How to cater for out-of-town guests at your wedding
When planning your wedding it is critical that you understand etiquette and manners around hosting your out-of-town guests. Many of your family and friends will be travelling many kilometres to celebrate your special day with you and it is important that you understand how to greet them correctly, from the logistics to showing your love… here are some tips and tricks to make your out of town guests feel as welcome as possible.
One of the easiest and simplest ways to make sure your guests feel welcome is to simply keep them updated. Providing a wedding itinerary can be a very effective method to make sure your guests are at the right place at the right time. Your itinerary should be sent after your invitation and can actually be a very fun way to get creative; you can personalise and add some touches. If paper isn’t for you then you can add all of your details to your wedding website. Whatever method you choose to run with you should add the key times, locations, dress code, if you are hosting any activities etc. The basic Who, What, Where, When, Why’s and How’s.
Some of your travelling guests may want to get their own transport to use during their stay or from the airport to their accommodation. You have to figure out how they are going to get to and from the airport. Now there are many options for this, carpooling, shuttles or a bus or limo service. You could also just go old school and hire a taxi or nowadays – Uber.
Travelling is tiring, and chances are your guests have had a long day or even a couple of days. A considerate and kind thought is to provide welcome goody bags. After a big travel day, the best thing that you can do is leave something in your guest’s hotel rooms for them arrive to. Imagine the joy that such a simple thing could bring. The necessities are water, something sweet and savoury to eat. Then something more such as a basket of fruit, local goods such as chocolate and maybe some bubbly. Add personal touches like candles, a souvenir and postcard and you have yourself a perfect collection of goods. Maybe you could even provide vouchers for massages or a nail salon.
As well as lovely gifts, a ‘gift package’ of necessary information would ensure your guests feel well informed. These information packages should include phone numbers of the contact persons for the wedding, names of the other people staying in the hotel or facility and nearby spots that your guests should have a look at. You could include a map and an itinerary. Tie it off with a note and your guests will be well informed and replenished.
Leading up to the special day you have a lot to do – we know and understand. You may be running around extremely busy, but your out-of-town guests will have nothing to do. You do not want to leave then high and dry with nothing to do. Organise a welcome party to get everyone together and start the celebrations! Something such as a barbeque or a pizza party. Make sure they have a lot of options for activities to ensure they are kept busy and entertained.
Although the travel bill for your out-of-town guests is not your responsibility you are your fiance should try your hardest to make it most comfortable for your guests. All information needs to be fully stated either with your invitations or on your wedding website. So your guests can book flights and hotel rooms early. You can offer different options for accommodation. Look for places near the ceremony and ensure you leave loads of time to make sure the locations allow large-scale bookings. Maybe even try to get a special group rate.
The key word, ‘out-of-town guests’ means they have travelled from their home town to come and celebrate with you. Make sure you thank them and let them know how much they mean to you. Raise your glass to them and say a toast of appreciation. Host a brunch and let them know how much they mean to you. After all, these are the people who will be with you forever.
We at Fantail Weddings would love to celebrate and plan with you and your fiance. Contact us here and let’s get in touch xx