If your wedding will be drawing out-of-town guests, there are a number of ways to make them feel welcome and significant. Follow these easy and practical tips to ensure that your traveling wedding guests receive the VIP treatment:
1. Provide Information: One of the surest ways to ease the pain and discomfort of traveling for your guests is to provide as much information as possible. Without question, you should include hotel information with your wedding invitation or save-the-date card. In addition to that, you may want to send an information packet to all out-of-town guests that includes a detailed wedding itinerary, contact information for a friend or family member willing to answer questions, and particulars about the nearest airports, car rental companies, and hotel accommodations. Since many of your guests may be planning on staying in town for a few days prior to or following the wedding, offer suggestions on great local restaurants, tourist attractions, or shopping centers they may want to visit.
2. Arrange Transportation: If you have wedding guests that are traveling to town via plane, arrange for transportation to and from the airport. Find a few trustworthy friends to greet out-of-town guests upon their arrival and deliver them to their hotel. In the days following the wedding, find volunteers willing to drive guests back to the airport for their departing flight. Also, be sure to make arrangements for guests to get from the hotel to the actual wedding by assigning a friend or family member to the task, arranging a hotel shuttle, hiring a car, or reserving vans or a bus for the day.
3. Secure Accommodations: One of your most important jobs as it pertains to out-of-town guests is securing hotel accommodations. It’s your responsibility to reserve a block of rooms at a couple of hotels for your guests to stay for the wedding. Contact the hotel manager about six months prior to your nuptials to inquire about group rates. Look for hotels in a convenient location close to your wedding and reception sites, as well as nearby restaurants, shopping, or entertainment for any downtime your guests might have. Arrange for rooms to be available at hotels with varying price points to accommodate budget-conscious guests along with wealthier ones.
4. Show Appreciation: Surprise your guests and express your gratitude by having a welcome gift waiting in each hotel room. The gift can range in lavishness based on your budget and number of out-of-town guests, but a thoughtful token of your appreciation will wow guests and make them feel special. Put together a gift bag or basket complete with snacks, fresh fruit, bottled water, and brochures for local attractions. If you have room in your budget, bless guests with a gift certificate for brunch or a massage. Wedding favor ideas.
5. Welcome Celebration: If a great deal of guests have traveled in from out-of-town, you might want to consider celebrating their arrival with a cocktail party, brunch, or barbecue in the days before the wedding. Since the wedding day itself is often hectic, hosting a special event for out-of-town guests will give you the opportunity to say hello and visit with those individuals that traveled a long way to participate in your big day.