Your wedding will primarily function as a celebration for all the love that you and your partner share, but it’s worth remembering that part of your focus should also be on your guests. After all, you’re asking them to take time out of their busy schedule to join you for one of the most important days of your life, and they’re also going to add so much to your party!
We’re going to take a look at some effective ways of ensuring that your guests have a terrific wedding experience from beginning to end, while still making sure your day is as memorable as you’d hope.
Wedding Planning with Guests In Mind
Location, Location, Location
There’s no shortage of breathtaking wedding venues all around the world, but if you want to keep your guest’s convenience in mind, it’s worthwhile leaning towards a well-located venue for your big day. Of course, if you’ve long had a dream about getting married in one particular place, then do what makes you happy, but if you have no initial preference, then try to pick somewhere that’ll suit your guests. It can be a bit of a drain for your guests if they have to travel to another continent just to see their loved one get married.
The Associated Costs
As well as being respectful of their time and energy, it’s thoughtful to also keep your guests’ bank balance at the front of your mind. Getting married overseas will incur a lot of additional fees — both for you and your guests. But it doesn’t really matter where you get married — weddings can be expensive anywhere. The polite thing to do is to ensure that it’s possible to attend without spending bucket loads of cash. Your guests might begin to resent being invited if they have to spend a night in a 5-star hotel because it’s the only one in the area.
Helping With Practical Matters
You’ll know the details of your wedding inside and out, but your guests? All they’re going off is the information that you give them. And if you’re getting married in a corner of the world where the majority of your guests are not from, then they’ll need to have as much info as possible. For example, can you give them directions on how to reach the venue or the best local hotels? You may also want to create a group or email chain or a Facebook group where your guests can talk to each other. This is especially useful when it comes to carpooling or staying in the same hotel.
Essentially, it’s all about having consideration for the fact that your guests are unlikely to know much about how to make their trip as smooth as possible if you decide on a location your guests have not been to before.
The Guest List
If you go to enough weddings, you’ll eventually encounter a wedding with a guest that doesn’t seem to arrive with the idea of love and good times in their heart. Perhaps they had a falling out with the bride or groom, or someone else in the family. They’re there, but only to make a nuisance of themselves. Hopefully, you don’t know anyone like that, but if you do, consider how important it is to have them there on your big day. The happiness of the other guests might just be more important!
The Dress Code
One of the most fun things about a wedding is how everyone gets dressed up and really makes themselves look fantastic. So trust your guests to look the part. It’s your day and you can decide on what you want the theme to be, just keep in mind that an overly strict dress code can cause problems. For example, while a tux can look fantastic, it’s not as if everyone has one sitting in their wardrobe. Unless you’ve dreamt of having a black-tie wedding since you were a little, keep things a little less formal. Everyone will still look amazing, they’ll just do it in their own way — and that can make for outstanding photographs.
A Warm Welcome
People are always excited to get to a wedding, but there can be a few nerves too, especially if you don’t know many or any of the other guests. As such, one of the best ways to put everyone at ease is to ensure that each and every one of your guests receives a warm welcome.
Of course, you’ll be busy, so you can’t stand out all day receiving guests so put a trusted friend or family member in charge of greeting people instead. Additionally, it’s recommended that you have a communal area where guests can mingle (ideally with a glass of bubbly). It’ll allow people to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. I’ve also seen plenty of people order or make custom signs that give a warm personal welcome to their guests.
The Main Event
You know exactly what’s going to happen on your wedding day — after all, you’ve spent many months planning and arranging everything. But your guests? They only know vague details.
While there’s space for some surprises during your wedding day, you can’t keep everything under wraps. Your guests will feel much more at ease if they know what’s going to happen throughout the day, and especially during the ceremony. Take a look at some wedding program examples, and then work on putting yours together. It’s also a good idea to have a master of ceremonies, who can direct your guests on where they need to be and when. As well as all the other benefits, it can help the day to run more smoothly.
One of the things that your guests will be looking forward to most will be the delicious meal that you’ll serve. But in this day and age, it’s not as if you can just serve one meal to everyone. There are plenty of different dietary requirements these days. It could be that you have vegan or vegetarian guests or people that can’t have gluten or dairy. You can show consideration by ensuring there is a range of meals on offer. And it’s not just about providing your guests with a plate of food — it should be just as good as the staple offering. Be sure to work with a caterer that can do it all!
Looking After the Kids
It’s likely that some of your guests will be bringing their children along. And that’s no problem: they can add a lot to the wedding celebrations! But there will come a point when it’s time for the kids to go to bed…but the adults still want to carry on having fun. One way to get around this issue is to hire a communal babysitter who can look after all the children in a quiet area of the venue. There’ll be no tantrums from tired kids, and your adults will get to enjoy all the fun of the dancefloor.
Helping Everyone Have Fun
Everyone will want to have a good time, but it’s important that some people will be more self-conscious than others. This will show itself during dinner and on the dance floor. For the party aspect, it’s all about turning the lights down low and playing those tracks that everyone will dance along to, whether they want to or not.
Finally, be sure to show your deep gratitude to your guests. After all, what would the day have been if they hadn’t been there? You can express some thanks on the day, but primarily it should be about having fun. The real thanks can come after. Be sure to send a handwritten, personalized thank you card to each of your guests. You can even include a photo or two if you can get them back from your photographer in time.
It really is worth the while thinking about the enjoyment and happiness of your guests. After all, while the wedding is about you and your partner, it’s also about all the good people you have in your life. They make your life so much richer, and will help to make the beginning of your new life all the more special!