Monday, March 5, 2012

Welcoming Your Out of Town Guests

Entertaining and welcoming out of town guests is a great way to show how thankful you are that they came to congratulate and celebrate YOU. So here are some ways to show them how thankful you really are.

Hotel: We do suggest obtaining a room block from a local hotel. Whether you are having a destination wedding or it is just for out-of-towners, it’s always nice to be able to have your nearest and dearest close to you on your big day. Plus, your friends and family will get a lower rate at a great hotel!

Gift basket: A gift basket waiting for your guests when they arrive is a great way to say “Welcome! Thank you for coming! We are so happy you could be here.” Since most of your attendees will be just getting off a long plane, train, or car ride some post travel necessities could be a nice touch. We suggest, small snacks (fruit, nuts, pretzels, etc), moisturizer (plane flights can really dry a person out!), water bottles, even a travel toothbrush!

But don’t forget that this gift basket is a great way to welcome your guests to YOUR wedding weekend, so customize it! If you are a couple that loves wine, think about putting a little wine bottle in each basket. Or, if you just love caramel-covered popcorn, then welcome them with a sweet treat. Another way to really customize this welcome gift is to have custom labels created. Checkout these cool ideas that some awesome couples gifted to their guests.

Itinerary: A nice final touch for your out-of-town guests would be to supply them with an itinerary as they arrive. Whether you have the printed itinerary included in your gift basket or posted on your Wedding Website, an itinerary of scheduled events can take a one-night party into a special wedding weekend getaway.

Of course the traditional rehearsal dinner is a must, it allows a more intimate setting for your friends and family to mingle and get to know one another. We suggest you hold this gathering at the hotel or at a location near the hotel; most people will have just finished traveling and would appreciate an easy commute to dinner! Also, since many of your guests will be new to the area, think about arranging an evening out after the rehearsal dinner. Maybe a Karaoke night in a private room at the hotel, a night cap at a local pub, or even a bowling party – as always with a little creativity the options are limitless!

Planning optional daily activities for your friends and family will take off the pressure of them having to fend for themselves in a new city. On the Day-Of think about some stress-relieving or rock-star-recovering activities so everyone will feel and look their best for the big night! This can mean different things to different people, so try to appeal to everyone by possibly having a yoga session along with a leisurely walk for those who like to feel centered and an ultimate Frisbee challenge for those who prefer to blow off some steam and sweat it out.

And finally a brunch on the day after is a great send-off to all of the special people in your lives’ that made your night incredible. It may be a good idea to make sure that guests feel okay coming and going as they please since many will be leaving at different times to catch their flight, train, bus, etc. It’s also a great opportunity to hear your guests gush about how beautiful and fun your party was!

Happy entertaining!

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