We’ve all attended a wedding where we left feeling relieved it’s over. Happy for the couple, of course, grateful to have witnessed their vows and ‘firsts’, but exhausted by the logistics not being thought through, or the guests not being prioritized. Thankfully, here at Blueprints, we’ve harnessed those experiences and have allowed them to inspire a different way forward for our couples. We WANT guests to feel seen, cared for, and leave with an incredible experience they won’t soon forget. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing five ways to host a guest-friendly event. First up? Communicate clearly.
Wedding Website/Online RSVP: To start, give your guests ample notice. We recommend sending a save-the-date 4-6 months in advance, and a formal invitation 6-8 weeks ahead of time. A wedding website can also be a great idea, and there are plenty of free options to choose from. Most offer a place to share your story (for relatives who may not have heard), a place to share engagement photos, wedding day details (including your venue location and directions), etc.
Hotel Options: Selecting hotels for your guests can remove the burden of research from them. Be sure to select more than one hotel option, with varying price points. You can also consider blocking rooms and offering a discount. If you are getting married in a location that has hotels within walking distance, consider providing this as an option to remove the burden of parking, and having to drive (especially if you will not be providing transportation). If you list the hotels on the wedding website, provide photos of the hotel, a list of the amenities they offer, and their proximity to the venue(s). Note: This is a GREAT task to give a parent who wants to be involved in the planning process.
Dress Code: A formal dress code isn’t necessary, but be considerate of the setting for guests who have never been. Post photos of your venue on your wedding website to help guest visualize the setting. Getting married outside on the lawn and having an outdoor reception? Consider mentioning it to guests so women can consider not wearing high heels that may get stuck in the ground. Getting married on the beach? Recommend flip flops or shoes that can be easily removed. You can even share what your bridal party will be wearing to help guests gauge how formal to dress (i.e., our groomsmen will be wearing suits so guests don’t overdress the formality of the event).
Gift Registry: We know many modern day brides and grooms that aren’t interested in a gift registry. They can feel outdated and are yet another task to complete ahead of your big day. BUT, your guests will often include individuals from all ages and backgrounds and a guest list provides an opportunity to purchase something you’ll actually enjoy. In short, it takes the guesswork out of the equation. It can also provide an opportunity to have your gift purchased and shipped directly to you for guests who are unable to attend or traveling and don’t want to lug around a gift. We encourage couples to provide a wide variety of pricing options so guests have the option to purchase within their budget. There are many options outside of the traditional gift registry as well. You can provide an opportunity for guests to contribute to a ‘fund’ like a home fund, honeymoon fund, they can even purchase an experience for you while on your honeymoon (like snorkeling, a beach front dinner, etc.). A personalized thank you note is always a welcomed offering. Consider printing and including a photo of you with the guest, or a lovely photo of the guest and their partner dancing in your thank you note as a lovely touch.
Offer a Warm Welcome: Another wonderful touch for welcoming your guests, and communicating with them before they even arrive for your big day, is providing a small welcome gift. These don’t have to be extravagant to leave an impression. A small basket with water bottles, snacks, even a handwritten note can go a long way in welcoming weary travelers to their rooms. This is another wonderful way to incorporate parents into your planning process. You can divvy up your guest list by family sides and ask parents to help you both fill the baskets and distribute to their hotel rooms.
We want to hear from you! Did you incorporate any of the above tips into your wedding day? Any tips on clear communication that you would add to this list? Share with us below.
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