The Community Post
Out of Town Guests
Long gone are the days when everyone on the wedding guest list lived just down the road. Today’s couples are planning for most, if not all, of the wedding guests to come from out of town. Because out of town guests are going through a lot of expense and effort to attend, couples often feel like they need to help them out.
MAKE A GIFT BASKET
Some couples will give out of town guests a wedding itinerary and package it in a clever gift basket that highlights the perks of your town. You can do this in print and on a website so that guests can access the information on the go. Give them ideas of how to fill their free time with things to do for a range of budgets and ages. If you’ve also arranged for a hotel block for your guests, you can ask the hotel to leave the baskets in their rooms.
OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS AND TRAVEL
It’s not your responsibility to secure a hotel block or book any travel for your guests, but you can offer suggestions. Put together a list of hotels or other accommodations near your wedding venue, along with your favorite restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. Share what you know about your town’s airport to make travel easier – for instance, if it has epic security lines or if parking is a challenge – or include nearby airports that guests can fly in to. Try to choose options to fit every budget.
If guests would be better off renting a car, let them know up front. Help relatives and guests organize carpools amongst themselves and plan for a way to get nondrivers to and from the airport and other event venues. If you’re already working with a hotel, they may be willing to provide a shuttle or bus for your party.
KEEP THEM ENTERTAINED
While you don’t need to plan every second of the trip, you should offer things to keep your guests in the party mood. Think about having a welcome party prior to the more intimate rehearsal dinner, or a cocktail hour or even a pizza party to show your guests how much you appreciate their efforts.