4 Guest Dos to Keep in Mind When Throwing Your Wedding Celebration
As a planner and recent bride, Alison Hotchkiss Rinderknecht of Alison Events knows the big day is all about the happy couple. But overlook the attendees and the celebration might not feel like, well, a celebration at all. Here, her advice for making invitees feel welcome, appreciated, and part of the momentous occasion.
Keep It Approachable
"Sophisticated yet approachable" is my go-to mantra when planning an event. In other words, even at a formal event, you want your guests to feel like they can be themselves. Keep the celebration warm and welcoming, and people can relax and enjoy every element, from the company to the meal. To help, draw inspiration from your own lives-it's a great opportunity to communicate who you two are as a couple while also keeping the ceremony and reception approachable. What décor do you have in your home? What's your favorite restaurant? These are just two of the questions to get you started.
Map It Out
At any wedding, it's easy for guests to feel a little lost in the crowd. Help them find their way by guiding them throughout the event so they know exactly what to expect and where to go. Some couples believe that escort cards are unnecessary, but I encourage clients to rethink this. Being confronted by a sea of tables can be daunting, and an escort card alleviates that anxiety by telling them exactly where to go. There are many other opportunities to provide direction: Have the hotel leave weekend schedules in each room to greet attendees as they arrive, provide transportation to and from the venues, and if it's a large property or if you will be utilizing multiple areas, install directional signage.
Don't be afraid to skip expected rituals. Each couple's point of view is different, but I am finding that many don't care about the cake-cutting or doing a garter toss. These acts could potentially interrupt the flow of your wedding and make the event feel forced. Though you are on a set schedule, you never want your guests to feel like they're on a timeline. Can't bear to lose any of it? Make sure to fit things in before opening the dance floor-nothing kills a party more than stopping it for a bouquet toss!
Share a Little Surprise
I am a big fan of the turndown gift! One of the latest trends making a splash in weddings, this could mean leaving a nightcap, small token, or even just a sweet note in each guest's room. It's such a surprise and offers an extra little something special to show everyone you were thinking of them.
- This Couple's Beachfront Wedding in Florida Had "Lagniappe"—a Little Something Extra
- How Late Is Too Late to Make Changes to Your Wedding Menu?
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Made the TIME 100 List—and Posed for Their Very First Magazine Cover
- Britney Spears and Sam Asghari Want to Get Married on the Beach—and Quickly