How to WOW your wedding guests.
You are planning your wedding and you want to make sure it is memorable for everyone attending. You want to “WOW” your guests! There are lots of ways to make sure your wedding is a stand out affair without breaking the budget. As you plan your big day consider some of these ideas:
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Make it Personal
The most important thing you can do to make your wedding stand out is making it uniquely yours! That does not mean that you have to buck all tradition, just make sure your plan really reflects both you and your fiancés personality. Jump-start this process by beginning with your story. Where did the two of you meet? Do you have favorite foods? Hobbies? Weave some of these things into your day. If you met at a beer bar, consider having a beer bar at the reception. Make a sign with your new last name on it for the name of the bar and pick some of your favorite beers for your guests to enjoy. If he is from Philly and you are from New Orleans, perhaps make mini Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches and mini Muffaletas as passed appetizers. The ideas are limitless, just make it yours!
You had me at the Save the Date
Are you a quirky couple? Did you get engaged in a fabulous location? Let the save the date reflect your personality or reveal a little something about the two of you. Everyone loves a good story, start telling yours on the save the date! This groom asked this bride to marry him under an
olive tree, so the save the date starts to tell that story.
Welcome the Guests with a Goodie Bag or Note
If family and friends have travelled to be with you on your wedding day, let them know how much it means to you. Nothing says welcome like a special bag of goodies to greet your guests as they check into their hotels. What should it include? A must for every bag is bottled water. You cannot go wrong with something sweet and something salty, just a little snack so they will not have to raid the mini bar. If your city is known for chocolates, or pecans, or some type of fabulous chips, make sure and put that in the bag. Do you have a microbrewery in your town? Maybe a bottle of ale from there would be the perfect thing. One of the nicest things to do is insert a list of places to eat, shop and sight-see. Again, make it personal, let them know your favorite places. If the budget will not stretch to a welcome bag, a personalized note is perfect. Who would not like to have a hand written note addressed to them at check in?
The Wedding Program
Whether you are having a traditional ceremony in a church or a beach side exchanging of the vows, guests love to know who everyone is and what is happening. There are so many possibilities on ways to design the program and what to include (Stay tuned for an entire blog on programs). Programs can be both informative and interesting; something your guests will enjoy reading. Consider on the back of the program listing “10 things you did not know about the bride and groom.” Your guests will love it.
It is wonderful to be part of the celebration, not just an outsider looking in! Make it easy for your guests. Photo booths have become very trendy, no one can resist a snapshot with close friends in zany costumes. Let your guests know that you are counting on them to help document the fun times—think about creating a hashtag to post pictures and don’t forget to let them know.
Interact with your Guests
The guests are here for your big day!! No better way to ensure they have fun then by interacting with them. Play the shoe game, never heard of it? Many of your guests may not have either but they will love watching how much or how little the two of you agree with each other! Here’s how it works: During the reception, sometime after dinner but before the dance floor rocks out, two chairs are placed back-to-back on the dance floor. One for the bride and one for the groom. Once sitting in their chairs they each remove both of their shoes, and trade one with their new spouse so that both are holding one of each. Then, DJ (or other host) asks a series of questions about the two and their relationship, like “Who does the most cooking?” and “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”. After each question, the bride and groom hold up the shoe belonging to the person they think is the best answer to the question. It’s fun, quick and gathers everyone together.
From there, the dj or band can get everyone going on the dance floor.
Late Night Snack
Surprise your guests with a fun late night snack. This can be anything. Some ideas are mini burgers, quesadillas or grilled cheese and soup. We once did a wedding that the bride and groom had a passion for Krispy Kreme donuts. The catering staff all donned Krispy Kreme hats and carried boxes and trays of donuts out as they circled the dance floor. Guest joined in grabbing whole boxes to share or just a single donut for a quick bite.
Take Care of your Guest
Is it going to be a chilly night? Maybe pashminas for the ladies or a few well-placed blankets to cuddle beneath. Maybe a basket of flip-flops brought out later in the evening when everyone’s tootsies are aching? Instead of a traditional parting gift, what about a hangover kit? It can be complete with Advil, a bottle of water and sunglasses for the morning glare.