Nowadays, many couples are getting engagement photos. What exactly should you do with all those great shoots you paid for? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Save the Dates
If you are sending save the dates, you can use the photos to personalize this classic wedding stationary. One of the most popular options is a magnet featuring a great photo and the wedding date. Magnets are awesome because people are less likely to lose them.
Instead of a traditional guestbook, you can frame an engagement photo and have guests sign the border. Instead of storing a guestbook in the attic or basement, you can display the signatures on a wall in your home. You could choose your favorite picture to frame or create a collage of photos.
The internet has changed the face of wedding planning. Now, you create a wedding website to share with friends and family. Engagement photos are great way to showcase your personalities and love for each other on the site.
While taking your engagement photos, include props that feature numbers. You can then frame the photos to use as table numbers.
Parents, and other relatives or close friends, love pictures. Most people give a wedding photo as a gift, but you could also frame and wrap one of those gorgeous engagement photos.
If you’re expecting a significant number of out-of-town guests (i.e. if the wedding is taking place outside of your hometown or the groom’s hometown), there are a number of things you need to prepare in advance. You can’t leave your visiting guests to fend for themselves, which means the task of booking rooms, providing transportation, and creating itineraries falls on you. Here’s what you can do to ensure your out-of-town guests have a fun and effortless experience at your wedding:
Book Hotel Rooms: It’s up to you to secure a block of hotel rooms near the wedding/reception site for your guests. You should reserve these six months in advance in order to get the number of rooms you need, avoid scheduling conflicts with the hotel, and secure a good rate. Most hotels will offer you a set, discounted rate for the rooms. Ideally, you should book rooms at multiple hotels to give your guests the option of where to stay. For your ease, if at all possible, book hotels nearby each other and select places with various price points for guests that are more budget-conscious or ones who want to enjoy a lavish weekend away.
Secure Transportation: If guests will be flying in, it’s up to you to arrange transportation to and from the airport. If the hotel has a shuttle, you’re in luck, but if guests are staying further away from the airport, you’ll need to figure out additional rides for them. If there’s room in your budget, you can book shuttles for the weekend. If not, this is a great task to hand off to members of your bridal party, family members, or trustworthy friends. Also, make sure that visiting guests have a way to get to/from the wedding and reception.
Create an Information Pack: Be sure to provide out-of-town guests with everything they need to know about your wedding weekend. When you mail your save-the-date cards or invitations, you should include information about hotel accommodations, car rentals, nearby airports, wedding events, and a weekend itinerary. It’s also incredible helpful to include a phone number of a friend or family member that guests can call with further questions.
Create a Wedding Website: A great way to consolidate information and make it easy for anyone to find is by creating a wedding website. Depending on how tech savvy you are, this can be as involved as you want. A lot of wedding websites allow couples to create a personalized site including information on their registries, accommodations, schedule of events, and location details. Google weddings is the newest trend in wedding websites.
Assemble Gifts: One of the greatest ways to make your out-of-town guests feel welcome is by assembling a gift bag or basket for them. Put together reasonable gifts based on your budget and number of visiting guests and have them waiting in each hotel room. Some great ideas of items to include: snacks, bottled water, fresh fruit, brochures for local attractions and area restaurants/shopping, disposable cameras, homemade baked goods, and gift certificates for brunch, a massage, or a nearby eatery. Feel free to include themed gifts (i.e. beach towels for a seaside wedding or local apple cider for a autumn celebration).
Plan an Event: Since most of your out-of-town guests won’t be included in all of the pre-wedding festivities, like the rehearsal dinner, bachelor/ette parties, and brunch, plan a special gathering strictly for visiting attendees. Host a cocktail party in the hotel or invite everyone over for a backyard BBQ. It’s a great way to welcome your out-of-town guests, give them a chance to mingle with one another, and show your appreciation for the sacrifice they made to attend your wedding.
Many guests will travel far and wide for your wedding, and between airfare prices, tight schedules, and family obligations, we understand that this can be quite the challenge for guests. Though all weddings guests are important, we love the idea of giving a bit of special attention to the out of towners. Try a few of these ideas, and your traveling guests will be sure to not only notice, but to feel more welcome and at home than they expected!
Create a wedding website. We know that lots of couples do this, and it’s actually an enjoyable treat for all guests. But for out of towners, wedding websites carry special meaning, as they become a go to guide for how to plan their trip. Of course, wedding day dates and times are important to let guests know when to arrive. Don’t forget to include to include details for other events including the rehearsal dinner, day after brunch, or welcome party if you’re having any of these. Pay special attention to the addresses of each location guests will need to be at. This allows guests to see how far they’ll need to travel and whether they’ll need to rent a car, take a taxi, or reserve the hotel shuttle. While tech savvy guests could likely hunt down this info on the internet, make it easy on them, and provide it up front in one easy to find spot. Online Planning Tools
Send out a city guide. Travel expenses are steep these days, and many guests take advantage of the wedding trip to stay a few days and enjoy a vacation. So send out some info about why you love your city so much, as well as some of fun things to enjoy there. Think zoos, parks, sports teams, shopping spots, and nightlife favorites. Include websites so guests can easily follow up on anything they’re interested in, and if you or your partner have any special recommendations for any of the spots, share them. Your guests will want to know if a particular exhibit is a don’t miss or if there is a downloadable coupon for an attraction. PS: Email this info to out of town guests as a PDF and it won’t cost you a dime! Cost effective, thoughtful, and eco-friendly. We love it!
Welcome your guests with a taste of home. You can tell a lot about a city by its food, so take advantage of this fact, and share your city’s famous food with out of town guests. This idea is easiest to execute with food that isn’t temperature sensitive, so that your city treats can be left in hotel rooms or with hotel front desk staff. We’ve seen salsa in Dallas, peaches in Georgia, locally made fudge in Denver, and Magnolia Bakery sweets in NYC. A fan favorite with Chicago locals? Garrett’s Popcorn!
Say it in a note. No matter what you do, make sure your acknowledge your guests’ out of town travel with a thank you note. If you’re already sending a thank you note for a wedding gift, make sure to include a special line about how much you appreciate them traveling all the way from (insert city) for your big day. Your guests will feel special when they realize you took the time on your big day to think about that.
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