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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcoming Out of Town Guests

It is inevitable that you will probably have some out of town guests - your cousins fly in from Florida or your friends fly to your hometown from the city you all live in now. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, these guests are spending a lot of money to fly, stay in a hotel and share your wedding with you. They do all this because they love you, but you need to show them some love and appreciation in return.

Although we think some Save the Dates and Wedding Websites are cheesy, they are helpful for out of town guests. Send out your Save the Date around the time your guests can book flights. DO NOT send Save the Dates before the calendar on Expedia can locate your wedding date. People will not only forget to book the flight, but they might lose your Save the Date. On your Save the Date, you can put your wedding website.
On your, next to your kissing photos and “how we met” story, you should post information that is relevant to out of towners, such as times of rehearsal dinner/ceremony, hotel options, maps of the location.

Present guests with a few (3) hotel options that vary in price. This is a non-negotiable option and is expected. Your guests should never have to research hotel options and they also shouldn't feel financially uncomfortable with the hotels you offer. Reserve a block in each hotel so when your guests call up, they can just reserve a room in the block with the block rate (hopefully you get a cheap rate).

Hotel Baskets
This is not required, but it is a generous gesture and will show your guests you appreciate their time and effort. In each room, leave a basket with items that will be useful for their stay. These items do not need to be expensive. Be thoughtful. Give guests maps of the area, a bottle of water, maybe a list of restaurants and other cute/thoughtful things that you would want if you were in their situation.

Although it is not required (and we’ve never attended a wedding where this was done), some very generous couples provide transportation from the airport to the hotel. However, what is more customary is providing transportation from the hotel to the wedding venue and rehearsal dinner venue. If your venue is not in walking distance or a very short cab ride away, you should provide a bus or some sort of transportation. Your guests shouldn’t have to pay for a 30 minute taxi ride and you certainly do not want to encourage drunk driving.

It is important to make your guests feel comfortable and spend as little money as possible. Your out of towns guests should not have any extra expenses on behalf of you. After all, they paid for a flight, hotel, getting to and from the hotel and a gift.

The stress of the weekend is on your shoulders so please think about this ahead of time.
Or else, people might throw tennis balls, or even worse, tomatoes at you when your walk down the aisle, instead of rice or candy!


Karen said...

Love this post. We all have a's mine, circa 1996 so web wasn't what it is now: I was a bridesmaid in OOT wedding to town I hadn't visted since I was a child. Bride decided to rest on Friday night around 10 after the rehearsal dinner and the local BMs had plans and/or went home to their families! Only people I really knew well were the couple and one other BM from our town who brought her sig other to make it a romantic weekend. Wedding wasn't until 4 the next day and the discount hotel didn't have a concierge (!!!) I (wrongly) assumed we would have planned activities or that the BMs would want to hang (no such luck). I had no idea what to do, where to go, where to eat, etc. So I (boyfriendless at the time) was on my own for most of the entire weekend. Had fun at the wedding, but the rest of the weekend kinda sucked.

Anonymous said...

I would love to provide transportation to the wedding venue from the hotel where most guests are staying but can not afford to. I also can not really able to afford booze, except chanpane toasts... should I at least try to pay for some booze or transportation.