How many out-of-town guests will you be hosting for your wedding? If you have any, it’s important that you create a seamless and enjoyable experience for the time they will spend in the area. You’ve likely already taken into consideration the meal, dessert and beverages all of your guests will be having as they celebrate with you at the reception and you’ve probably thought about your costs per person quite a bit. It can be difficult to strike a balance between number of guests and having every last element you’ve always envisioned for your day but consider this, the cost for an out-of-town guest to attend your wedding can include any of the following: lost wages for time taken off from work, travel expenses such as airfare or airport transportation, hotel stay, food and beverage other than what they will be having at your reception and possibly even babysitting costs if they have children they can’t bring along with them. Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of a wedding gift! All of this to say that if an out-of-town guest is attending your wedding, they are making a pretty extreme effort to do so. So just when you think it may be okay to skimp on the planning for them, remember how much they are doing in order to be with you and do whatever you can to ensure their stay is enjoyable!
Where to begin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Overall, think about what you can do to customize the trip for them. After all, this isn’t just another vacation, it’s your wedding weekend! Here are two ways you can go the extra mile so that your guests who make the extra effort to be with you feel appreciated and valued.
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
Transportation is a huge consideration for out-of-town guests, especially if they’re flying and have to rent a car. Even guests who live within driving distance may be unfamiliar with the area, so you’ll want to consider all of the various times your guests will need transportation on your wedding day to ensure they arrive at each event safely and on-time.
Typical transition points may include anything from a bridal brunch to the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and/or an after-party and then back to the hotel. Schedule cars, limos, vans or buses (depending on how many people you need to transport and how many trips they’re able to make in the amount of time between events) to make trips between each transition point, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to catch a ride to the next destination. Your guests will feel like they can truly enjoy the day with you when they don’t have to worry about navigating their way through unfamiliar territory to be there.
Bonus Tip: Ensure all of your out-of-town guests are staying in the same location by reserving a block of rooms at one place and offering an incentive for them to book there. This will make it easier for you to schedule transportation for them!
THANK YOU FOR COMING
Have a few customized items ready in your guests’ hotel rooms for their arrival. Include things like a travel guide to the area, snack and beverage items made locally, coupons for local restaurants or activities and don’t forget a personalized thank-you letter from you for attending. Artfully display everything in packaging that matches your wedding stationary and prominently place it in the room so it’s the first thing they see when they open the door.
Your guests will truly feel that you appreciate them coming to your wedding and that’s what it’s all about!
Image by Justin Tearney