The wedding day is all about the couple pledging their lives to one another, but some couples get so caught up in the magic that they forget they are hosting an event.
Your wedding is one of few times where the most important people in your life will gather in one space. You may be inviting your best friends, people who have known you since childhood and people who have contributed to you becoming the person you are today. You have chosen to ask these people to surround you as you make one of the most significant commitments of your life, so be sure to treat them that way. Here are seven ways you can go above and beyond for your wedding guests. They will appreciate the thought, and you can be glad that you’ve done something sweet for the people who have come together to celebrate you. Offer a list of hotel options Attending a wedding out of town can be stressful, especially to people who have never visited that place. You can help make things easier by offering some information on hotels. Put together a list of hotels close to your wedding reception and send this list with your out-of-town invitations. If you can, provide information about the hotels like the distance from the wedding venue, family activities offered and whether or not there is a restaurant on site. You may even want to encourage local guests to stay at a hotel within walking distance from your reception, particularly if you are planning on serving a lot of alcohol. If possible, talk to hotels about reserving a block of rooms for your wedding guests. That is especially helpful if your wedding is to take place in the hotel, and will ensure that your guests have a place to stay. The hotel may offer you a discount on rates; some hotels will even give you a complimentary honeymoon suite if you bring in enough business. Put together survival kits Grab some gift bags and fill them with items your wedding guests might find useful as they attend your event. If you have guests coming in from out of town, you can leave the bags for them at the front desk of the hotel. Other guests can pick them up as they arrive. The bags can include small items like a bottle of water, a package of tissues, travel-sized pain reliever and a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. If your guests have kids, then include a coloring book with some crayons. People coming in from out of town might appreciate a map of the area noting interesting places to visit or see. Arrange transportation Transportation can be a huge issue when it comes to a wedding, especially if guests will be drinking at your reception. You can help keep everyone safe and happy by providing a shuttle from the dinner to hotels where your guests will be spending the night. A shuttle bus also adds to the atmosphere of a party, but if that’s too overwhelming for your budget, find out if your guests would be interested in splitting the cost of a shuttle service. You may find that many of your guests will appreciate this option. Alternatively, you can give guests all the information they will need to arrange for a taxi to take them from your wedding. Everything will go much more smoothly if there is a plan in place for tipsy guests. Arrange childcare Childcare can be a barrier to guests who want to enjoy your wedding but don’t have anywhere to leave their children. If you’d like your wedding to be an adults-only event, this is tricky. Put some time into considering the needs of your guests who have children. If you are okay with having kids at your wedding, designate a space where they can enjoy themselves. That could be a table with art supplies or even a space with gym mats and slides. Hire someone from a babysitting service to oversee this area so adults can have fun. If most of your guests are staying at a hotel, reserve one room as a kid party zone where anyone can leave children while attending your wedding. Use a babysitting service, so you’ll have some responsible adults present. Arrange to have pizza delivered, and stock the room with games, snacks and kid-friendly movies. If you do not want children at your wedding, be clear about this. Many people will assume they can bring their children unless you tell them otherwise. Nix the cash bar The people you invite to your wedding are your guests, and it can rub people the wrong way to ask them to pay for their drinks. You wouldn’t ask guests to pay for drinks if they were dining at your house and doing so at your wedding can come off as inconsiderate. An open bar, however, can quickly get expensive. If you cannot afford to have one, then you could opt for serving just a few varieties of wine and beer or signature cocktails. That should be enough to let your guests have a good time without exceeding your budget. Another way that is quite acceptable is to have a cash bar to control expenses but supply each guest with one or two tickets. No matter which way you choose, it has to work for you and for your guests. If you are having a quiet, daytime affair, there is nothing wrong with skipping the bar altogether. Merely serve champagne when it is time to make a toast. Play a variety of music Many wedding guests love dancing, so be sure you give them a wide selection of music to enjoy. You and your friends may be into hip-hop, but your grandmother might like to hear some classic tunes. Be sure to accommodate all kinds of musical tastes when it comes to organizing your playlist so everyone can dance and have a great time. Give guests some attention Sometimes brides and grooms are hyper-focused on making the wedding run smoothly, and they forget about the people around them. Or they are having so much fun that they only give attention to close friends. Remember that you’ve asked your wedding guests to be part of your special day, so don’t ignore them. If you have a large wedding, it might not be easy to stop and speak to each person attending, but you owe it to them to try. Pose for pictures and ask people if they are enjoying themselves. Make them feel like you want them there and that you feel honored they would choose to give that time to you. Your wedding should be one of the most beautiful events of your life, and you can make it special for other people as well. If you’ve invited someone to share such a memorable day with you, then show your respect, courtesy, and appreciation by considering their wants and needs when you are making your plans. That will bring your guests closer to you and help enhance the love that you celebrate on your wedding day.