Whether your wedding is a true destination locale where your guests travel from afar (think: a Lake Como wedding, a sunny Caribbean beach celebration, or forested Pacific Northwest nuptials) or a local soiree where your guests will all be coming from home, taking good care of them from the moment they receive your first wedding correspondence will make them feel appreciated. We are big on the “guest experience,” and educating guests as early on as possible as to what kind of celebration they’re in for, what to expect for travel, attire, and other details pertinent to that experience.
Here are our most important tips for starting your guest experience off on the right foot (we’ll share guest experience tips at your wedding in a post to come):
1. Set up a website – regardless if your wedding is taking place in your hometown or across the Atlantic, a website is the must-have portal for passing along pertinent details to your guests quickly and frequently. The website supports your save the dates and formal invitation suite and, especially in today’s online world, guests can quickly get updates on details like weather, travel details, other wedding activities such as a cocktail welcome party or post-wedding brunch, and any specific attire requirements. Indicate on your save the date that guests can glean more information from the site and direct them there as early as possible. An app like Appy Couple is an informative app that you can completely customize. Two of our favorite wedding websites: Minted and Riley & Grey – both really user-friendly with a number of stylish options you can totally customize.
2. Send out initial correspondence early – while the old rule of thumb used to tell couples to send out save the dates just 6 months prior to the wedding date, we suggest creating and sending them out just as soon as you have your wedding venue locked in. 9-12 months is excellent. Earlier really is better so guests can at least pencil in your date, knowing that details are forthcoming.
Photo: Glass Jar Photography for Valley & Company Events
3. Gather email addresses – make sure that you have email addresses for all guests (or telephone numbers for those without) so that you can email out updates as they come. Most wedding websites have an intake form where you can ask for this. Those updates would include things like any shuttling information you’re providing, details on room blocks, or informal invitations to a welcome bonfire. Again, this should apply to local weddings as well – keeping your guests in the know and giving them as much notice on updates and changes to your itinerary will be welcomed!
Aleah & Nick