The chances are, you're either hosting or attending a wedding this coming summer. If you're the lucky one saying 'I do' - you've probably spent many an hour pondering the magnitude of the day for you and your fiancé (and you're not wrong, they don't call it the biggest day of your life for nothing). But today, we wanted to spend a moment focusing on the guests. According to a recent study, British women spend an average of £400 every time they attend a wedding as a guest (this includes the outfit, travel, accommodation and gifts). Is it just us, or does this come as a bit of a shock? Especially when you consider that we usually have a handful of friends' marriages to celebrate each year.
With this in mind, we're sharing 10 top tips for making your guests feel extra welcome, both leading up to and on the day itself...
1. Invite guests to request a song for the reception:
You don't need to wait for the big day itself to let guests know that their presence is valued. If you're sending RSVP cards
, why not invite guests to include a song request with their reply? You can then compile a list to send on to your DJ, and watch the dance floor fill up on the night...
2. Arrange discounts with local hotels & transport companies:
You'll no doubt have friends and relatives travelling to stay nearby so it's a great idea to get in touch with local hotels, taxi firms and even hair salons to request a discount for the wedding guests. Local businesses will likely be keen to accommodate you if there's a high chance it will bring them customers, so it's always worth a try. You can let your guests know about any pre-agreed discounts on the Additional Info Cards
to be sent with your invitations.
3. Welcome gifts or bags:
If you're having a destination wedding, welcome your guests with lovely gift bags which you can fill with snacks, bottles of water, maps of the region, brochures for fun things to do and age-appropriate toys or activities for any little ones. Make them extra special by adding a welcome note, a thank you card or even a list of your favorite eateries in the area.
(image via Santa Barbara Chic)
4. Provide Little Extras:
Little things needn't cost a fortune but will leave a lasting impression on your guests - consider leaving out hankies or tissues at the ceremony (for happy tears of course!), or purchasing some flip flops in bulk online, for the ladies to relieve aching feet on the dancefloor. Toiletries baskets placed in the bathrooms are always a nice touch - For women, include items such as extra pairs of tights, a mini spray deodorant, mints, hair grips, a brush and some plasters.
5. Make sure the drinks & nibbles are flowing:
On your wedding day, there will inevitably be times during the day when guests may be waiting (for example, when you're off having your photos taken) - use this time wisely and wherever you can, make sure that there's plenty of beverages and nibbles to keep everyone refreshed and happy. If you're happy to get creative, this needn't cost the earth either - how about something fun like a self-service popcorn bar?
(image via: St. George Wedding blog)
6. Leave a note at each place setting:
If you really want to go the extra mile, you can consider leaving a small card at each place setting - either a hand written note, or a printed design to thank your guests for celebrating with you. Here's an example of how you could customise our Save the Dates
for this purpose (the example shown is from the Romantic Lace collection
, edited in navy). If you're on a tight budget, you could order it as a DIY, instant printable for £6, or prices start from £0.75 each if you opt for our 'Printed & Delivered' service (with free UK shipping).
7. Get your guests involved:
Why not break the ice with some good old fashioned lawn games if you're having an outdoor summer wedding? Having a quiz about the Bride and Groom on the tables will be a great talking point, and you can't go wrong with a photo booth in the evening... Remember that the more relaxed and at ease your guests feel, the better the party atmosphere will be. A wedding is also a great place to meet new people: you can encourage friends and family to get to know one another by setting up a soft seating area with vintage couches or lounge chairs to create a more informal setting to mingle in.
8. Spend time with your guests:
It may sound like a given, but don't forget to spend time with your guests, whether it’s with a welcoming or receiving line as guests enter your reception, or after your meal by walking table-to-table with your groom, or even out on the dance floor.
9. Show some love for the little ones:
If you've invited kids to celebrate with you, it's always a good idea to make preparations to keep them happy and entertained, especially through the speeches part. (Trust us, their mum & dad will thank you too!) Creating a goodie bag for the them and leaving it at their place setting is one of the easiest ways to do this. Consider including colouring books and pencils, stickers, a disposable camera, bubbles, glow sticks and other pocket-money toys. You can also purchase ready made activity boxes and bags online, like this one below
. If you have the space, you can go one step further and set up a craft or activity table just for the kids.
(image via: Notonthehighstreet.com)
10. Send a sincere thank you:
As soon as possible after your honeymoon, make sure you send a thank you card
to all your guests (and anyone else who sent a gift) telling them how much you appreciated them being there to celebrate the day with you, and expressing your gratitude for any gifts. It will no doubt take some time to get them all written and sent, but do make sure your thank you cards are hand-written and from the heart - your guests will appreciate that you've taken the time. We have card options which allow you to include a wedding photograph or not - depending on your preference.