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5 Ways to Accommodate for Traveling Guests

It’s time to polish up the champagne flutes and pop open a bottle of bubbly because you’re getting married! You’ve finally bought your dresschose your venue, and sent out those gorgeous handmade calligraphy invitations that express you and your fiancé perfectly. 

But even if you feel that you’ve figured out all the details of your wedding, you still have out-of-town guests to think about. Because chances are, even if your guests have visited the destination previously, they’ll be looking to you for guidance on how to spend their time when they’re not involved in wedding festivities. 

It may feel like yet another stressor to wrangle family together and make everyone happy. But accommodating for traveling guests doesn’t have to push you to elope after all. Read on to learn how you can make everyone feel right at home on your wedding day.

Provide Your Guests a Welcome Bag


When your guests arrive, be sure to have a welcome bag prepped for everyone at the first event. Include items like a map of the local area, snacks, or a bottle of bubbly alongside your wedding itinerary and a personalized note thanking your guests for making it to the wedding. You may also consider including a personalized item like a monogram tote bag or a local magazine sharing the best things to do in the area, 

Whether you provide a welcome bag right at check-in or simply wait until the rehearsal dinner, this simple but lovely gesture will help your out-of-town guests feel right at home.

Invite Your Guests to The Rehearsal Dinner


Regardless of where or when you have the rehearsal dinner, you don’t want to skip out on having one if you have lots of out-of-town guests arriving for your wedding. Although your main event may leave you with plenty to do, guests who aren’t in the wedding need to be entertained

It may also be a good idea to make sure there isn’t too much time before the rehearsal dinner. And, if you’re having a cocktail hour or meet up ahead of the rehearsal dinner, don’t leave too much time between the two events. Keeping your guests on a consistent schedule will make the weekend even more exciting for everyone.

 

Provide an Itinerary


You don’t want your guests feeling confused or out of the loop. Even if you provide your guests with a wedding itinerary in their welcome bag, make sure to check in with everyone individually if possible. 

If you’re having a larger wedding and it isn’t possible to speak with everyone ahead of the wedding, make your wedding website available for people to access the calendar of events. You may also consider putting members of your wedding party in charge of checking in with everyone to make sure they’re settling nicely.

Coordinate a Hotel Block


While some couples simply recommend places for their out-of-town guests to stay, it’s even better to take the extra step of coordinating a hotel block so everyone can stay in the same place. This is among the best ways to make sure your guests feel included in every activity. 

Plus, if other guests want to get together and do sightseeing, all they have to do is meet up in the lobby. We recommend using Hotel Planner to coordinate a hotel block. Make sure your hotel is in a fairly central location so it’s easy for guests to enjoy all the area has to offer!

Since most of your guests will likely stay more than one day when traveling for your wedding, give your guests some options of fun things to do outside of wedding festivities! Not only will your guests feel valued, but they’ll also have something fun to do while you’re prepping for the special day.

There are many ways to communicate the activity ideas to your guest. One easy way is to simply include a list with the welcome bag you provide for your guest. You can also include a “Traveling Guest” section on your wedding website in case you do not provide a welcome bag. If you are feeling a bit more creative, try to make a scavenger hunt or a check list of all of you and your significant others favorite places for your guests to visit. This will keep things fun and meaningful.

It can be stressful to figure out how to make all your guests happy but making their stay a little more fun will make the whole wedding experience even more fun for everyone. Of course, the best way to accommodate your traveling guests is to let them know how much you appreciate them. A simple thank you goes a long way!

Blog Contribution – Amanda Moore amandalmoore65@gmail.com

Elope or Bust?

You Decide

Wedding planners + married couples know how much preparation goes into a wedding—there are hundreds of little choices to be made and not a lot of time to execute the end result. But ultimately, it’s worth it….Right?

A lot of couples consider eloping because of that very question: Is planning a big wedding really worth it? Obviously, this is a complex thing to consider. There are all kinds of benefits and drawbacks to elopement and traditional weddings, but one thing is certain: the common perception of both events is changing.

Most people have heard their share of anecdotes about eloping. Spontaneous “Vegas weddings,” boat ceremonies in international waters, and simple courthouse services have started to become more popular; this probably has to do with a change in the perception of elopement over the last few decades. It’s gaining a more positive reputation, rather than being seen as a sneaky way for couples to wed without their parents’ approval or as a secretive last-resort for couples These days, the act has gained more respectability as an intimate, financially sensible choice. The increasingly positive perception of elopement is even reflected in pop culture. Spontaneous, secret, and low-key marriage ceremonies seem to turn out well!

