It isn’t uncommon for many people to have to cross state lines to attend weddings for their friends or family members. Because out-of-towners put a lot of expense and effort into these occasions, it is our jobs help them feel welcome, entertained, and on the go.
Of the most simple, yet essential, details you can provide for your guests is the itinerary for the wedding. Once invitations are sent out, an itinerary should also be sent that includes a complete event rundown. You should also create a wedding webpage with this information for those who prefer one-touch mobile referencing of everything you’ve planned. Out of town guests will want to know key times, what to wear, locations, free time, and suggestions for how to fill that free time. If there is a brunch in the morning, let guests know so they can schedule their time accordingly. All of this information are essential details for out of town guests.
You should also take into consideration that your wedding may become part of a vacation event for out of town guests. Some guests may never have visited your area prior to this event. Therefore, adding a travel guide to itinerary or website would be helpful. Adding some points of interest or ideas for exploring will help get guests excited for their journey.
Lodging and Travel
Even though it isn’t your responsibility to foot the bill for flights or accommodations, making suggestions about where to find affordable options is appreciated by guests. When sending out invitations, include information about hotels and airlines to help guests book early. This will help your guests stay close to where the ceremony and reception sites are. Remember that, when blocks of rooms are reserved together, it is more affordable.
Some out of town guests will choose to rent a vehicle right at the airport, but others will choose not to do this. For those who opt not to do this, you will need to help them figure out transportation options. You can suggest carpooling with other relatives, hotel shuttles, car services, renting vans, or using taxis. A nice gesture is to also find a volunteer or two to pick up the non-drivers from the airport.
Jet lagged travelers can be welcomed in their hotel rooms by you with a little surprise like a bouquet of flowers, a basket of fresh fruit, or a bottle of their favorite wine. The treat you leave behind is dependent upon your budget, what your out of town guest likes, and how you would like to customize each gift for each guest. For example, if a particular guest loves chocolate and another enjoys blueberry jam on bagels in the morning, gifts can be customized as such. Include a handwritten note with each gift thanking the guest from traveling to attend your wedding.
Even though you have plenty to do leading up to your nuptials, that doesn’t mean your guests are busy. While you are holed up with preparations, enlist a friend or family member to entertain out of town guests with a barbeque or other type of dinner party. Another suggestion is gathering at a bar or restaurant so everyone can get to know each other better.
Those In-Between Times
Even though it is optimal, it may not always be possible to have your reception immediately after your ceremony. If this is the case, create a game plan. Some of your out of town guests may head back to their hotel room to relax. However, some others may want to entertainment. Suggest going to the movies, or organize a group excursion of some kind to tie up this free time.
Make the Time Quality
Don’t forget that the reason why people traveled is because they want to spend time with you, so make sure this happens. Give them attention one-on-one and make sure you tell them specifically how much it means to you that they’re there. Toast to the out of town guests during the reception to show your appreciation for their travels.