As “Fall” approaches for this native Floridian (or whatever it is we have in Florida consisting of slightly cooler temperatures and a nice breeze is called), ever the theme fanatic it’s got me dreaming of pumpkin flavors and flannel. Cozy days made of apple candles burning and stew in the crockpot. Ahh, I just love the holiday season.
Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of October, but as wedding season is nearing the starting line, I figured I’d highlight some ideas to help your guests feel comfortable and cozy while at your wedding. There are multiple ways to engage your guests, be it the out of towners to the immediate family members who helped set up the big day. Incorporating some tiny hospitable touches – in my humble opinion – often make the biggest statements.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Think back to your last vacation, out of town trip, or mini-getaway. Now, think about what you’re remembering. Many people can’t remember a lot of the details, but they DO remember how they felt while there. The above quote has been one of my favorites for a long time. It just speaks to my hospitality spirit and reminds me that the little things are often the big things that matter a whole lot. Below are ten little favors or gestures that make a big impact on your wedding guests. Let me know what your favorite is, or if you have any more to add to the list!
1. Thank you is important.
Expressing gratitude is a HUGE skill to have. Not only in life in general, but within your wedding. Appreciation goes a long way, and whether it’s a quick speech before dinner or a quick note of thanks in your program or on your menu, expressing how much it means to you that they share in your joy will truly set the tone of the evening and create an atmosphere your guests know they are wanted at.
2. Avoid panicked phone calls by providing direction!
Between the flights, hotels, new location, and lack of routine, out of town guests can have a pretty difficult time trying to find their way to your wedding! By providing maps or suggested activities from the days leading up to your celebration, you can make your guests feel prepared and knowledgeable on when to be where to help your wedding go as planned. Throughout your day, providing signage to your guests and direction on seating charts for the reception, your guests will not only be impressed with the fluidity of the event, but enjoy themselves more knowing you’ve got everything under control.
3. Keep your options open
People like choices. Let your guests customize their experience at your wedding by giving them choices on menu items, song requests, and where to lounge. Your college friends love to dance and have a good time? Great! Let’s seat them by the bar. Your grandparents want to catch up with old relatives? Providing options for your guests is a great way to make them feel comfortable and let them enjoy themselves, keeping them engaged to keep on partying with you.
4. Cheers to the happy couple
Speaking of partying, alcohol is a must when you have a DJ. Creating comfort also lies in how comfortable and loosened up your guests feel when embarking on a dance floor. No, you don’t have to spend your entire life’s savings to host a full open bar with top shelf liquor. Your guests will appreciate a hosted beer and wine open bar as well. Just have one. Your guests will appreciate you, I promise.
5. Gifts and goodies
Oh, favors. Those cute little glasses with you and your new spouse’s names engraved on them that are relevant for the entire time your guests are at your wedding. How many people here have received an item with the wedding couple’s names on it?! Instead, favors can be edible, like donuts or a candy to take home. Another option is sweet little succulents or small items like handmade candles to enjoy once home.
6. Feed me!
When choosing food for your big day, make sure to consider how much of it you will need. Often times when receptions run for 4-5 hours, in all that dancing (and alcohol) your guests will get hungry! Instead of splurging on prime rib and sole, go for the chicken and consider a late-night snack option or dessert bar instead. It’s no fun being hungry and having to leave a party to get some snacks.
7. Those beats are swell
Weddings often merge your friends and family you never thought would meet. It’s hard to manage so many personalities and preferences in one room, but having a great DJ can REALLY make or break this for you. By finding a band or DJ skilled at engaging a whole room – grandpa and college roommate included – your guests are sure to remember how much fun they had cutting rug on the dance floor.
8. Remember the elements
Comfort can simply mean whether it is too cold or hot in your reception space. Are you having a beach wedding in August? Providing sunscreen, sandals, and shades can help make your guests feel thought of and keep them in mind when designing your day. Winter wedding? Offer a hot chocolate bar and provide guests a cozy spot to gather. Just remember your guests being comfortable keeps them happy, and keeps them celebrating with you through the night.
9. Do you need a ride?
Your out of town guests will need transportation back to their hotels. Those college friends of yours have enjoyed the open bar immensely and might need a cab to help them home. Wedding transportation can be pre-purchased and makes a HUGE difference in how your guests feel at the end of the evening. By keeping everyone safe by providing these rides or hosting your reception in a hotel with a room block for the evening, everyone stays safe and happy, and will thank you for it!
10. Gratitude, again.
After the cake has been cut, the shoes have been worn out from dancing, and the honeymoon has come and gone, remember to write your guests thank you letters or cards thanking them for how they impacted your day. As mentioned before, recognizing the effort they put in to celebrate with you nurtures those relationships and shows them how much it meant for them to be involved in celebrating your new beginning.
Overall, just incorporating one or two of these tips within your day will make a huge difference in how your guests feel. Remember the weddings you have attended and what you remember from them when planning your weddings. I tell couples who are struggling to find their vision to look at how they want to feel on their day, and often times that helps them come up with what they want. By prioritizing your guests comfort on wedding day, this helps you stress less day of on keeping everyone happy and helps you focus in on enjoying the best day of your life instead!
For more inspiration and wedding tips, contact me today to talk about incorporating more cozy details into your dream day!
Until next time,