s important to make sure that you appreciate your guests, who are there to celebrate your relationship and union and have a good time. Guests often spend a lot of time, effort, and money when attending a wedding, including arranging transport to and from the venue, taking time off work to attend, buying an outfit, and of course, buying wedding cards and gifts for the happy couple. So, if you’re getting married soon, it’s a good idea to focus on being a good host and make sure that each and every guest feels appreciated and valued on the big day too. Here are some simple yet effective ways to make sure that your guests know how much you appreciate their participation.
Provide Detailed Information
Your guests should know where they are going to celebrate your big day in advance, especially if you are having a destination wedding. Some destination weddings might be held in a remote area that isn’t always easy to get to, so the more information you can provide, the better. But even if you’re having a wedding local to home, bear in mind that not all guests may be familiar with the area. Provide information such as maps, driving directions, nearby hotels, and anything else that your guests might find useful in order to help them plan their journey and have a great time celebrating your big day with you.
Offer Useful Wedding Favors
Some weddings require guests to bring some extra stuff in order for them to enjoy the big day. If you’re getting married on the beach, for example, offering travel-sized sunscreen and flip-flops can be the perfect idea for wedding favors that are useful for your guests and let them know that you’ve thought about their experience too. You could even have these personalized with your names to make them even more special for the big day.
Give Welcome Bags
Welcome bags that are handed to guests when they arrive or sent out in advance of the big day can be a great way to make sure that your guests know you are thankful for their attendance at your wedding. This is especially true if you have planned a destination wedding and your guests have had to put in some extra work to be able to get there like book a few days off from work or arrange flights.
Provide a Kids’ Area
Unless you are holding a child-free wedding, chances are that some of your friends and family members are going to have children who they will be bringing along to attend your big day. But let’s face it, weddings are hardly a child-friendly event and they can be very boring for kids, who might get fussy and upset, putting stress on their parents. Any of your guests who have children are sure to be thankful if you arrange something for the little ones to do while you’re getting married. Coloring books, sandboxes, dolls, toys, and other activities for kids can easily be incorporated into your weddings to keep your youngest guests happy throughout the day.
Avoid Keeping Guests Waiting
Some weddings will have a long break between the ceremony and reception, and it can be difficult to get the balance right between getting all the photo and video shoots that you want for your memories later and avoiding keeping your guests waiting for a long period of time. If you can’t avoid having your guests waiting while you get ready for the second part of your big day, then it’s important to make sure that your guests are entertained in the meantime. There are plenty of easy ways to do this including providing refreshments, a bar, or even getting some fun personalized games that they can play.
Send Thank You Cards
Cards to say thank you are a simple and effective way to make sure that your guests feel valued and appreciated for attending your wedding. You can give them out on the day or send them to your guests afterward. Paper cards or e-cards are both great ways to put a smile on any guest’s face and let them know how much you appreciate them being there for your big day and for any gift they gave you. Along with thanking your cards, you can get different cards for your bridal party to thank them for all the extra work they have put into making your big day special, and cards that include family members or friends who couldn’t be there. Check out Greenvelope’s guide to wedding thank you card wording to help you get started with letting your guests know they are appreciated.
Provide a Variety of Meal Options
When designing your wedding menu, it’s important to make sure that your guests’ dietary needs are taken into consideration. There’s nothing that is going to make a guest feel unwelcome at your wedding than not being able to enjoy the food at the reception. It’s a good idea to provide at least a couple of options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free. It’s also a good idea to provide some further information on any allergens that might be present in your menus such as seafood, dairy, or nuts so that guests can make an informed choice.
Plan Seating Arrangements Carefully
It’s important to be smart when planning the seating arrangements for your guests. While open seating might be a fun idea, bear in mind that this can put pressure on your guests to save seats for their friends and family. While weddings can be a good time to get to know people, you may also want to avoid a situation where you are seating complete strangers together. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind comfort when deciding where to seat your guests – for example, older people will probably appreciate being seated away from speakers and closer to amenities.
Plan Some Surprises
Planning some surprises can help to keep things exciting for your guests and make sure that they feel appreciated, valued, and welcomed throughout the day. A photo booth is always a crowd-pleaser at a wedding reception and offering disposable cameras on the tables is sure to keep your guests happy as they can take snaps of the day without feeling conscious about having their phone out.
Consider a Guest Lounge
If you are planning a standing reception and plan to invite a lot of guests to your wedding, a lounge space in the reception area can make a lot of sense. You can easily design a lounge that looks great and complements your wedding theme, along with keeping guests happy with somewhere to sit and relax after a lot of dancing or if their killer heels are beginning to make standing difficult.
While your wedding day is focused on you, it’s important that your guests know how much you appreciate them being there to share your big day.