Guests are guests. They should be treated as such; not that any of you wouldn't. Some guests are in town, but a lot of times they are traveling to be a part of your big day. There is etiquette that should be followed (and etiquette that’s made to be broken!). Remember, most of the time, the traveling guests just want to be acknowledged that they came so far to see you.
Here are some ways you can treat your guests like guests without breaking your back or burning a hole in your wallet:
1. Hotel Block / List Of Hotels
The idea is to have a destination for your guests to all book in one place. They can connect with each other, carpool to the weekend's events, and so on. You do not necessarily need a block reserved, but have a list of hotels near the venue on your website for them to pick from!
2. Leave Welcome Cards
A lot of people think you need to have a welcome bag or gift for traveling guests, but all you really need is a card that thanks them for traveling to see you get married. Handwrite those please.
3. Things To Do, Things To See
Make up a quick list of things to do and see in the place you are getting married! Put it on your website or include it on the information card in your invite. It helps people get excited about why you chose that city or place to get married. You can make it a list of your favorite restaurants, bars and / or activities.
4. Say Thank You
Whether you are a public speaker or not, try to find a way to say thank you to your guests at the wedding. They came to support you and have helped you become the people you are today – make sure they know this somehow. A lot of people tend to say a little thank you speech before or after dinner, some give gifts, some have cards on the table, and others say thank you to each person that comes (much more difficult for large weddings).
5. Send A Thank You
You guys can throw other traditions out the window, but you need to send thank you cards for those that sent or brought gifts and cards. You should also send thank you cards to those who did not gift anything but came to the wedding to support you and the marriage. People will be upset if they don't get some sort of acknowledgment. I have travelled across the country and given a gift for a friend's wedding and never got a thank you note! I have sent a gift for a wedding that I was unable to attend and still received a thank you. It is something that people will remember – young or old.
Show them a good time! Invest in a good DJ and band. Make sure they have all ages in mind when it comes to music selection; include Motown, a little Frank Sinatra, your old school hip-hop, and your top-40. You can also have games like corn hole and a fun signature cocktail to give people something to talk about.
Make sure you take vegans and vegetarians into consideration when creating your menu! They will be happy to not be eating only mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner.
Are there other ways that you plan on welcoming and thanking your guests?