There will come a season in your life when you are blessed to attend many weddings for you dear ones. You will learn what you like and don’t like and vow that you’ll never do [insert “that thing”] at your wedding! When it comes time to plan your celebration, you want to be sure to extend gratitude, love, and joy to your guests and make the day one they fondly recall as well. When you celebrate with them, it’s not just about you, but your village and your loved ones too. One of the most common questions I’m asked is how to make your wedding unique, heartfelt and still what you dream of while welcoming your guests. Today, I’m answering with 5 tips for creating a wonderful wedding guest experience!
Each guest at your celebration will have a unique experience to them and have various preferences. However, there is one thing that always rings true and that is that hospitality never goes out of style or unnoticed. To create a truly memorable guest experience at your wedding, think of it through the lens of a hostess. Of course, there are certain things that you need to consider that are wedding-specific, but the emotions you foster and care that you extend in your home can also apply to an event!
Imagine your ceremony welcome as a greeting. When you open the door to your guests and loved ones, what would you say, how would you act, what would they feel? You’d likely hug them, flash a smile and joyfully welcome them in. Approaching each piece of your event with that in mind will instantly make them feel special, part of the family and start their experience at your wedding off with a smile.
As is the case with any experience, we all feel cared for and special when people take the time to anticipate what we will need. Touches like providing easy access to information (via wedding website or invitation inclusions), having a welcome sign or directional signs to guide them, announcing what’s next and having a house party or host and hostess to assist with that are also lovely touches.
Just think, those are only thoughts on getting people to your ceremony and then your reception venue. There are so many wonderful opportunities to love your guests well and make the day wonderful for them, too. Regardless of which points in the day you choose to add extra touches to, these 5 things will always be at the top of my list for creating a wonderful wedding guest experience.
From the time you send your Save The Dates, communicating clearly with your guests is the first impression they will have for your day.
Consider Assigned Seating
I often hear from guests at weddings with assigned seating that it makes them feel special and thought of. It shows that you’ve taken the time to think about who they will socialize with, ensuring that they have a great evening. When you consider who they may know and seat them with that group, it alleviates some of the stress they may feel going into your reception. On the flip side, if a guest doesn’t know many others and you seat them with other guests with similar interests, it makes for a more enjoyable evening.
By the time your reception begins, guests are ready to celebrate and party! Make sure you have a few activities for them during cocktail hour if time allows. Also, consider alternatives to dancing later in the evening. When it comes to music, take your guests preferences into account, as well. You want them to have a great time, too! It’s always great to have a guest request option with your DJ. Of course, your DJ will have your do not play list, but it’s a nice gesture for your guests.
Even things as simple as having someone offer them a ceremony program, beverage or to usher them to their seat are not always a given, but they are so appreciated.
On top of the things that you may consider a given, I suggest that you consider incorporating some of the following special touches that make your guests feel especially welcome. If you’re interested in any of these details, I suggest using your memories or things that represent your love story and family traditions (old or new) as inspiration.
A grateful heart
Whether this is in the form of a thank you speech, favors or both, expressing your gratitude to your guests for them being part of your special day is so important.
A gentle reminder that this is not about taking focus away from you as a couple. After all, the day is absolutely a celebration of your love and sacred commitment. Rather, this is a way to start your marriage by extending grace and love to those who have always supported and celebrated you from the beginning.
What are some of your favorite things at weddings you’ve attended that made you feel special and appreciated? Or maybe even what you did at your wedding to make it especially welcoming for your guests?