At most weddings there are relatives and friends who travel from around the country and sometimes the world to see their loved ones get married. I think it is so important to make them feel welcome and a little extra special for making the effort to come out and see you get married! Here's some tips from The Bridal Guide on how to give your guests from far away a warm welcome to your wedding.
MG Events via All Things Lovely
Sometimes out-of-town guests make matters tricky because there are rooms to block, transportation to book, directions to give, and gift bags to stuff. But as the host you have to make sure things go flawlessly and they enjoy themselves!
I cannot stress this enough! Procrastination is the worst possibly thing for a wedding. Of course you have to send save-the-date cards. You can be super creative with these and its best to make them a little special because it will make guests excited for your big day! These cards is the best way to let guest know they'll need to plan ahead. It's most considerate to send these out six to eight months before the big day. Keep the information you provide simple. Include your names, the wedding date and place, and a wedding website URL, if you have one, and hotel information.
Martha Stewart Weddings
Block Rooms Strategically
When choosing a hotel to recommend to guests, always keep in mind proximity, price and special features. A location near both the ceremony and reception will make it easier for guests to get around. It should be affordable, clean, and nicely decorated, and it should offer amenities like a restaurant, and a bar and airport shuttle service. You might even want to give options and recommend different locations at different price points.
Guests will appreciate it if you block rooms at a discounted rate. Contracts for a block vary from hotel to hotel so it's important that you go over all the details.
Guests will be on their own to book airfare and other transportation. But do consider working with a travel agent to find good deals and packages for them. You might be charged a fee of about $15 to $30 per guest for coordinating out-of-towners' flights. Even though guests should manage their own transportation from the airport to the hotel, provide them with the name and phone number of a taxi service and any details about hotel-provided transportation. Also, you'll want to give guests some ideas of what to do, whether its sights to see or restaurants to eat at. Post this information on your website!
Consider a Shuttle
If you have room in your budget, hire a bus to shuttle guests from the hotel to the wedding and back. It provides a designated driver-plus, party buses can be fun. Have flip-flops for tired feet, bottled water, mints and aspirin on the bus. guest will seriously appreciate how thoughtful you are.
Don't Overdo It
It's customary to invite everyone coming from far away to the rehearsal dinner-and sometimes even to a next-day brunch- if financially feasible. If not, suggest guests to meet at a nearby hot spot for cocktails or take a tour of the town. Take good care of your guests but don't fee; guilty if you can't afford to wine and dine them all weekend long.
Guests will appreciate a little basket, like the one above, of treats to help them feel welcome! Be creative and fun with it. Here are some ideas and suggestions.
Comfort and Care
Bottled water, fruit, and other convenient snaks should satisfy their just-arrived cravings; throw in some bubble bath and soft slippers too!
Marrying in a big city? Provide bus or rail tokens, a map, a guidebook and some locally made treats!
For a beach wedding, fill a sand pail with flip-flops, sunscreen and a gift card for ice cream on the boardwalk.
A bagel, juice, pain reliever and the newspaper will make the morning-after enjoyable.