As for traditional weddings, their reputation has remained fairly consistent, although many spouses-to-be are opting for ceremonies that break smaller traditions and better suit their personal interests. People are getting creative. There are a lot of options out there, and our understanding of what a wedding should look like is changing. Still overwhelmed? Planners love offering elopement packages as well..So, is elopement the way to go, or does the bad still outweigh the good?


All Cards on the Table..

Positively Pro

Attractive Price Tag

It’s true: weddings can be insanely expensive. You’re paying for every detail—from chairs and tables to flowers and sparklers. With elopement, most of those details aren’t included, so you don’t have to abuse your bank account over them. Due to the lack of guests, you won’t have to pay for catering, seating, transportation, decorating a large venue, or even accommodation (if it’s a destination wedding). The only things you’ll have to worry about buying are the necessities for you, your spouse, and whoever will be with you during the ceremony.

Stress Free is the Way to Be

For most of us, saving money decreases stress, but there are plenty of other things that you can avoid stressing over if you opt out of a traditional wedding. With an elopement, there are fewer guests to manage, fewer decorative elements to tweak, and a much looser schedule to follow—and even those things are assuming that you have any guests, decorations, or schedule in the first place. In the end, a smaller ceremony lets you take your mind off of the little things and focus all of your attention on your new spouse. In fact, that’s a pro of its own:

Intimacy is Key

Without a doubt, having your wedding day all to yourselves is special and personal beyond compare. Although a bigger wedding would allow more people and extravagance, the romance and intimacy of elopement cannot be overlooked; optimally, there are no distractions from one another during the ceremony that binds you and your partner together for life. It’s about just the two of you and your connection, rather than you as a couple in the wider family/community.

More Marriage, Less Wedding

In that same vein, elopement can make your big day all about marriage itself, focusing your attention on the lifelong love and commitment between you and your partner. A traditional wedding, on the other hand, usually requires that you split your attention between your new marriage and the party that surrounds it. Although a celebration can emphasize the excitement of marriage, it can also take away from the solemnity of the day itself.

You Me and Spontaneity

Up until now, I’ve mostly been concentrating on planned-out elopements, but it’s important to note that elopement is the perfect method for getting married without any planning at all. There’s something to be said for the passion and excitement that accompany spontaneity, especially with a decision as big as marriage. If you think you want to get hitched but you want it to happen in-the-moment, elopement is probably the best way to go.

Candid Cons

Where is the Personality

Although intimate, elopement doesn’t let you make the hundreds of little choices that typically go along with a big wedding, meaning that you might not feel like the ceremony is as tailored to your taste. There probably won’t be as many decorations, so choices like color scheme, types of greenery, and furniture arrangement won’t be as impactful to the ceremony’s overall look.

Lost Loved Ones

Some elopements include a few close family members or friends, but the guest list still has to stay relatively limited. Even if you have ten of your closest people with you, there will probably be others that you wish were there, too. Also, many couples consider eloping without anyone but an officiary and a required witness. This method, though very private and significant to the participants, is even more likely to result in regret over absent parties. Getting married can be stressful regardless of how it’s done; eloping may not bring as much pressure as a traditional wedding, but you still might want someone other than your spouse there to support you and calm any nerves.

Is Bigger Really Better

For many people, the festivity and socializing that come with a bigger wedding are an important element of their big day. Also, a little vanity can be justified—a lot of couples look forward to all of the attention being focused on them, their love, and their bond for just that one day. With elopement, there won’t be as many people there to give you the gift of their attention, excitement, support, or mere social presence. The lack of attendees and celebration can impact the significance of the ceremony, as well, making it feel like less of a big deal. So, these factors shouldn’t be considered lightly. They can be really important parts of a couple’s wedding day, but they may not be necessary for everyone.

Too Much Drama Mama

If you look up “elopement ideas” online, a lot of the results include tips on how to handle your family’s reaction to the concept. Along with judgement, you should also prepare yourself for drama or resentment from the people who hear about your plan to elope. More conventional people, especially family members, might feel that a wedding is a right extended to the couple’s family and friends rather than a privilege. They may take it personally that you’re not having a ceremony to which they will be invited, and these feelings could create tension between yourselves and your loved ones that you might not consider worth the trouble.

So, those are the ups and downs of eloping. What do you think—is it worth it?

New Event Rentals at EventWorks

We stopped by EventWorks, one of the southeast’s largest event rental companies, to chat with Ashley about what they offer for events as well as all of their new amazing rental options for 2018! Read more